Learning for Life: Toddler-proofing your home



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Posted on February 16, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Making a home safe for a baby or toddler takes some thinking, and a lot of work. But one statistic shows you why it's necessary.

One child dies every two weeks because of dangling cords from mini blinds or window shades.  It's a leading cause of child accidental death in the home.

One Seattle family has made it their top project to make their home toddler safe.

Jack may only be one, but he's developed an amazing skill for getting into everything "off limits."  He's quick and curious. He's a magnet for trouble -- and very proud of it.

So mom Ana decided not to toy around when it came to baby proofing.

"I don't know how I would have done all that myself," she said.

There are so many techniques and new gadgets that can help, like outlet covers. If a child unplugs it, what it does is it snaps shut out.

 Place medicine out of reach and put latches on cabinets.  And install gates in key locations.

Having a company come in can cost you anywhere from $60 into the thousands, but many of the solutions you can do yourself, like moving furniture.

"Especially in a child's room, you should not have a bench in the window, a chair on the window, anything that could give a child access so he could get to the point of pounding against a window," said Janis Crusz, Safety for Toddlers.

And even strap heavy furniture to walls.

"Now I feel okay knowing that if he opens up all three drawers, it won't tip on him," said Ana.

You may have seen stove splash guards that keep hot things from splashing on kids, but they also prevent a child from being able to reach up and grab a handle of something hot or heavy and pull it down on top of them.

So much for parents to do and think about to protect speedy Jack. So a little hide and seek can be fun and safe in the home.

If you do install latches and gates, experts recommend you conceal how they work. The same thing for medicine bottles with safety lids.

Babies are always watching, and they can pick up on those "child proof" techniques in a snap, if you're not careful.