Toddlers laugh and toddle about, enjoying everything they get into. But, that is also the problem. Baby proofing your house is essential as your baby grows and grows.
Once your baby has conquered the feat of walking, his whole world changes and becomes new, seeing things on a different level than before. Now is the time for you to get a new perspective and try to see things through their eyes. Their safety is now your priority in a different way. A good first step, if you haven't already done so, is to take a class in CPR and learn the Heimlich maneuver for children. Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers where you can access them quickly.
Looking around your home, we'll start in the kitchen with an appliance lock on your refrigerator. Putting safety latches on your cupboards and under the sink will safeguard them from pulling out pots and pans that may be too heavy for them, or getting into cleaning supplies that may be toxic. Make sure that small appliances on the counter have their cords tucked safely behind them. Can they reach stove knobs? Remove them or install a shield and secure your oven door. Don't leave a stool in the kitchen where a toddler could climb up and reach for knives or something dangerous on the counter, or even tip over and take a fall. The ideal would be to have a gate closing off access to the kitchen when you are not in there.
In the living room, it would be best to install corner guards on coffee and end tables to protect your toddler if he or she should fall into them. If you have glass picture frames, hang them or replace with plastic frames to avoid broken glass cutting little fingers or feet. Make sure your television is either mounted or secured to the wall.
Going into his or her bedroom, make sure they are in a child safe crib or a toddler bed with a safety rail. Windows should only be able to open about three inches or have a guard. Window coverings, like shades or blinds, should be cordless to prevent strangulation. If there is a dresser in the room, make sure it is securely mounted against the wall so they don't use their newly discovered skills to try climbing!
In your bathroom, make sure all drawers are secured and medicines are not left out on the counter. Always empty the tub after use, and never leave your child unattended in there. Use nonskid mats in the tub and keep the toilet seat down and latched. Make it a habit to keep your bathroom door closed.
Outlets & Other Dangers
Throughout the house, look for power strips or electrical outlets that could be accessed by your toddler. If you have stairs, use safety gates at the top and bottom to prevent falls. If you have breakables, move them to a higher location, and make sure plants are non-toxic and out of reach. Make sure sleepwear is flame resistant and be careful when you dress your child in clothes with drawstrings. Cover or restrict access to radiators or floor furnaces. Don't use tablecloths that hang over the edge of the table that could be pulled down on your toddler.Remember, common sense and careful planning should make your home a nice safe environment for your new little explorer.