Although it will be a few months before your new baby is mobile, your goal will be to keep your precious child safe. Sooner than you think, your baby will be reaching for things, and most likely putting them straight into his mouth, so it’s important to make your home safe right away.
A checklist has been provided below as a guide to help you keep your home safe. In addition to the points provided, be sure to look carefully around your home to see what else you can do to ensure your child’s safety. By doing this, when your baby does start to reach for things or crawl to things, you won’t have to worry about baby’s safety.
Use the following checklist as a guide to help you keep your home safe. You may want to print a copy of this checklist and keep it close by as an easy reference.
- Post all emergency numbers by the phone.
- Post the emergency number for poison control centre.
- Post the emergency number for police.
- Post the emergency number for fire department.
- Post the emergency number for ambulance.
- Post the emergency number for local hospital.
- Post the emergency number for the hydro—in case of a power outage.
- Post the emergency number for gas—in case of a gas leak.
- Put safety coverings on all electrical outlets.
- Lock up all hazardous products.
- Lock up drugs and medications (many children can take off childproof safety tops)—don't forget those that are in purses or jackets of guests, such as grandparents.
- Lock up cleaning solutions.
- Lock up cigarettes, tobacco, matches and lighters.
- Lock up alcoholic beverages.
- Lock up garbage.
- Lock up soiled diapers and diaper pails.
- Lock up skin care products and container caps, cornstarch and diaper pins.
- Lock up plastic and dry cleaning bags.
- Lock up cat litter boxes and pet food.
- Lock up electrical, computer and telephone cords and cables.
- Lock up batteries.
- Lock up breakable materials.
- Lock up items that are personally valuable.
- Lock up all guns in a cabinet that is secured to the structure of the building.
- Lock up the ammunition in a separate container; secure the gun with a trigger lock that needs a special key or wrench; and keep the key or wrench locked up separately from the gun.
- Ensure that all cleaning materials, medications and toxic substances are clearly labeled. Never store hazardous products in drinking bottles.
- Remove all objects that your child could use to reach dangerous items or climb out of the crib or playpen.
- Remove all locks on the inside of doors so your child cannot lock himself in a room.
- Keep all hanging curtain or blind cords out of reach.
- Keep free-standing lamps behind heavy furniture.
- Ensure all windows that open have screens and locks.
- Secure loose flooring or rugs.
- Check for tiny objects buried in rugs.
- Toss a towel over the top of the door—this prevents doors from slamming shut and hurting fingers.
- Ensure furniture is sturdy, splinter-free and without sharp edges.
- Block open stairway—do not use pressure-mounted gates at the top of a staircase—one good punch by your child or pet and all will go tumbling down.
- Keep purses out of reach, including those of visitors; they may contain medicines or sharp objects.
- Block wet areas (such as, freshly washed floors) so your child doesn’t slip and fall.
- Ensure you child is safe while you are answering the phone or door.
- Use a seat belt when your child is in a highchair, stroller, portable swing or any other piece of equipment.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector(s) in your home. (NOTE: smoke alarms are now required by law in Ontario.)
- Supervise your child constantly.
- Never leave your child alone on a change table or bed.
- Never leave your child alone with a bottle.
- Never leave your child alone in the bath (children can drown in as little as 4 cm (1 1/2") of water).
- Never leave your child alone in a highchair.
- Never leave your child alone on a bean bag chair or water bed (children can roll over and smother in the soft fabric).
- Never leave your child alone on a balcony.
- Never leave your child alone with a pet, including sleeping with a child (jealous or curious pets can hurt children).
- Never leave your child alone in a car—not even for a very brief time.
- Never leave your child alone in the house—not even for a very brief time.
- Remove all poisonous plants from your home and yard.
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