Even at home your crawling babies are exploring more and growing in curiosity - finding every hazard possible that perhaps you hadn't even considered a hazard in your own home until you had an accident-prone toddler.
Whether you rent or own, we’ve made a checklist of quick safety hacks and baby products to baby proof your home.
We all love scrolling through those beautiful Instagram worthy shots of playrooms with Cheese plants in wicker baskets, but although looking wonderful these may not be the best thing to have near little wandering hands. The majority of plants are ok and will likely just bring delicate skin up in a rash, or if little ones do manage to take a bit, the bitter taste will stop them from trying it again, but remember, some plants are highly toxic to both children and pets so it's important to do your research and ensure what you have in your home is ok or well out of reach of little ones.
Like a stove or fireplace – an enclosed log burner or radiator equally have a burn risk. If you can’t place large furniture in front to avoid little ones going near them consider up-cycling or sourcing some radiator covers to help keep little fingers away. These don’t have to be permanently installed and add a cosy feel to the house – especially in the Winter. Remember also that not only is the radiator hot, but pipes from the floor up to the radiators can also be in some cases even hotter than the radiator itself and are at the perfect grab height for little ones. Pipe insulation or a DIY pool noodle cut to size will easily wrap around them and will stop little hands touching the hot pipes.
Coffee tables can be a great piece of furniture for little ones, they are low in height so are ideal for them to practice pulling themselves up to standing as well as walking or shuffling their way around, so if your little ones are approaching this stage it’s time to ensure those hot cups of tea are placed well out of reach. If you have a circular coffee table then you have less to worry about with regards to sharp edges but for those with square or rectangular tables soft silicone BPA edge kits are a great way to make sure there are no sharp bumps for the future. Foam is also a great material to wrap around the corners.
For any flat-pack, ladder style furniture and other lightweight pieces, it might be a good idea, if you can, to attach those that could be easily tipped over to the wall with hinges or something sturdy or permanent close by if your little one decides to pull themselves up or lean on it.
Stairs & Problem Areas
Stairwells and other no go areas of the house can be the most heart-palpitating hazards, yet the easiest to install total safety. You can opt for a temporary pressure-fit safety gate or a more permanent Screw-mount safety gate option. The Badabulle Wood and metal Safe & Protect safety gate is extendable between 73cm and 81cm and the XL version extendable between 60cm and 107cm.
Once you have walked into them and knocked yourself hard you will know what we mean! For those houses with sliding glass doors, glass partitions or bi-fold doors picking up some inexpensive safety stickers placed at children’s eye and knee levels will help to remind them when they are not open.
From large floor lamps to table lamps, these can be a hazard in a number of ways. Ensure table lamps are pushed back as far as possible away from their reach. Large floor lamps are better kept to the edges of the room and cables pinned or boxed to the edges too with a socket cover over the connected plug.
Drawers & Cupboards
Exploring the contents of your cupboards can be a real novelty for your baby once they’ve worked out how. Besides containing sharp objects, medicines and other off-limit items which should be kept out of reached and locked, drawers are a hazard for little fingers too. ‘Door and drawer pinch guards’ will ensure they cannot shut their fingers in them. It’s also important with furniture of any weight that have pull out drawers to anchor them to the wall behind. Some children may see the drawers as a type of stair and try to climb up or pull out a heavy top drawer that can unbalance it and lead to tipping, so it’s well worth investing in some hinges and ensuring there’s no chance of anything tipping over.
The bathroom can easily turn into one of the most dangerous rooms in the house – when bathing your toddler in the bathtub keep them away from the faucet which could be scolding hot. Putting a soft bath spout cover over it will help to prevent injuries and burns. Use non-slip mats – bath and shower surfaces can be slippery at the best of times, especially if using soap and bubbles for your child’s bath time. Source non-toxic, large rubber bath mats to baby proof your bath against slips and falls. The Badabulle large bath mat with temperature sensor is fitted with safe rubber suction cups on the bottom to secure to the surface of the tub and has an integrated colour temperature system to alert you when the water is too hot or too cold.
For your little climbers, tablecloth clips at the table will quickly eliminate the contents of your table being pulled onto the floor. Oilcloths are a great material to use when weaning as they are so easy to wipe down. Remember also that if you have a shallow or glass table-top using some soft edging corners will help to avoid any bumps at head height for little ones.
LED lights don’t get hot or produce heat when on. An LED baby nightlight or one with an automatic timer like Squeezy will give you peace of mind when they go to sleep.
When they get to the climbing phase, avoid cot bumpers, stuffed toys or pillows in the cot which could give you toddler a leg up to the top of the rail. Ensure the mattress is at its lowest setting in the cot too.
As they grow your baby or toddler will be discovering their toys and where they are kept! A heavy-duty wooden toy box or one with a heavy lid is a hazard for potentially trapping them or their fingers. Look for fabric lids or storage baskets without lids that can be easily tidied but easily accessed.
Doors can be a hazard to little ones so it’s a good idea to do a couple of things to keep them safe. Pool noodles cut into a few inches and wrapped around the top of the door will stop doors slamming shut. Little fingers are prone to investigating, so the edge of the door frame where the hinges are can also be a hazard. You can get plastic panels to fit over these to stop fingers from getting stuck. If you have a bathroom or any door that has a lock on the inside at children’s height, its best to remove these completely or place them towards the top of the door so they can't get stuck inside. If you have doors that have newer doorknobs these sometimes have a slit on them, if you ever wondered what it was for pop a penny in and twist, it should unlock the door from the outside.
If you'd like to find out more infant health and safety advice, Child Accident Prevention Trust (capt.org.uk) frequently update all of the home safety advice you could need to baby proof your home.