When I think of my home, I think of a cozy place full of love. Walking through the front door after a long day at the office, I hear my son living life to the fullest as sounds of laughter and joy fill my ears. I work hard every day to make sure home stays a safe haven for my child.
While most parents who are expecting a child (or have children) are diligent in keeping their home a safe place by ways of “baby proofing”, there are some often-overlooked household items that may pose a hazard to little ones. I am not necessarily about the mindset that my baby’s entire existence should be bubble-wrapped (well, I may have considered it once or 2,000 times) I do believe that parents should be mindful of what is within baby’s environment (and reach.)
Each family has their own method of ensuring the safety of their babies, whether through gates, latches, the aforementioned bubble-wrap or simply experience. Whatever works for you, works for me! Below is a simply a list of items that could be used as reminders to keeping baby safe.
- Small socks: Albeit, arguably the cutest piece of baby gear, small socks can pose a choking hazard to little children. These adorable clothing items need to be watched carefully since they tend to jump-ship when the laundry is removed from the dryer or get pulled off baby’s feet…and straight to their mouth.
- Pet products: Animals are adorable! I love them! However, they also have small chew toys, treats and food/water bowls on the floor that could be within reach of a little one and present a choking hazard. Pets are instinctual, if you relocate these items out of baby’s scope, they will acclimate.
- Plants: I am all about the greenery, but leaves, dirt and stems could pose a choking hazard. Additionally, some “common” plants are poisonous. Make sure to keep the lovely flora in a place that can’t be grabbed by little chubby hands. Plus, this higher location is closer to the sun. Double score!
- Purses: If you are anything like me, your purse is full of all kinds of small items. Pens, gum, wrappers, the errant paper clip, the rogue Advil. Storing handbags on an out-of-reach shelf or drawer will keep contents out of baby’s mouth.
- Refrigerator Magnets: While artwork that adorns my refrigerator is lovely and colorful, what attracts my son are the magnets holding the pieces of creativity in place. I have learned (the hard way, unfortunately) to hang these masterpieces high.
- Trashcans: Awesome for ditching the disposables but seen as a treasure chest for little ones. Many companies offer receptacles with a lock to prevent trash from getting into the wrong hands…or mouths.
- Toilets: While toilets provide no interest to adults (aside from their intended use) babies see them as perfectly-sized pools. Toilet locks are readily available, so snap them on and fear not.
- Outlet covers: I purchased close to 100 of those small outlet plugs, went around the house stopping up all open outlets…just to find my son yanking them out. How he achieved that goal? Who knows? I ended up replacing them all with full face plates. Start there.
- Tablecloths: Super fun to pull…super dangerous when plates or decorative items come crashing down. You can do without until baby is older.
- Gifts: It is very thoughtful when someone brings a present for the kiddos, but the giver may not realize certain pieces can be dangerous if not age-appropriate. Make sure to check for loose or small items before letting baby play.
I am the first to say that my child has picked up a few things around the house that I could not, for the life of me, figure out how he got his little paws on…so, this list (by no means exhaustive) simply serves as a reminder. Stay safe!