Hidden Dangers

You may not realize it, but electrical outlets, hot water, cleaning supplies and long cords are just a few of the many things that can be hazardous in the tiny hands of a baby. And while you probably don't want to think about all of the risks that exist, not thinking about them can be even riskier.

An Overview of Babyproofing

Babyproofing is an easy way to take control of your surroundings. For an idea of what it entails, you can review the following lists, which offer a sampling of things you can do room by room to create the safest environment for your baby.

Babyproofing the Nursery

  • The crib is one of the first things to think about. You'll want to make sure it meets the current safety standards and hasn't been recalled. (Check with the manufacturer for a list of recalled items or do a search online to make sure your baby products are safe. This is especially important with second-hand products.)
  • Select a crib mattress that fits tightly within the head and footboard of the crib so there's no chance of your baby slipping beneath it.
  • Double-check the sturdiness of the crib and make sure that all of the nuts and bolts are tightly secured. Remember that before your know it, your newborn will be pulling herself up using the crib rails, so be sure in advance that it'll hold her weight.
  • Use a safety belt on the changing table so your baby won't fall off.
  • Use outlet protection covers on electrical outlets.
  • Make sure dressers and other pieces of heavy furniture are bolted down so they can't fall on your child.
  • Move crib mobiles once your baby is able to reach for them.

Babyproofing the Bathroom

  • Keep all medicines and cleaning supplies well out of reach or in a locked cabinet, away from preying hands.
  • Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees F or below to avoid burning your baby.
  • Put a lock on the toilet cover so your child won't get into the water.
  • Place a no skid mat in the tub to avoid falls.

Babyproofing the Kitchen

  • Use knob protectors on your stove.
  • Put safety locks on cabinets.
  • Use hinges on cabinets and drawers that won't pinch little fingers.
  • Add a lock on your refrigerator.

Babyproofing the Living Room and Other Areas

  • Bolt down heavy furniture so it won't tip.
  • Keep your television anchored as well.
  • Place rounded pads on sharp corners of tables.
  • Use a special gate to block off your fireplace area.
  • Make sure drapery cords and electrical cords are out of reach.
  • Gate doorways to keep your baby from moving out of your sight.
  • Gate off your stairway with a gate that's permanently installed right into the wall.
  • Ensure exterior doors can lock from indoors to keep your baby from escaping.
  • Keep plants out of reach.
  • Remove any objects small enough to fit inside a toilet paper roll, since these can pose choking hazards.

Grow with the Baby

Remember that as your baby grows, your baby proofing needs may continually change. Always supervise your little one and be aware of anything that could pose a danger. You can also learn more about baby proofing and get further tips on keeping your baby safe through the National Safe Kids Campaign.




Safe Kids Campaign

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association


Baby Safety Zone