Baby Proofing: 3 Unexpected Dangers Around The Home

baby proofing text

When you bring a baby home, everything changes. Your life, your schedule, your thoughts, your heart, your priorities, and yes, your home. For the first few months before your baby is mobile, you wouldn't have given those sharp edges on your coffee table much thought. Or those cabinets in your kitchen with very breakable dinnerware. You climb those stairs every day, without pause. You don't shut doors behind you, because why should you? However, when your baby starts rolling, then sitting up, and very quickly, crawling, pulling up to stand, and cruising, you DO have to think about all the seemingly innocent things in your house as potential dangers to your child. Aside from the obvious baby proofing you must do (sharp table corners, slippery floors, stairs, electrical sockets), you should consider these three things that could be dangerous to your baby.

baby proof danger chest of drawers

1. Unsecured chest of drawers and/or bookshelves

When children start to stand up and cruise, they will grab and hold onto anything to help them up. Pieces of furniture such as (baby proofed) coffee tables and couches are great. But what if they grab and pull on drawers of an unsecured chest of drawers? Or an unstable bookshelf? That piece of furniture could fall on your child, and the consequences? It just does not bear thinking. So please, secure your chest of drawers and bookshelves to the wall today.

blind cord
Image via tsmall, Flickr

2. Curtains and blinds cords

Please make sure that you cut the loop off the bottom of cords from curtains and blinds, they are a major source of accidental child strangulation. Even so, keep the cut cords way out of reach of children of all ages.

plastic bags
Image via theimpulsivebuy, Flickr

3. Plastic bags

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You may think nothing of the plastic bag you left on the couch, but they can be potential suffocation hazards to children under the age of 1. Plastic bags should never be left near sleeping children, nor should they be allowed to play with them. Put them away where little hands can’t reach them.

What are you waiting for? Do go ahead and take these steps to baby proof your house now, and give yourself peace of mind that your baby can explore her surroundings safely.

{Related: 10 Sanity Saving Ideas for First Year Moms}

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Baby Proofing: 3 Unexpected Dangers Around The Home

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, she traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison is a former blogger (Writing, Wishing), and her writing has been featured on Mamalode,On Parenting at The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, andDrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists ... More

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12 comments

  1. Profile photo of liz says:

    tnx so much for the good tips, im a fisrt time mom, i need so much info 🙂

  2. Profile photo of Kaci Kaci says:

    Like I said above, use a door hinge. We almost had a really bad accident with a chest of drawers falling on my son. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt at all. But we had some extra door hinges laying around from re-modeling, so we used them to do all of the chests of drawers and bookcases in our house. I would imagine the brackets you use to mount shelves would work, too (the L-shaped kind with screw holes on each side).

  3. Profile photo of Kaci Kaci says:

    For securing chests of drawers and shelving units to the wall, just use a door hinge. Screw one side into the furniture itself, and then screw the other side into the wall. It already has the 90 degree angle, so it makes it super simple to install 🙂

  4. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Michelle, you have a good point. While babyproofing, yes, get into the child’s perspective to see what looks ‘attractive’ – stray wires, power sockets, things with handles, seemingly harmless objects like rubber bands, hair bands, etc. Thank you for your input.

  5. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Jenny, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for the website link. I agree, every parent needs to read up on safer alternatives.

  6. Profile photo of Alison LeeAuthor Alison Lee says:

    Do secure it ASAP! Donna has great advice. Yes, stoves, dishwashers etc that have handles are hazards too.

  7. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    Thank you, Jenny for sharing your personal experience. Our hearts go out to your family.

  8. Profile photo of Diane Diane says:

    After the birth of my beautiful baby boy my days have been hectic. Very busy. Aside from the cleaning and caring for my son, I try to catch up on my sleep, unsuccessfully. I get 4 to 5 hours a night if I’m lucky, but I don’t mind. It’s all worth it. 😀

  9. Profile photo of Donna Donna says:

    When in doubt any sheetrock screw or wood screw will work. You may need wall anchors if you don’t have a stud to drill into. Secure them in the corners and the middle. 30 minutes and 3 screws can save your child’s life. Also not mentioned: Your stove, dishwasher and microwave (if on a counter) should have a tether to the wall. Something as simple as a piece of twine tied to screws in the wall. Little kids will grab ANYTHING with a handle!

  10. Profile photo of michelle michelle says:

    One unexpected danger no one ever mentioned to me. My child pulled off a bead from my shirt and tried to eat it and choked. Had to perform heimlich (sp?) and luckily it eventually came up. Scare of lifetime. A friend of mine had a daughter who hung her hair band (large rubber stretchy one) on a door handle and later came back and tried to put it back on… she almost suffocated but was found by mommy. I think best think is to walk around on hands and knees and brainstorm.

  11. Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

    Thank you EveryDay Family for including window blinds as a danger to our children! My son was killed by the cording on the back of a Roman shade in July of 2009 while on vacation. There are NO SAFE corded window blinds and children have even died from cords that have been "secured" with the so called cord safety devices marketed to parents. Please, please remove them from your homes. It can happen to you. It is not possible to watch your child 24/7 and it takes seconds to get caught and only a few seconds more for them to die. Please check out the website http://www.pfwbs.org it was developed by a parent who lost her child to a blind and there is great information on blinds and safe alternatives on the site.

  12. uh oh. I have no idea where the securing thing is for my bookshelf. Think I’ll just put it in the closet.

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