Baby-Proofing Your Home
In the Kitchen: Keep hot containers and drinks out of your baby's reach and unplug countertop appliances after use. Install locks on all low cabinets and drawers, as well as on the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and trash compactor. When cooking always turn pot handles towards the back of the stove, and keep knives, sharp utensils, and cleaning products out of your baby's reach. Make sure your baby's high chair safety belt and tray are in working condition and you secure your baby in the chair at every meal and snack.
In the Bathroom: Store cosmetics, perfumes, hair care products, vitamins, and medicines in locked cabinets and drawers. Install toilet latches so your baby cannot lift the lid and do not use or store any electrical appliance near the bathtub or sink. In the bathtub, install childproof knob covers, non-skid appliqués or a rubber bath mat, and a soft spout cover on the spigot. Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalds and burns. Once your baby can sit up, use a bathtub safety seat to help keep him secure and free your hands for bathing.
Outside and in the Garage: Playground equipment should be sturdy and free of sharp corners and edges. Swings and climbing toys should be set at least six feet away from fences and walls and anchored securely in the ground. Keep fence gates closed and check that the locks work properly. Store hazardous lawn equipment, sharp gardening tools, barbeque utensils, and lighter fluid in locked cabinets. If you use a gas grill, make sure to turn the knob on the propane tank to the closed position after grilling. Test automatic garage door openers to ensure the anti-entrapment sensors are working properly.
Remember that baby-proofing is an ongoing process; the gate put at the top of the stairs for your 8-month-old today may become a favorite climbing structure as he or she gets older. Baby-proofing is an important part of caring for your little one and with a little effort and diligence you can keep your baby healthy, happy, and safe.
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