How to ensure your house is safe for a crawling baby

A newly mobile baby requires special safety precautions around the house. Once your baby is on the move, baby-proofing the home becomes essential. The best way to spot potential dangers is to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around looking at your house from a baby’s eye view. Do this just before your baby gets mobile, so you have enough time to get organised. Protect your crawling baby by:

  • Checking floors for splinters or pins or other sharp objects stuck into floors or carpets.
  • If your home was built before 1970, it could have lead-based paint on the walls or mouldings. As lead paint ages, tiny particles get into the dust and settle onto the floor. A crawling baby cannot help but get dust on his hands, and from his hands into his mouth.
  • Fit covers to electric sockets.
  • Cover video and TV controls with safety panels.
  • Fit corner protectors to sharp corners of tables.
  • Check for floor or table lamps that could be pulled over if your baby grabbed the cord.
  • Avoid using a tablecloth on a dining table or coffee table as he may try to use it to pull himself up and drag everything down on top of himself.
  • Remove small objects that could be choking hazards from low shelves. To be on the safe side, consider anything that will fit inside a toilet-paper roll to be a choking hazard.
  • Removing all fragile items and lightweight freestanding objects, including plants.
  • Check that internal glass doors are made from safety glass. If in doubt add a layer of safety film or consult a glazier who will be able to identify the type of glass and if necessary replace it.
  • Fit and use stair gates, cupboard and drawer locks, especially on cupboards that contain cleaning products, china and glass, plastic bags, anything breakable or precious. Fit fridge and freezer locks and, where necessary, window locks and devices to prevent doors slamming on tiny fingers.
  • If you cannot baby-proof your entire home, use gates across doorways to restrict your baby to rooms that are safe.
  • Bathrooms and kitchens pose special dangers. Make sure a responsible adult is with your baby any time he is in one of these rooms.
  • Even with the best precautions, the most important thing you can do to assure your crawling baby’s safety is to keep an eye on him. For those times when you cannot, consider a playpen with some interesting toys handy.
  • Be vigilant about washing machines and tumble dryers. Toddlers can open the door and get in – and then be unable to get out again.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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