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How to Baby Proof Your Home

What parent doesn’t imagine the worst at one time or another? We can’t help it; when it comes to our offspring, we’re naturally vigilant, on the sidewalk, at the playground, at the house of a dear friend with the big dog. It’s exhausting. So why not give yourself a break, at least on the home front, and invest in a little baby proofing?

First order of business is to block baby’s access to the electrical outlets. Don’t use plugs tiny fingers might eventually pry loose, or that are removed and easily forgotten lying on the floor. KidCo’s universal outlet cover replaces your wall plate (i.e. screws into the wall), so holes are covered until you need them. You simply slide the cover open to plug in; once you unplug, the cover springs shut again.

Most of us stow our toxic house cleaning products in that cabinet under the kitchen sink. Rather than relocate them to a higher shelf (and risk showering yourself in Cascade crystals every night) try the KidCo magnet lock.  With this product there are no visible plastic components to contend with, and no holes to drill; the latch mounts on the inside with adhesive, and the magnet, your key to entry, sits unobtrusively on the wall nearby. You pick it up, hold it against the cabinet door and voila, you’re in.

It’s always a good idea to keep coffee table corners and other low-level hard edges padded. Roving Cove’s extra dense, extra long, safe edge and corner cushion is nontoxic and easy to peel off.

Attach bookshelves to the wall so that they can’t fall down should baby decide to climb them like a ladder. Do the same for tall dressers, and keep televisions and other heavy electronics and appliances backed up against the wall, their cords tucked well out of reach of the little ones. KidCo makes anti-tip furniture and TV straps.

As you set about neutralizing potential hazards around your home, you will no doubt encounter products that are designed with just such a noble purpose in mind. But you will also find that many of these gizmos are a waste of money. Why, for example, should you buy window blind pull covers when you can tie up those long dangling strings or tuck and tape the ends to the wall yourself? (In terms of looks, plastic bits vs. tape is pretty much a draw.) Consider taking the DIY route whenever possible. Here’s one mom’s ingenious solution to her child’s penchant for pulling heavy books off the shelf: old bicycle inner tubes.

For more ideas, check out this extensive article on childproofing from BabyCenter.  Another resource to bookmark: Safe Kids Worldwide.

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