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Children are naturally incredibly curious — it’s how they learn about life.
That curiosity means that, as parents, we need to be on our toes at all times. From electrical outlets to laundry detergent pods, everything is a hazard waiting for our children to discover.
We all want to keep our babies safe, but are you aware of all the dangers around your home? Check out these 15 hazards, then do everything you can to keep Little One away from them.
- Toothpaste. Little One isn’t likely to become seriously ill from swallowing small amounts of fluoride-containing toothpaste, but a Harvard study published in 2012 found that ingesting too much fluoride harmed children’s cognitive abilities. Better to be safe than sorry: Limit the amount of children’s toothpaste you allow Little One to use, and keep the adult stuff out of reach.
- Flat-screen TV. Your sleek, slim flat-screen TV is top-heavy and if you don’t have it properly tethered, it could topple onto your child (same goes for bookcases and other heavy furniture). Always keep your eyes on your toddler, who might want to touch what she sees, and anchor your television to a secured stand.
- Purses and pockets. These are filled with all sorts of things that seem innocuous but can hurt kids: cigarettes, medications (prescription and over-the-counter), hand sanitizer. Make sure to store your purse or jacket in a place that Little One can’t reach. (While we’re talking about purses, NEVER hang them from doorknobs. Just like window-blind cords, a shoulder bag on a knob is a strangulation hazard.)
- Stovetops and ovens. Keep Little One well away from the stove — you might be surprised by how high she can reach. We keep Baby Bird out of the kitchen as much as possible, but when I have to have her in there with me, I remove the stove knobs and latch the oven door lock.
- Cleaning products. You don’t want Little One to ingest these or get them on her delicate skin. Keeping your cleaning cabinet locked is a must, but putting cleaning products high out of reach and locked up is the best solution.
- Houseplants. You know certain plants can be dangerous for your pets, but did you know that the same goes for your child? Keep plants such as daffodils, peace lilies, and philodendron out of reach. (Click here for a detailed list of toxic and non-toxic plants.)
- Electronic cigarettes. The nicotine in these is INCREDIBLY strong — a teaspoon of it could be lethal for a small child, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
- Laundry detergent packets. Treat these like all other chemicals and make sure they’re inaccessible to your child. The detergent can cause serious irritation if it’s rubbed in her eye, and ingesting a pod could be life-threatening. The same goes for dishwasher tabs.
- Doorstops. Kids love those springy doorstops, probably because they make that irritating “boing” sound when they’re pulled on. Did you know the little white plug at the end of the stop can be removed? Definite choking hazard. If you have these in your home, consider replacing them with one-piece stoppers.
- Open windows. Window screens aren’t strong enough to prevent your child from falling out. Install window safety guards, or keep shut any windows that Little One can reach.
- Toy box. Your Little One, like mine, probably has a crapload of toys, and you need somewhere to store them. If you’re thinking of buying a toy box, make sure it’s made of a lightweight material like plastic or fabric. A toy box with a heavy lid could slam down on her fingers or fall and trap her head or neck.
- Toy labels. Why are these dangerous? If your child has teeth she can chew them off, which makes them a choking hazard. Just to be safe, I’ve started cutting them off of Baby Bird’s toys.
- Button batteries. I recently discovered that one of Baby Bird’s talking books uses button batteries. How’d I find out? The battery cover popped off, leaving this hazard out for her to discover. Not only are button batteries a choking hazard, they can can corrode and cause internal bleeding if they’re ingested. If any of your remotes or your child’s toys uses these batteries, be sure the cover is secure. You might even consider applying a dab of glue over the screw to keep it in place.
- Exercise equipment. Kids want to touch everything, and that’s a big problem when dealing with exercise equipment. Why? Little One could lose a finger if it gets caught in the belt of a treadmill. She could be thrown from a stairclimber, resulting in a concussion. You don’t need to get rid of your equipment. Just make sure LIttle One isn’t around when you’re using it and that she doesn’t know how to turn it on.
- Toilets. Is it the flushing sound? Is it the lure of the forbidden? Baby Bird can’t seem to stay away from the toilet, but it’s a serious hazard for tots like her. Her hands could be smashed by a falling seat or worse — she could be hit on the head and knocked into the water, where she’s at risk of drowning. Install a toilet lid lock. It’s an annoyance, but it could save your child’s life.
my baby is almost crawling and i’m just so scared about all that you have mentioned.
Totally understandable! I literally got down onto the floor, onto my daughter’s level, and look around for anything that might be dangerous.
I’m sure your baby will be fine, and childproofing will probably help you feel better about her safety.
Best of luck! ❤
My daughter turned 2 in July and I’ve honestly never childproofed my house at all. I mean, certain things like toothpaste and laundry detergent have always been left out of her reach, but that has everything to do with convenience. Not her safety.
She doesn’t have a toy box. Instead we opted for a toy organizer with plastic tubs because I hate toy boxes.
As for things like getting under the kitchen sink where my cleaning products are and getting near the oven or our fireplace I let her learn the “hard way”. I gave her the chance to touch our pellet stove once when it was just starting up (so it wasn’t as hot as it could be), she cried, I repeated “That’s hot! Hot, hot! No, No!” a few times and she learned to stay away from hot things. After that incident, every time she’d feel the heat coming off our oven or fireplace, heck… even a camp fire, she’d tell me it was hot and back off. And when I used to catch her under my sink, she was disciplined. I’m all for the school of hard knocks. I let her figure out what she should or shouldn’t do by allowing her to do it first and learning there are consequences for her actions instead of keeping her from doing these things all together.
Luckily, I’m a SAHM and she’s my only kid. Keeping an eye on her has always been pretty easy.
Different methods for different moms. 😊
At this point, I’d much rather keep my daughter away from hazards than let her learn from experience. She’s only 1, so I’m not convinced she would remember the consequences of her actions.
We tell her “no” and “hot! ouch!” if she gets near the stove, but we still feel prevention is important.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Yeesh, toy boxes. When I was a kid, we had a toy box that was 5 feet long and 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep, made out of heavy wood with a lid. It scares me to think about having something like that for my kids now! We just use sorting bins or those clear drawer cabinet deals for toys.
I just leave Baby Bird’s toys wherever she drops them 😂😂😂