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Quick Tips: Baby-Proofing Your Home - Get started

To a baby's eyes, your home is one big playground. He or she sees a lot of things to crawl under, climb on top of, pull down, touch, taste, and smell.

It can be fun to watch your baby discover new things as he or she learns to crawl and walk. But it can also be scary to think about what your baby might get into around the house. You can't watch your baby's every move. But there are steps you can take to keep your baby safe and still let him or her explore.

To prevent injury

  • Be sure that all the products your baby uses—such as cribs, strollers, playpens, high chairs, and changing tables—meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards. For more information, go to the CPSC's website at www.cpsc.gov.
  • Always use the safety straps on high chairs and changing tables.
  • Secure bookshelves, dressers, TVs, and other objects that could tip over if your baby tries to grab onto them or climb on top of them.
  • Cover sharp corners around furniture, such as end tables, with corner guards or soft pads.
  • Put sliding gates at both ends of stairs or in other areas where your baby could fall. Do not use accordion-style gates, because the baby's head could get caught.
  • Keep cords from blinds, drapes, and phones out of your child's reach. Attach cords to mounts that hold them tight, and wrap them around wall brackets. Cut open any loops in cords for drapes or blinds.
  • Put childproof locks or guards on all windows, doors, drawers, and kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
  • Keep cribs away from windows.
  • Put away all sharp objects, such as knives and scissors, and things that can break easily, such as glasses and dishes.
  • Never leave your baby alone with a pet. It only takes a moment for a pet to hurt your baby.
  • Avoid keeping guns in the home or car. If this is not possible, unload all guns, keep them locked up, and store bullets in a place away from the guns.

To prevent drowning

  • Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub or a bath seat or ring—even for a moment. Always keep your baby within arm's reach. And never leave an older child in charge of watching your baby—even if he or she is in the room or in the tub with your baby.
  • Drain the water from the tub right after the bath.
  • Keep toilet lids down. Or use toilet seat locks to keep the lid closed.
  • Empty liquids from buckets and coolers completely when you're not using them. And turn them over when they are not in use.
  • Make sure that pools are fenced off, gated, or locked. Use pool covers that lock.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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