Childproof Your Home: A Room-By-Room Guide

Life with a baby, or babies for all you twin parents out there, is a lot of work! Anyone who denies it … well, they obviously haven’t ventured into a life with kids! If you’ve recently moved to a new home with a baby in tow, congratulations are in order, because you have accomplished two very difficult tasks! But as you unpack and decorate your new home, there is one more vital step to conquer – childproofing! Ensuring your little one’s safety should be done as soon as possible after your move, as it will require some careful planning and proper execution. Once done, you will officially be able to relax in your new home. So how do you tackle this important parenting task? Childproofing is all about identifying potential household hazards, then effectively eliminating them by employing the necessary safety measures. The best way to start is by going into each room of your home and making a list of anything that may pose even the slightest risk to your baby’s well-being. Don’t forget, your child doesn’t see the world the same way you do, so you’ll need to try and see your home through his/her eyes. You may have to crawl or roll around on the floor to best spot potential dangers to your child, but it will be well worth it if it keeps them safe.

For a room-by-room guide to childproofing, read on!

Nursery

The nursery should be your first stop when childproofing, as it’s the room where your baby will be spending most of their time. The leading causes of accidental death in babies under age one is suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Here’s how to reduce the risks:

  • The only things that should ever be in your child’s crib are a mattress with fitted sheet and your child, so empty your crib entirely of all toys (especially stuffed animals), bumpers, blankets, comforters and pillows.
  • Cribs must now meet stricter federal requirements, so you may want to try and get a bed that was built post 2011 for stronger safety.
  • As sturdy and stable as your child’s changing table appears, there is still a chance that it can tip over, injuring both you and your baby – especially when your child begins wiggling all over the place during diaper changes. To avoid dangerous situations, secure your changing table to the wall.
  • What looks like a simple plug outlet to you can look quite intriguing to an adventurous child. To protect your child from electric shock, install electrical outlet protectors. (This should be done for every plug outlet in every room of your home – even those you don’t think they can reach.)
  • Do your child’s nursery windows have blinds? If so, the strings used to draw them up and down pose a strangulation hazard. Make sure to keep them out of your baby’s reach, or install cordless blinds for better protection. You may also want to consider mounting window guards to completely eliminate any risk of accidental falls out the window.

Bathroom

One slip in the bathtub and serious injury and death can occur. This is why drowning is another leading cause of injury-related child deaths in the U.S. For infants under age one, the bathtub is the most dangerous place in the entire house. Babies can drown in as little as an inch of water. This is why we must state that you should never, not even for a second, leave your baby unattended while in the tub! If for some reason you absolutely have to leave the bathroom, take your baby with you. Also:

  • Keep your baby as far away from faucets as possible.
  • Place non-skid strips on the bathroom floor to prevent you from falling and dropping your child.
  • Install a toilet lock.
  • Install a baby gate to keep baby out.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the room in your home where it is all too easy to get distracted. It’s also a place where infants are known to get into trouble! From hot stoves and boiling water to chemicals and food, it’s important to take the necessary steps to properly babyproof it.

  • Household chemicals and cleaning supplies are typically stored under the kitchen sink. Dishwashing and laundry pods are particular dangerous, as they resemble candy. You have two options:
  1. Securely latch the cabinet doors under your sink (and all other low cabinets that hold dangerous items) with a childproof lock.
  2. Move all chemical supplies to a top cabinet where your child can’t reach them.
  • When not cooking, cover stove knobs with protective covers to prevent them from being turned on by mistake.
  • Use the back burners on your stove, to discourage brave attempts to reach for scalding food. If using front burners, turn pot handles inward so your child won’t be tempted to reach up and grab them.
  • Always keep an operational fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and make sure you know how to use it!

Living Room

At first glance, your living room probably doesn’t appear to pose much of a threat. But it is actually filled with a number of hidden dangers that must be addressed to ensure your child’s safety.

  • Statistics show that every three weeks, a child is killed by a TV tip-over. This being said, you should mount your television set on a wall or place it on a stable piece of furniture and anchor it safely to the wall.
  • Secure all bookcases or other bulky furniture items to the wall. Also, distribute the weight of their content by placing heaviest items at the bottom. This will make them less prone to tipping over, and minimize the risk of something heavy falling on your child.
  • For all furniture pieces – tables, chairs, etc., with sharp edges, protect them with soft corner guards to lower the risk of puncture wounds.
  • Keep all remote controls and other battery-operated items out of your baby’s reach. If swallowed, batteries pose a great risk to your child’s health.

Stairs

If your new home has stairs, even if it’s only a few, it’s important to childproof them properly. The best way to do this is to mount safety gates at the top and bottom of your stairs to prevent child access. Be sure to install them so that they open out and away from the staircase.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here for all you need to know.

