Baby safety – your room-by-room guide

Know the danger areas around your home and make them safe today. Baby safety tips and products for the kitchen, bathroom, lounge, bedroom and hall.

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It can be a massive shock when your little one gets really mobile – suddenly your home’s his playground!

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And your pride at his first crawl or steps is replaced with the realisation that things he couldn’t reach are now fair game and need to be kept away from his prying hands and inquisitive mind.

It’s time to take a good look around your home and make sure you’ve got every room baby-proofed.

And the best way to do this? Get down on your hands and knees and view the world from your child’s level that way you’ll really see the dangers that your baby faces.

The Bathroom

Hot water, slippery surfaces, bathroom cleaning products and tots on the move don’t mix so you have to be extra careful at bath time. “It can be surprising what little ones find attractive,” says Katrina Phillips from the Child Accident Protection Trust (CAPT), “such as the brightly-coloured bleach bottle you’ve just been using to clean the toilet. They may be unsteady on their feet or crawling but they can move fast, so make sure you keep cleaning products and medicines out of reach.”

What to watch out for

  • Toilet lock – to stop tiny hands chucking in essential items like car keys.
  • A large non-slip bath mat – to stop unsteady little ones falling over.
  • Towels or a radiator cover – to avoid burning hands on hot towel rails.
  • Lockable cabinet – for all chemicals, toiletries and medicines.
  • Window locks – to let inquisitive minds see out but not climb out.
  • Hot tap protector – to avoid scalds.
  • Bath water temperature gauge – double-checking never hurts anyone.

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Expert Tip: Make sure you place clear limits on what’s ok to touch and what’s not. Early on, everything is out of bounds, but as they get older you can let them have more access to things.

The Kitchen

More than 42,500 toddlers under 5 are taken to UK hospitals with kitchen-related accidents every year. From hot oven doors to bubbling saucepans, you need to be extra vigilant.

Use a kitchen safety gate to make sure your little one can’t wander in. Always use the back burners too – cooking on front hobs is inviting hands to grab pans.

Click here to read our toddler first aid essential guide.

For more information read our guide to keeping your child safe in the kitchen.

What to watch out for

  • Cupboard and drawer locks – to keep all alcohol and cleaning products out of reach. The same goes for sharp items.
  • Ovens and washing machine locks – to keep potential hiding places hidden.
  • Fire blanket and extinguisher – and know how to use them.
  • Carbon monoxide detector – to spot any evidence of poisonous gas.

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The Lounge

From your state-of-the-art TV and all its wires to the cuppa in your hand while you catch up with a friend, the lounge is full of hazards. Try to keep remote controls out of reach, as the buttons can be swallowed if they’re pulled off, and remove any glass photo frames. Also ensure furniture is stable as your baby will use it to hoist himself up onto his feet as he learns to toddle.

What to watch out for

  • Fireguard – to keep hands and faces away from heat and gas switches.
  • Cable protector on TV/DVD and lamps – to keep them out of harm’s way.
  • Cupboard locks – to keep precious ornaments where they belong.
  • Electric socket covers – to prevent little fingers going where they shouldn’t and causing an unpleasant shock.

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The Bedroom

The nursery will be packed full of all your baby’s favourite stuff, which he’ll be dying to get his hands on at every opportunity, says Clare Scott Dryden, founder of child safety website www.childalert.co.uk. “So it’s best to keep furniture away from dangerous areas like windows; keep objects like picture frames up high so they can’t be grabbed at, and any cupboards with potentially dangerous or breakable items should be locked with simple pressure cupboard locks that require an adult to press and open, and can stop little fingers from getting in.”

What to watch out for

  • Cupboard locks – because hands can reach up and open doors.
  • Finger protectors for doors – as fingers can get caught and slamming doors can break growing bones.

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The Hall

The hall is home to the ultimate challenge for every mobile child, the stairs. Your little one will be drawn to them the second your back is turned, so invest in a safety gate for stairs as soon as they start to crawl.

Check out our safety gate buyers guide and reviews before you make a purchase.

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What to watch out for

  • Safety gate – keep them safe at the top and bottom of the stairs.

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