With many of us confined to our homes for the foreseeable future, baby proofing at home has never been more important. That’s why the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are running their ‘Safety Makes Sense’ campaign for Child Safety Week from 1st-7th June 2020.
It is never too early to start baby proofing
Often, parent’s wait until their baby starts moving to begin baby proofing, but that can be stressful and result in corners being cut as you rush to put safety measures in place while keeping an eye on your newly mobile baby. Instead, we would encourage you to think about baby proofing before baby arrives and start as you mean to go on. When you are designing your babies nursery, think about safety and install anti-tip kits on freestanding furniture as you arrange your room. Think about blind cords, plug sockets and where you will keep hazardous items like nappy bags to ensure everything is safe and out of babies reach.
As soon as your baby starts to roll, they are showing you that they are ready to get moving. A rolling baby can move surprisingly quickly so you must never leave your baby unattended on a changing table or any raised surface and you might need to think twice about where you leave them on the floor too. You will often find baby has rolled off of their play mat if you turn your back for a second, so now is the time to start baby proofing the rest of your home if you haven’t already.
Identify the dangers
Get down to your babies level and crawl around your home on all fours to identify anything in your path that could pose a threat to your baby. This might include items such as houseplants, floor lamps, sharp edges on a coffee table, a bookcase they could climb, exposed plug sockets, wires behind the TV and many other hazards. It is only when you are down at baby’s level that you can appreciate how many things they can get into, climb onto and generally get up to mischief with!
Once you have identified the potential dangers, you can begin by moving anything that you can out of babies reach. It might mean changing your interior design for a few years but it is far better to be safe than sorry, so for now, put those pretty but potentially hazardous decorative touches away and out of sight.
One of the most obvious dangers in a house with more than one storey is the stairs. If you have stairs in your home then fitting stair gates at the top and bottom should be high on your priority list when baby starts to move. Make sure you choose a design that doesn’t have a bar along the bottom if you are installing a gate on your stairs as this will create a trip hazard and the last thing you want is to introduce a new hazard when you are trying to prevent one! You may also want to install safety gates on your kitchen, bathroom and any other rooms where there is a high concentration of potential risks.
Make a shopping list
After removing the items that are easy to put away, you now need to consider the items that can’t be moved and think about how to make those safer. Freestanding furniture throughout your house should be secured with anti-tip kits wherever possible, particularly open shelving which looks like a climbing frame to a little one! Plug socket covers can be used to safely cover exposed sockets and stop children from trying to plug in items like hair straighteners which could burn them or cause a fire.
If you have put dangerous items like cleaning products, medicine etc into cupboards to keep them out of reach then you will need to secure these cupboards with door locks or drawer locks to prevent little ones from finding them. We recommend putting drawer and door locks onto all of your kitchen cupboards regardless of whether or not you think the items within pose a threat… the last thing you want is to find the contents of your cereal cupboard tipped all over the floor. You should also think about installing door and drawer locks in other rooms for example the bathroom where you might keep medicines and toiletries, as well as the TV cabinet and other storage throughout your home.
Internal doors should be fitted with door slam stoppers to prevent little fingers getting trapped and sharp corners can be softened with corner protectors to prevent bumps and scrapes. If you have hard floors then you might want to consider securing slippery rugs with anti-slip tape can also be used on wooden stairs to help prevent falling.
Go around each room in your house and count up how many drawer and door locks, plug socket covers, anti-tip kits, corner protectors and other items you might need, make a list and start shopping.
Choose baby proofing products carefully
Unfortunately, there is a lot of variation in the quality of baby proofing products available today and this is definitely a case where cheapest does not mean best. Choose items that meet the EU safety standards highlighted below, these codes should be displayed on the packaging…
Poorly made baby proofing products can quickly become a hazard themselves if they break which means you are effectively replacing one hazard with another. We recommend Fred Safety products because they are designed and manufactured to the highest standards and meet the latest EU safety regulations.
Fit your baby proofing solutions correctly
Just as it is important to choose good quality baby proofing items, it is also important to ensure they are fitted according to the manufacturers instructions to ensure that your home is as safe as possible for your little ones. Fred Safety have detailed instruction videos for all of their products alongside step-by-step written guides for fitting and use so you can ensure your children are protected.
Once your home is baby proofed you will have the peace of mind to relax and enjoy this time at home with your little ones. Safety makes sense!
To celebrate Child Safety Week this week we're giving one lucky follower the chance to win a Fred Safety Any Room Bundle AND a Mini First Aid Kit! This super safe bundle is a must-have for every family with young children and worth £50! To be in with a chance of winning head to our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page. Full T and C's apply.