Eric Lupton, childsafetystore.com
It is recommended that the majority of your childproofing be done at one time. This insures that it is completed before a new capability results in a preventable injury. All lower drawers and cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms should be latched before he ever learns he can open them. Accessible electrical outlets (both dormant and in-use) protected, vertical cords raised, pool fence installed, stairway gates in place, sharp corners protected, etc. Other items can be added as the need becomes apparent; door alarms, appliance latches, medicine cabinet latches, door knob covers, deadbolt locks, etc. Get down on your child’s level (that’s hands, knees, roll over on your back to get under furniture) and look up. Look around each room carefully as if seeing it for the first time. Crawl around and try to stick your head behind furniture, reach under furniture and feel around to see what is there (sharp springs or staples sticking out, plastic tags, etc.). Get under tables and look up; what would your child’s head hit if he stood up (sharp corners, manufacturer’s labels attached with staples sticking out, glass in the center of an end stand or coffee table). Check out everything that would be within your child’s reach when he begins standing. An easy way to do this is to lay on your back and reach up with one arm. Whatever you can touch or grab from this position, so will a 12 months old. Leaning up on one elbow and lifting your head up as far as possible will show you about what he can be run into and bump his head; corners of dining room tables, bottoms of drawers left open, protruding low wall ledges, etc.
Check your rooms, one by one, with a critical eye, asking yourself if something could present a hazard. If so, how serious an injury might it result in? Can it be corrected or is another course of action required to prevent an injury?
- Could it be broken by a child?
- Would it tip over if he climbed on it?
- Would it fall over if pushed or pulled on?
- Could he climb it and then fall off?
- How far would he fall?
- If he shook it, would anything fall off and hit him on the head?
- Is it possible for him to get his head stuck in or behind something?
- Would it burn him if he touched it?
- Does it pose a strangulation or suffocation hazard?
- Can it be choked on?
- If he pulled on a cord, would the appliance or lamp fall from its place onto his head?
- Are corners or protruding knobs on furniture sharp enough to cause serious injury?
- Could an item within reach be dangerous or destructive in his hands (such as fireplace implements or glass objects)?