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Babyproof Your Home, Room by Room

Alexandra Grablewski


Baby's Room

The hazards:
Furniture in baby's space needs particular attention, so that she doesn't roll off the changing table or climb the furniture and fall out the window. Don't overlook a toy chest with a way-too-heavy lid that can pinch delicate fingers, close on her head or trap her inside. Beware of looped cords on window coverings as they're a strangulation hazard. Cribs can have loose hardware, broken slats or decorative hazards, including soft bedding.

Make it safer:
As in living areas, secure furniture to the wall. Move away from the window any furniture that might invite climbing, and install operable window guards on the second floor and above. (In general, open windows throughout the house no more than 3 inches, or only from the top.) At the changing table, always use the safety strap, and keep an arm on your tot on the changing table (or bed) -- or change him on the floor. Choose a toy box with no lid, or with a lightweight lid and safety hinges that allow it to be opened and closed gently and from the inside. Keep window-covering cords (here and throughout the entire house) out of reach by fitting them with cord stops or tying them up; better yet, select cordless coverings for all windows. A safe crib has slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, no high corner posts or cutouts, and a snug-fitting mattress designed for the crib in which it is used. Periodically check that hardware is tightly fastened, and keep everything but the baby -- including pillows, soft bedding, plastic bags and balloons-out of the crib to prevent suffocation. Don't overlook mobiles and wall hangings, which should be removed from the crib area when baby can push up on his hands and knees so he doesn't pull them down or become tangled in them. Minimize fire and burn hazards by using night-lights that stay cool, and keep them away from drapery and bedding.