Before Moving Out, Follow This Room-By-Room Cleaning Guide

Checklist - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)You’ve decided to make the huge commitment and move house. You’ve taken the necessary time to organize, plan and pack all of your belongings. But wait; isn’t there something you are forgetting to do? Before you carry out that last moving box and say goodbye to your home, you will need to clean it. After weeks of laborious moving preparations and exhausting moving tasks, the very idea of scrubbing floors, washing windows, etc. probably sounds like a nightmare – especially when you are leaving this particular home behind. But cleaning your property before you leave it for good is an important part of the moving process. Leaving your old home in tip-top condition will ensure you get your security deposit back if you are renting,and if you are selling, it will make the property more desirable to potential buyers. To make the cleaning process easier, check out our room-by-room clean-up guide below.

Bathroom(s)

  • Tiles. All bathroom tiles, from the floor to the shower wall, should be scrubbed with the appropriate cleaner – preferably one with bleach. Also, be sure to clean the grout betwcleaning bathroom - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)een the tiles. After you have scrubbed, rinse all areas well with clean water.
  • Tub and shower. Your tub and shower can acquire quite a bit of soap scum and mold, so make sure to put these spots on your must-clean list. Using a disinfectant, clean and rinse the tub, tub fixtures, shower rod, shower head and shower enclosures. If your shower curtain is fabric, throw it in the washing machine and reinstall, otherwise toss it.
  • Sink(s). Sinks collect a lot of slimy gunk and more, making them a major area to clean prior to moving out. Pay extra attention to the faucet(s) and handle(s). For a handy tool, try a toothbrush, which will make removing mold and stains in all of those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies much easier.
  • Toilet. The mere thought of cleaning the toilet may repulse you, but it must be done prior to moving out. Sanitize the toilet bowl, tank and seat; also wipe off the toilet paper holder.
  • Countertops, vanities and medicine cabinets. All of these places are hot spots for dust and grime. To clean them up, first remove all items from the shelves and drawers, and then wipe them down, inside and out, with a wet sponge. Also, clean any mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Rooms

  • vaccuuming - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Clean windowsills, frames, tracks, casings, blinds and glass panels;
  • Clean sliding doors and screen doors, inside and out;
  • Wash or dry-clean curtains;
  • Clean out and wipe down furniture. Polish wood surfaces and steam clean upholstery;
  • Steam clean rugs and wash/polish tile and wood floors;
  • Wipe down air conditioners and vents to free them of dust. Replace air filter (if applicable);
  • Empty storage areas – closets, drawers and wardrobes, and clean them, inside and out.

Kitchen

  • Cabinets and drawers. All cabinets and drawers should be emptied and wiped clean with a sponge and mild cleaner. Remove old liners, and replace them with new ones once surfaces are fully cleaning kitchen - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)dry.
  • Countertops. Using warm, soapy water, along with disinfectant, wash countertops to remove any stains, residue, mold, bacteria and grime.
  • Glass. Make all glass surfaces – windows, doors, tabletops, etc. – shine with the help of specialized glass cleaner.
  • Sink and faucet. Using a powdered cleaning product or chlorine-free bleach, scrub the sink and faucet. If you have a garage disposal, use lemon slices to remove unpleasant odors that have accumulated.

If you are leaving any appliances behind, don’t forget that these items should be emptied and cleaned too. You will also want to move them away from the wall so you can clean the areas behind them, including the floor where they stood.

  • Refrigerator. Before cleaning the fridge, empty and defrost it. All drawers and shelves should be taken out and cleaned appropriately. The interior of the refrigerator should be cleaned as well. When fully dry, replace drawers and shelves. If the electricity will be turned off when you move out, leave the door open to prevent mold. You can also place a container with baking soda inside to absorb any odors.
  • Stove. To efficiently clean the stove, remove grills, oven racks and drip pans, and scrub them clean. For the interior, use steel wool along with a heavy-duty oven cleaner. *Note: wear thick gloves and ensure good ventilation while cleaning the oven. Oven cleaners, especially those with degreasing agents, can be harmful to the skin and respiratory system.
  • Dishwasher. Using a damp sponge and baking soda, wipe down all surfaces. Pay special attention to the filter, rubbers, inside and door, including the edges. For an extra clean, add a small cup of bleach to a cycle. This will help kill any bacteria inside the machine.
  • Microwave. An efficient way to clean your microwave is by placing a bowl of water with lemon juice in the microwave, then heating it on high for several minutes. Once finished, let it cool, and wipe down the inside with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Using a damp rag, also clean the exterior.
  • Sweep and mop. The final step to clean your kitchen before moving out is to sweep the floor to remove all dust and dirt. Then mop it for a deeper clean and shine.

For more moving guides from ABC Movers, click here.