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Baby-Proofing Your Home

Babies can learn quickly in their first year. For new parents, it's a pleasant surprise to see how soon they begin moving and exploring. But turn your back for a moment, and the infant who was squirming helplessly on a blanket is suddenly crawling across the room at high speeds.

Children are naturally curious. Tasting, touching and feeling are how infants and toddlers earn about the world around them. Take a moment to look around your surroundings from your youngster's point of view. Then, make the necessary adjustments to baby proof your home.

  • Position tables, chairs, shelving and other furniture so that they cannot be toppled easily.
  • Keep floors, tables and cabinet tops free of small objects that could be swallowed. Such objects include coins, button-sized batteries, rings, nails, tacks, and broken or deflated balloons.
  • Use safety latches on kitchen, bathroom and workshop cabinets to prevent children from swallowing chemicals and medicines that may be fatal.
  • Use child safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases and be sure that they're installed correctly.
  • Keep electrical cords and wires out of the way so toddlers can't pull, trip or chew on them. Cover wall outlets with safety caps.
  • Check and re-check toys for sharp edges. Throw away broken toys.
  • Keep toys with strings or cords away from infants and young children. A cord can become wrapped around an infant's neck and cause strangulation. Toys with long strings, cords, loops or ribbons should never be hung in cribs or playpens. Similarly, pacifiers should never be attached to strings or ribbons around the babies neck.
  • Never leave plastic bags in the presence of youngsters, because children can suffocate themselves.
  • Remember that radiators, heating vents, space heaters, fireplaces, stoves and hot water taps are not always hot. Children can touch them once safely and the next time receive a severe burn.
  • Keep trash cans covered and out of reach.
  • Do not smoke, use matches or drink hot beverages while holding an infant. Don't leave burning cigarettes unattended.
  • Store matches and lighters out of reach if children.
  • Separate guns and ammunition and lock in different locations or avoid firearms entirely.
  • Dispose of old refrigerators, or completely remove doors.
  • Make sure that all doors to rooms and closets can be unlocked from both sides.

© Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood - Invest in Children Child Fatality Review Committee

The Child Death Review Program is funded by: Cuyahoga County, and The Child and Family Health Services Block Grant provided through the Ohio Department of Health. The Child Death Review Program is administered by: The Cuyahoga County Board of Health.