Worried about your little one injuring themselves while crawling or running around the house? Here's some essential advice on how to baby and child-proof your home...
If there’s one thing we love about having kids, it’s watching them reach developmental milestone after milestone. From relying solely on breast or formula milk then eating solids, to crawling and then running around the house… there’s so much change! But one thing we’re most worried about before our babies become mobile? Getting hurt. Because we all know that the minute you turn your back, bubs might bump their head on something pointy or decide to roll off the sofa. So, we’re here to help! We’ve scoured the interwebs and consolidated a handy, easy guide to the potential dangers and hazards in the home. And the result? We’re showing you how to baby proof your home! But psst, stay vigilant and on the lookout for other potential hazards in the house, because we’re sure the kids will find a way to get up to no good!
Potential hazards in the home (and how to avoid them)
The best thing about living in a high-rise apartment is the gorgeous sight of the city day and night. But it’s also a big potential hazard for kids, especially when you have large windows and ledges that make it oh-so enticing to climb (*shudders*). Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent any mishaps!
1. Safety gates
Safety gates are a great way to baby proof your home if you live in a house with steps, or want to prevent kids from entering certain rooms. They’re also easy to install, and can be relatively inexpensive to get the job done. We love the Safety1st ones sold by Pupsik Studio – they’re easy to use and come in different forms to suit your needs. A simple solution to a problem!
2. Soft play mats/rugs
Got a bub who just started walking? You’ll need a soft play mat or rug to cushion any spills or falls. Our current fave? The Momomi Soft Touch Tatami Mats (mention HONEYCOMBERSSG22 to get 10% off!). Unlike your typical play mats, they are made with an exclusive material which is super soft and comfy as well as easy to clean. It’s cushy enough for play time, nap time and family time, too! And yes, they have 11 colours and both standard and custom-made sizes to choose from, meaning they totally go with everything, so you won’t have to worry about clashing colours or patterns.
3. Invisible Grilles
Have a balcony at home and worried about safety? Thankfully, there’s an easy way to protect your toddler from any potential balcony-related injuries: invisible grilles! Once installed on your balcony, these thin, sturdy wired grills prevent the little ones from climbing over balustrades. There are several companies that offer installation of these grills, so do some research and see which company best suit your home.
4. Bed rails
Bed rails for cots and beds are handy if you have a baby who loves to roll over in their sleep a lot. We love BabyDan’s folding bed rail for the tot. It helps ensure little ones don’t fall to the floor in the middle of the night when transitioning from the cot to a bed. Plus, it’s easy to remove and can be fitted to both sides of the bed if you need it to.
For many of us who have found a new love for whipping up homemade meals or bread after the circuit breaker, preventing the little ones from the dangers of the kitchen can be tough. But here are some effective ways to baby proof the kitchen.
1. Oven door guard
For those of us who love to bake sweet treats every other weekend, you’ll know how important it is to prevent the little ones from touching the hot oven door. Enter: oven door guards! They’re a lifesaver in preventing the pesky tyke from getting burns and scalds on your oven door. Plus, it’s also easy to remove and clean. A solid baby proof solution.
2. Cooker guard
Toddlers love to reach for things… if only they’d stay out of the kitchen! Well, what if we told you there’s a protective barrier that helps baby proof the stove? Purchase a cooker guard like this one from Prince Lionheart that sits nicely at the front of the cooking top to keep your littlies’ fingers safe.
3. Smoke detector
Having lived abroad, smoke detectors are all too common in every household. Unfortunately, that’s not the norm in Singapore for homes prior to June 2018. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still install one in your home! Speak to your landlord about installing them – Fire Safety SG has smoke detectors and home fire safety kits to prevent house fires.
Plush toys, security blankets and wraps are the mainstays for babies and tots… hands up if you still have one of your own! As adorable as they might be, it is a potential hazard that could cause your little one to get entangled. Here are some tips to counter that:
- Keep pillows, loose clothing, wraps and blankets out of cots and prams as your baby can become wrapped in them.
- Wrap the cords of window blinds with cleats above the floor, and remove curtain ties that are not in use. (Psst, Spotlight has affordable blind cord cleats that do the job perfectly!)
- Put small objects like coins, pins, loose Lego bricks and more away from reach to prevent choking.
- Fold and store plastic bags, and keep them away from children.
By now we’ve seen tons of videos of babies and toddlers with make up all over their faces – sure, it’s hilarious and at times, harmless – but it’s also a way for the little ones to accidentally ingest something they shouldn’t be eating… including your expensive beauty products and creams. But here’s how you can prevent any of that from happening:
- Get rid of old make-up, medicines and cleaning products.
- Store chemicals and medicines in the top shelf of cabinets or locked cupboards to prevent easy access.
- Put a child safety latch on the doors of cupboards with potential hazards.
- If you suspect poisoning, phone your paediatrician or call 995 for an ambulance and emergency services.
- Need more advice? Take a look at HealthHub’s article on poisoning hazards in the home.
– WATER SAFETY
Bathtime is a fun, albeit messy time with the kids… especially if your furkid decides to jump in the tub, too. Here are some essential must-knows to protect your little one from drowning hazards.
- Always give your baby or toddler under five your full attention whenever you’re around water. Put away the phone.
- Never leave your child unattended in the bathtub.
- Babies and toddlers can drown in only 5cm of water. Potential hazards include: toilet bowls, cleaning buckets and cooler boxes (with water from melted ice).
- Empty buckets and drain baths after use – and install locks for toilet lids. Psst, it’ll help stave off and prevent mosquitoes from breeding, too.
GENERAL TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Always supervise your child, even if you have gates in place.
- Install sensor lights to make it easier for older kids to get to the bathroom without tripping over.
- Lock windows and use shield guards to prevent kids from opening the windows.
- Consider using electrical cord shorteners to keep appliances out of reach from your child.
- Turn off your appliances when not in use.
- Buy electrical covers for sockets so that your little one can’t explore them.
- Make sure you have a first aid kit at home just in case.
- Attend a CPR course for infants and children. Psst, you can print out a resuscitation reminder chart if you need to!
- HealthHub has other tips and tricks to help you protect your little one and keep them safe, which you can read here.