Your children will spend a lot of time in their bedroom, whether it is sleeping or playing, and we want the place they spend the most time in to be safe. The most important step in making sure of that is to supervise them, but there are several childproofing steps to take as well. So how do you make sure that your child’s bedroom is as safe as it can be?
1) Start With the Crib Your baby will start crawling generally between 6 and 10 months, and they will become capable of pulling themselves up within that same time span. Once they can pull themselves up from the railing of the crib, they can try to crawl out of it, which leads to falls. Once your child can pull himself up, lower the crib mattress to the lowest level. The crib should be rather austere: lots of bumpers and soft pillows create a suffocation hazard for infants, and more mobile babies can even use bumpers to gain footing in their attempts to climb out of their cribs.
Make sure the crib is well away from windows, heaters, lamps and cords. You don’t want your child climbing onto something dangerous or yanking something into their crib. Mobiles should be more than 7 inches above a crib, and should be removed altogether when your baby is big enough to pull it down. Make sure the crib is clear of any hanging cords, strings, and nursery decorations.
Finally, consider installing a crib rail protector when your baby starts teething to protect their teeth and prevent them from ingesting varnish.
2) Window Safety Make sure there is nothing in front of windows that your toddler can climb upon. Toy chests and chairs are better against walls, where there isn’t any chance of your baby climbing on them and toppling out the window. Screens can be very flimsy and toddlers love to push against them. They can topple out if the screen gives way. You will have to consider how a window opens and install window guards to make sure it isn’t easy for your child to open on their own. Also, beware of window blinds with cords. Children can get entangled in them, so keep the cords up where your child can’t reach them by wrapping them around easily-installed blind cleats.
3) Crawl Test Sometime before your child starts crawling, get on your hands and knees and crawl around the bedroom. This will let you see the world through your child’s eyes, which will help you pin-point things that can be accessed and pulled down, and put dangling things out of your child’s reach.
4) Secure Heavy Furniture Furniture tip-over injuries are one of the most common yet avoidable safety hazards to babies and toddlers. Bookshelves and dressers can topple upon a toddler when he attempts to climb upon shelves and drawers. It’s a good idea to test all the tall furniture in the room to see if they are properly secured. If you can pull them down, remove them or nail them to the wall with L-brackets and furniture Pro-Straps.
5) Cover Electrical Sockets This is probably a given, but you would be surprised how many sockets get hidden behind drawers and the like, only to be re-discovered by an inquisitive baby. As part of your crawling-inspection, double-check for sockets that need covering. Sliding socket covers are best; the plug-in variety can get lost or wind up in a baby’s mouth. This is one of the most critical childproofing steps. Use specialized outlook covers such as these KidCo Outlet Plug Covers to childproof electrical outlets which are actively in use. Doing so prevents your baby from being able to access and play with anything plugged into the outlet, and helps hide and shorten any exposed cords.
6) Keep Diapers and Wipes on Hand Whether you have an actual diaper changing station in your baby’s room or if you are using the bed, have the necessary items within arm’s reach. Having to turn your back on your child while changing diapers gives baby a chance to roll off the changing surface.
7) Check the Smoke Detector Every household should have a smoke detector in bedrooms. You need to make sure the batteries are working on a regular basis, since you’ll definitely want an early warning if a fire should break out near your child’s room.
8) Toy Chest Safety Toy chests are one of those items that have a child label on them, but are really made for the parent’s use. The lids are often heavy and can fall on your child if they open it. You can make sure that your toy chest has a spring-loaded lid support, or you can remove the lid altogether. A plastic lid is really best for toy chests because they are light and are easy to remove. Put some large air holes in the chest, too, so that should your child get trapped in the chest, they won’t suffocate.
9) Toy Safety Small parts such as buttons and tags that can be pulled away from toys pose potential choking hazards and should be removed or set aside until your child is older. Make sure nursery ornaments and decorations are well outside of your baby’s reach and keep plush toys out of your baby’s crib entirely.
10) Door Safety A final childproofing step includes protecting your baby’s tiny fingers from becoming pinched in the doors to their closet or bedroom. The easiest way to prevent this is by using safety proofing features such as these KidCo Bi-Fold Door Locks, keeping doors open with this Kid Kusion Big Foot Door Stop and using a pressure mount baby gate as a safety barricade at night instead.
As your child gets older and bigger, you will have to update your childproofing protocol, but with these childproofing strategies implemented, your baby’s bedroom will be safe for years to come. If you have any questions about this or similar safety topics, contact us. If you live in the Toronto area, we can perform a thorough childproofing consultation & installation and offer the very best childproofing solutions for your home.