Babyproof Your Home

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Babyproof Your Home

You know to cover the electrical outlets, but other hazards in your home are less obvious. Here’s how to recognize the trouble spots and make them safe for your little daredevil. by Christina Vercelletto

1. Pet Food
Dry kibble is a choking hazard. Keep the dish in an enclosed area that Speedy can get to but your baby can’t. Otherwise, stand guard as your pet chows down, and take the dish away as soon as he’s done.

2. Fire Extinguisher
Keep a multipurpose dry-chemical one in a cabinet that’s out of reach of little hands. Water can’t put out a grease fire, and will actually help spread it.

Buy stove knob covers (like Safety 1st’s Clearview ones; $9, Use back burners, and turn pot handles inward. An appliance lock (like Kidco’s On/Off one, $5, can keep the oven door closed.

Trash Cans

Sharp objects or choking hazards may lurk inside. Stick your can in a locked cabinet or buy a heavy one so your baby can’t knock it over or open it.

Low Cabinets
If you have to keep cleaning products here, use a super-secure lock (like Safety 1st Cabinet Flex-Lock; $14, at




3. Windows
Install guards that screw into the window frame, not the pressure-mounted kind. Try Sterling Secure Window Guards: $25, Blind cords can be a strangulation hazard, so wrap them around cord cleats (they come with new blinds, or you can find them at home centers), positioned out of your baby’s reach.

Buy on!
Sterling Window Guard

4. Power Strips
Cover up that enticing jumble of plugs and wires. The Mommy’s Helper Power Strip Safety Cover fits single-row power strips; $8,

Buy on!
Mommy’s Helper Power Strip Safety Cover

5. Coffee Tables
Remove breakable items from them. Use corner cushions and wraparound guards on low, sharp-edged tables. Prince Lionheart’s Table Edge Guard set includes both; $20, If the table doubles as a chest, lock it so the lid can’t open. And if you have a glass-topped table, replace the glass with a piece of plastic so your baby can’t shatter it.

6. Houseplants
Keep houseplants out of reach. Your baby could eat them or the dirt.

7. TV Stands
Choose one that’s less than 30 inches tall to reduce the risk of the television’s tipping. Look for an Underwriters Laboratories sticker, which proves the product has met government standards to hold a TV. Never put a television on top of a dresser — open shelves up the risk of tipping.

Learn how to Babyproof Your Bathroom


8. The Crib

What’s wrong with this picture? Mobiles need to come out once your baby is 5 months old — the small parts can be a choking hazard and the string

poses the risk of entanglement. The bumpers and blankets should go, too; they up the risk of SIDS and suffocation.

9. Electrical Outlets

Use sliding covers. Plastic caps can pose a choking risk.

10. Throw Rugs

Choose ones with nonskid backings, or add a nonstick rug pad, to prevent slips and falls.

Learn how to Babyproof Your Bathroom

11. Furniture
Secure anything that could tip over to the walls or the floor with anti-tip, L-shaped brackets or straps, like Safety 1st’s Furniture Wall Straps; $4 for a set of two,

12. Toy Storage
An open option is best, since the heavy, hinged lids of traditional toy boxes can close on little fingers; there’s also a risk that a toddler could become trapped inside. If you prefer a toy chest, buy one with a removable lid.

13. Wastebaskets
Easy-to-pull-off wicker is a choking hazard. Throw trash in plastic or metal cans with lids instead, and keep them out of your baby’s reach.

Learn how to Babyproof Your Bathroom