Babyproof Your Home for the Holidays
With the holiday season well under way, you may be experiencing a bit of holiday stress. With gifts to buy, trips to plan and feasts to prepare, it’s no surprise that this time of year is tiring. Of course, things become even more stressful when you add holiday hosting to your lengthy to-do list.
If you have volunteered (or have been elected) to host friends or relatives over the holidays, there are a few preparations you will want to make beforehand, especially if the guest list includes babies or toddlers. Although you shouldn’t be expected to turn your home upside-down, there are still a few basic safety measures you should take in order to be a responsible and accommodating host or hostess. Your sister’s 1-year-old may be adorable, but that doesn’t mean she won’t try to stick her finger in a light socket or get a nasty stomachache from nibbling on your favorite house plant.
Here are a few easy and inexpensive ways you can make your home more baby-friendly for the holidays. Although babyproofing measures alone won’t make your home one-hundred percent safe, they provide a good place to start.
- Purchase outlet covers and place them over the electrical outlets in your home.
- Move plants out of crawling children’s reach, as some household plants can be poisonous. In fact, plants are the second leading cause of poisoning among children under the age of five.
- Move medications and cleaning materials to the top shelf. Make sure you look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks to make sure nothing toxic could be found by a curious toddler.
- Keep bathroom doors closed, even when no one is in there. Toddlers can drown in just a little bit of water and can choke on items they find in the trash can.
- Keep the dishwasher closed at all times when you are not using it. The dishwasher is full of potentially dangerous items, including knives, forks and glasses.
- Tie up the cords of your window blinds to make sure they cannot be easily reached by babies or toddlers. These cords could present a strangling threat.
- If you have any toys in your home that you are planning to share with guests, sort through them first to make sure they are safe and age-appropriate. Keep toys with small parts (buttons, eyes, etc.) away from babies.
- Consider using a babyproofing checklist to make sure you have made each room of your home as safe as possible. Even if you cannot take every precaution on the list, reading through it will make you aware of the areas of your home that could present a danger.
Remember, even the most comprehensive babyproofing measures cannot replace careful supervision. With so many people in your home, make sure you avoid a diffusion of responsibility. Don’t mistakenly assume someone else is watching the baby; check to make sure!
Remind your family members that although you have babyproofed your home, there could still be potential dangers. A little communication and conscientiousness can help make safety a part of your family’s holiday tradition. Combine that with eggnog and you’ll have everything you need!
Elle Aldridge is a safety expert and editor for HomeSecuritySystem.com.