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The Basics of Childproofing Your Home

By Susan Keeler

While it's nearly impossible to make a home 100% childproof, some thought and planning can help reduce most of the common household hazards that await your child. A good starting point is to look at things from your child's point of view. Actually get down on your hands and knees and look around for potential hazards.

Baby safety products and the tips listed below are great for helping to reduce potential hazards around your home, but they should never replace proper parental supervision.

Electrical: There are plenty of potential hazards in this category including outlets, cords, power strips and wire. There are various types of outlet covers that you can use for outlets that are in use or not in use. All cords and wires (such as computer wire and phone wire) should be wrapped and tucked away.

Furniture: Tall pieces of furniture that can tip over should be secured to wall studs using furniture straps. Any unstable pieces of furniture should be put away.

Plants: Some common house plants (such as Aloe Vera, Amaryllis and Hydrangea) are toxic to humans and animals if eaten. Therefore, keep all plants out of the reach of children.

Fireplaces: Fireplace gates or shields are a must and a child should never be left unattended when there's a fire burning in the fireplace or the fireplace is still hot.

Stairs: Baby gates should be installed in all stairways. There are many different types to choose from including some of the newer gates which are hands-free.

Cabinets and drawers: There are numerous products that you can use to secure cabinet doors and drawers. These should be used on all cabinets and drawers that contain potential hazards. Pay particular attention to those that contain sharp objects, like knives in the kitchen.

Doors: Door knob covers should be installed on all exterior doors and any other doors to rooms or closets that you don't want your child to enter. Also, don't overlook the door stops since the rubber tips are a choking hazard. Remove the rubber tip from door stops or install one piece door stops.

Cleaning products: Cleaning products should be kept locked away and out of the reach of children.

Medicines: All medicines, whether prescription or over the counter should be locked away from children. This also includes vitamins and other supplements.

Windows: Tie cords up out of a child's reach using a wind-up device and be sure to avoid any loops in the chord. Use window bars or devices that prevent windows from opening all the way.

Recalls: Whenever you purchase a product, you should register that product online or send in the registration card so that the company can contact you if there is a recall. Also, frequently check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website (http://www.cpsc.gov/) for recall information.


About the Author:
Susan Keeler is a proud mother and the founder of the Baby Review Center.

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