Although there are a few grace months before your baby starts moving around on her own, you’ll need to tackle a few child proofing tasks in the meantime to keep you and your newborn safe. If you can think about anything from shaky furniture pieces to slippery floors that could hurt you while you have baby in your arms.

If you think you’re prepared, have an extra look around your home as there have been studies that showed when first-time mothers of children aged 1 to 3 were taken through a study case home and asked to locate potential hazards, they could identify less than half of them.

You might also be overconfident about your own child’s understanding. Within a couple of the studies, when researchers asked the moms to point out items that would be hazardous for their toddler, they made statements like, “My child isn’t curious about the toilet” or “my child knows not to play with matches” and selected only 40 percent of the real risks.

Use this baby proofing checklist to secure your home and prepare for emergencies.

Around the House

  • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs, around fireplaces and in the doorways of rooms that could have hazardous objects in them. Rather use gates that are mounted to the door frames at the top of stairs, instead of gates that have expanding pressure bars.
  • Secure bookcases, shelving, and heavy furniture to walls with brackets and anchors to prevent furniture from tipping over. Put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers.
  • Put corner and edge bumpers on furniture and other items like a fireplace hearth to protect against injury.
  • Doorknob latches are useful to keep children out of rooms and other areas with hazards, such as swimming pools. Make sure that these locks and devices are easy for adults to use in case of emergency.
  • Place furniture away from high windows so children won’t climb onto windowsills.
  • Cut blind loops or attach tassels to avoid accidents.

In the Living Areas

Candles and matches should be out of reach. Keep candles and matches well out of reach. Toddler’s can accidentally light a match and start a fire, no matter how undeveloped their fine motor skills. There is also the possibility of choking if they find a candle to chew on. You could try flameless LED candles that mimic the effect of flickering candlelight.

Mount your TV. Mount your television securely on the wall, if possible. If a child tries to climb on a TV stand, the set can fall on him/her. Standing TVs also need to be anchored to the wall. You can use slip industrial-strength Velcro straps through the air-vent holes and connect them to eye hooks that screw into the wall.

Cover your Fireplace. Install heat-resistant gates to use while the flames are burning. Kids could fall and injure themselves against a sharp or stony hearth, so make sure you have pads around the edges.

Artificial fireplaces often contain small rocks that could be a choking hazard. If yours does, you can just remove them. The doors should be locked when you’re not using the fireplace, and the fire-stoking tools should be out of reach.

Cover power adapters. Your child could easily unplug a cord from the adapter, stick a metal object inside one of the holes, and electrocute himself. Keep adapters and plugs hidden behind furniture or, if they must be exposed, buy an adapter cover or box to store the cords and adapters in.

Photo/picture frames are up and away. If your child knocks over or drops a frame, the glass can shatter and cut him, even in a carpeted room. Put frames somewhere well out of reach, mount them on the wall, or replace them with plastic.

Check your remote control has a battery cover. Be sure to check your remotes all have their covers on the back. Be especially careful of button batteries—similar to watch batteries, hearing aids, greeting cards, and some toys — which have a higher voltage than normall batteries. If your child swallows any type of battery, it can get lodged in the esophagus and cause severe damage, so get him to the E.R. immediately.

Protect your glass coffee table. Table edges are dangerous for a little kid learning to walk. Your toddler can cut her forehead and eye area badly. Try to find out what kind of glass your table is made of. If it’s non-tempered, which shatters easily, put it in a room your toddler can’t access—or buy a new tempered-glass top and edge guards.

Remember that childproofing your home can never be 100% guaranteed against accidents. Supervise your babies and children at all times.

Visit our Home Safety section which includes safety gates:

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