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We have a baby on the way and our house is currently an infant death trap. There are obvious things we can do such as move ornaments from ground level, install stair gates and add child latches to cupboards.

Past these steps how far do you go before taking sensible precautions becomes paranoia? what are the practical steps we should be taking to child-proof the house?

asked 21 Oct '09, 08:02

Rich%20Seller's gravatar image

Rich Seller
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edited 13 Nov '09, 03:32

dave0's gravatar image

dave0
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As you say it is hard to find the balance of removing to much or to little. I have found that those of my friends who removed everything had a hard time bringing their children to other peoples homes since they were used to be allowed to play with everything they could reach.

When my children were small we removed things that were out right dangerous or invaluable.

My short advice is to remove as little as you dare.

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answered 21 Oct '09, 09:34

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Idstam
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:) giving an upvote wasn't enough I felt I had to endorse it in writing too. Really great post! We also had that attitude.

(21 Oct '09, 12:26) Emi

Great question. I'll add this:

Before the little one is big enough to get around and start climbing on things, secure to the wall dressers, shelves, or any other furniture that might topple. Test the center of gravity of everything in your house and secure if necessary. This includes big TV sets.

This is absolutely critical. Back in the 1990's, when I still lived with my parents, our house was across the street from a family who lost a 3-year-old child after a dresser he was climbing up fell back onto him.

So when you buy that Billy bookcase from Ikea, pay attention to that extra screw, washer, and tether it comes with. It's there for a reason.

For other dressers, etc. that didn't already come with a securing system, I purchased metal L-shape brackets at the hardware store. They're about 3.5" on each side, with four holes for screws, two on each side. To secure something, use two such brackets, one on each corner. For each bracket, two screws go into the wall, ideally on a stud, or good anchors otherwise. Then screw down into the dresser, change table, shelving, entertainment unit, or whatever it is you're trying to secure.

Yes, it will result in two small holes in some furniture, but what's more precious?


UPDATE 18-Dec-2009: I just came across a useful list published by my local community and thought I'd add it to my response. See Home Safety Tips - Peel Public Health - Region of Peel. (One of the tips is "Secure bookcases to the walls" :-) BTW, there's lots of other great info for parents at that site.

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answered 21 Oct '09, 14:37

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Chris W. Rea
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edited 18 Dec '09, 23:22

What we have done in terms of child proof is to pad up things that could cause damage to children, corners etc. Also with stair gates etc.

We have also moved most of the breakables, pull downables etc.

However we have backed this up by leaving a few more sturdy ornaments within reach that are "Look but don't touch", we also have one which is look, touch but don't move. We also have a couple of little tables that he is allowed to walk against but again not to go under pull over.

As an aside now our little one is mobile I am teaching him to climb the stairs safely, hes not sensible to learn to climb down yet but he will be.

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answered 21 Oct '09, 11:39

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johnwards
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Invite another baby round, they will show you straight away what needs to be moved/ made safe.

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answered 26 Oct '09, 15:22

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Phil Seller
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you angling for an invite?

(26 Oct '09, 15:45) Rich Seller

No but you could invite me anyway!

(29 Oct '09, 12:12) Phil Seller

babies differ in what they will play with. None of my kids have been terribly interested in electric sockets, until they saw other kids playing with them.

(22 Dec '09, 15:30) Meg Stephenson

I would rather teach my child "no touch" for one week for one item rather than move my entire house around. But there are some obvious dangers that we have moved to other places. I think it is good to move things that are dangerous, but other things that are not necessarily baby-friendly can be taught to be avoided. It is good to be able to teach your baby no touch so that when you are in other situations (other people's houses, stores) you can say that and they can respond and obey. I would also wait to do the baby proofing until they can get around and get into things. It will be a while!

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answered 20 Dec '09, 01:05

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Jonellesmom
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Here's a different but related question that you might find useful: http://moms4mom.com/questions/1332/how-do-i-begin-babyproofing

I think there are a lot of implicit answers in there about how far people go in child proofing.

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answered 21 Oct '09, 12:20

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Dinah
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edited 21 Oct '09, 17:59

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Asked: 21 Oct '09, 08:02

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Last updated: 20 Dec '09, 01:05