Security and Safety

6 Steps to Babyproofing Your Home

By Joshua Baethge 2.12.18

Nobody gives you an instruction manual for having a baby. However, there are some simple babyproofing steps you can take to make your home safer for your new arrival.

1. Get up to code.

Do you know if your house contains lead? What about a working smoke detector? You may need to consult with a certified inspector or risk assessor to determine whether your house is up to code and safe for children.

  • More than half a million children ages 1 to 5 have high blood lead levels, according to 2010 statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Houses that were built before 1978 are likely to contain lead, according to the environmental protection agency.
  • Three out of every five fire-related deaths occurred in homes that did not have fire detectors, according to the National Fire Protection Agency.

2. Eliminate bedtime hazards.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first six months. Even when they move to the nursery, it’s important to keep their bed clear of any objects, which could become choking or suffocation hazards.

  • Studies show that sharing a room reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by up to 50 percent.
  • Babies should sleep on a firm surface with a tight fitted sheet, such as a crib or bassinet.
  • Avoid putting anything else on the bed, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, or soft toys.

3. Keep electronics out of the way.

Modern-day gadgets often mean lots of cords, cables, and chargers strewn about. These can be tripping hazards and shock hazards when plugged in.

  • Make sure electrical cables and cords are not lying out where children can trip on them.
  • Electrical wall outlets should also be covered with safety caps to prevent electric shock.

4. Be mindful of burn risks.

The stove is not the only place where a child can get burned. Your home is full of things that you understand but your baby doesn’t.

  • Make sure your hot water thermostat is set properly.
  • Always test bath water with your wrist or elbow.
  • Remember to block off hot areas like radiators, fireplaces, and hot water taps, if possible. If not, teach children not to touch them in order to avoid painful surprises.

5. Prevent accidental drowning.

Just like burn risks, your swimming pool is not your only drowning concern, although it is a big one.

  • Children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.
  • Young children should never be left alone in a bathtub.
  • Don’t leave cleaning or mop buckets out.
  • Make sure toilets are inaccessible to the little ones.
  • And, of course, swimming pool areas should always be fenced in.

6. Add your little family addition to your policy.

Alan Davidson, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Big Spring, reminds parents to add children to their policies once they are born. He also recommends a child term rider, which people can purchase even before they get pregnant.

“I personally have individual life insurance on my child, and it gave me great peace of mind,” Davidson says.

Becoming a new parent can be a scary experience. However, a little planning and readying your home for a new, very small, inhabitant will go a long way toward protecting that little one you love.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.

© 2018 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance