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Childproofing checkup: Is your home safe for a crawling baby?

When babies start crawling, a world of discovery awaits them. But because they're crawling, kids also face some hazards in the home. So it's a good time to review your rooms and take any necessary steps to help ensure a safe environment.

There goes your little traveler again! Your baby has started crawling.

Crawling is a major milestone in a child's life. But while this new skill probably has your little one excited and you more than a little proud, it also means your child could get into something dangerous.

Sure, you'll want to keep an eagle eye on your child. But now is also a good time to check your home again for hazards your baby could encounter.

Try to see your home from your child's point of view—literally. Crawl across the floor and look for hazards. Are small items your baby could swallow or sharp objects within reach? Are there places where your child could fall?

As you go through your home, consider the following tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Safe Kids Worldwide, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other experts.

In the kitchen

  • Use safety latches and locks on drawers and cabinets where cleaning products, chemicals or sharp objects are stored. To be extra safe, move harmful products up high and out of reach.
  • Make sure appliance cords don't dangle over counter edges where a child might tug on them.
  • Empty mop buckets right away. They pose drowning risks.
  • Don't use refrigerator magnets. Your child could swallow them.

In the bathroom

It's best to keep your child out of this and other potentially dangerous rooms unless you're there too. In addition:

  • Keep both the toilet lid and the bathroom door closed. Babies can drown in a small amount of water. Consider using safety latches for the toilet lid.
  • Make sure medicines are locked in a cabinet and out of reach. And see to it that cosmetics are put away.

Throughout the house

  • Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs. And keep kids away from dangerous areas.
  • Cover all unused electrical outlets with plastic inserts.
  • Store empty buckets, tubs and large containers upside down.
  • Make sure potentially dangerous objects are off the floor and out of reach. Everyday objects, like pencils, coins and plastic bags, can be hazardous to children.
  • Use cordless window and drapery blinds. Or keep cords and chains tied up and out of reach. Kids can strangle on cords that can form a loop. Learn more about window cord safety here.
  • Make sure TVs, TV stands, bookcases, dressers or other heavy items are secure and can't tip over. For added safety, you can anchor large furniture to the floor or attach it to a wall with brackets, screws and other appropriate devices. (Keep toys or other enticing items off of TVs and furniture so that kids won't be tempted to climb.)
  • Use corner and edge bumpers to cover sharp edges and reduce injuries from falls.

Remember, childproofing isn't a one-time task. It's something you'll want to keep up on as your child grows.

Reviewed 11/30/2020

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