10 Baby-Proofing Tips to Get New Parents Started

Once you’ve brought home a new baby, you may begin to think about all of the safety precautions you need to take to keep your little one safe and so the rush ensues to turn your home into the ultimate child-proof paradise. We turned to Chris Pegula, author of DIAPER DUDE: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years, for a few ways to get started in what he’s dubbed “homeland security.”

Look Outside

Install layers of protection over pools and spas. Ideally, you want a barrier completely surrounding the pool, including a 4-foot tall fence with self-closing, self-latching gates. 

Grab a Gate

Use safety gates to help prevent kids from falling down stairs or entering certain rooms.

Be User-Friendly

Doorknob covers and door locks help keep children away from places with hazards, but make sure they allow the doors to be opened quickly by an adult in case of emergency.

Keep It Steady

Apply anchors so furniture and appliances won’t fall over, especially if you live in common earthquake areas.

Stay Cool

Install anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads.

Check Alarms

Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year and check them once a month. Use carbon monoxide alarms too.

Stand Guard

Window screens are not strong enough to stop a falling kid. Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Make sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for fire escape.

Add Bumpers

Corner and edge bumpers help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces, so stick ’em on every table and desk you got, dude.

Get Shock Proof

Outlet covers can help prevent electrical shock and possible electrocution. Make sure they are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.

For more overall safety information on baby-proofing, check out cpsc.gov.

Excerpted from DIAPER DUDE: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years by Chris Pegula. © 2017 by Chris Pegula. TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

You’ll also want to read how Dads Who Change Diapers Get Lucky More Often or take some time to learn How to Raise Resilient Kids, According to Sheryl Sandberg.

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