Commonly Overlooked Household Hazards to Baby-Proof for

Lowell is in full get-into-all-the-things mode. He’s pulling up on cabinets, pulling things out, trying to climb onto windowsills. He nearly made it inside the fireplace the other day.

Yeah…. we needed to baby-proof the house a while ago.

Of course, we know to plug the outlets, secure the dressers to the wall, and keep sharp objects out of reach. We have the cleaning products and other chemicals behind a Tot-Lok. As we go back through this process, though, I realized there were a lot of other hazards that were easy to overlook.

You’d think having 2 babies grow up in this house before him we’d already have all this covered, but as the kids got older, we became less vigilant. We put the blinds back up when we thought we would put our house on the market. We installed new cabinets, and didn’t put cabinet locks back on them.

We’ve taken for granted that the 3 year old and 6 year old don’t put everything in their mouth anymore.

BabyProofingTips

 

I’ve partnered with Allstate on this sponsored post, and interviewed one of their experts on household hazards. Together we came up with some commonly overlooked hazards for babies in our homes.

Living Room:

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1. Things that can fall off your media center- We have to be careful the kids don’t leave things like gaming remotes and other long cords hanging down, or Scott and I don’t leave the iPod cord hanging out. Oops!

Also, I feel like this goes without saying, but so many people unfortunately overlook this- SECURE YOUR TVS TO THE WALL! The Allstate expert recommends looking for earthquake safety devices for this if you can’t find them amongst baby-proofing items.

2. Blinds and blind cords- This is something the pediatrician has said is one of the most dangerous and people just don’t think of it. Babies can pull on the cord, get wrapped up and choke themselves. Additionally, the plastic piece at the end of the cord can come free or break off and become a major choking hazard. We had our blinds completely off when the older two were babies. Now, we at least have them pulled up, and the cords tied up out of reach, but I’d like to take them back down.

Kitchen:

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1. Pantry- Beyond keeping this closed off so that babies can’t try to pull up on the shelves, also consider what you’re keeping within reach for them. Heavy cans that are at their level can potentially injure them (and their wee toes) if they pull them off of the shelves.

2. Your purse or bag– Consider where you might plop that down. Keep it zipped when they are little, move to high places when they learn to use zippers. 

Bedroom:

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1. Electric cords-  Be sure the baby monitor or sound machine aren’t plugged in within baby’s arm’s reach from the crib. Baby can pull the cords into the crib with them and get tangled up in them.

Scarily, I learned this lesson when Kendall was a baby. I heard him fussing, and found him in his crib with the monitor cord pulled around his neck. I had NO idea he could reach the outlet near his crib. He was barely mobile.

2. Door stopper spring plastic caps- You know those springs behind most of your doors? Do they have little rubber caps on the end of them? Most likely, it’s really easy for a baby to pull those right off and put them in their mouth. Take them off of all the springs in the house before baby starts crawling. Those door stopper springs are baby magnets! They’re bound to find them.

Bathroom:

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1. Shaving razors- Even if mom and dad keep their razors out of reach, and off the sides of tubs and sinks, make sure your guests don’t leave any behind, especially if they use a bathroom your kids frequent more than you do.

2. Items around the toilet. The plunger & toilet bowl brush are, for some reason, very interesting to a baby or toddler. When they are little, they are just investigating everything, which includes seeing how things taste. Babies are disgusting.

Do you have other commonly overlooked baby proofing suggestions? I’d love for you to leave them in the comments!

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most—but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. For more helpful tips like this, visit our Good to Know community.

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  • Rachael K - Don’t forget front loading washers and dryers! Especially if they aren’t up on a base, kiddos can crawl right in if the doors aren’t shut tight.
    And dog bowls. At least the water bowl. I still don’t have a good way to ‘baby proof’ this except always, always, always make sure that baby doesn’t have access to it. My big pup’s bowl is surely a drowning hazard.ReplyCancel

  • Marcie - This is not on topic, but I’m totally in love with that shower curtain!!ReplyCancel

  • LCB - Dry cleaning bags hanging the closet – make sure you remove them immediately, kids can easily pull them down, get tangled and suffocate.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Watch out for fingers getting caught in French doors, be careful what you throw away in the trash can (we don’t even put plastic bag liners in ours, except for the kitchen, which is in the pantry), and even when your kids are older watch out for them sticking things in the outlets. When they get older they can pull out the plug covers. I found that my three year old had stuck a key in the outlet a couple of weeks ago. He is no longer allowed to play with keys.ReplyCancel

  • Shari Masters Naftzinger - I’m a grandma. I remember our pediatrician telling us to reverse doorknobs in iur children’s rooms to keep them from locking themselves in (and is also handy if they need a timeout) and also to drape a thin towel or blanket over the door to keeping little fingers from getting closed in them. ReplyCancel

  • sam-c - I feel like it was easy to baby – proof for the first baby, but now for the second one it’s much harder. I feel like the best baby proofing we can’t manage is to get the 6 year old to put his toys away! he is good about keeping his legos away from baby brother but not the matchbox cars. and for some reason, our baby thinks he is a dog. all he wants to play with and chew on: our shoes. we stick him in the middle of the living room with some toys and he crawls for the shoe box at the front door.ReplyCancel

  • Connie Fake Casey - You should strap all your furniture to the walls, not just TVs. ReplyCancel

  • JaNae - I have that same one. A Target purchase!!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Love all the baby proof suggestions! This one is not so much a household item but was an issue in our house…coffee cups. You don’t think of it but if you put your hot coffee cup down for 1 second little hands are all over it! We use travel cups with a lid, even while drinking coffee in the house, just incase we slip up and set the cup down. It’s much safer.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife - We learned the hard way that even small pieces of furniture need to be anchored to the wall.

    Jack pulled my jewelry armoire down on himself when he was ten months old. Even after riding in an ambulance and being seen in the ER he was back trying to scale it ten minutes after getting home while my husband was trying to secure it to the wall. I still cringe with anxiety any time I think about it.ReplyCancel

  • Annie - Slamming doors! My toddler slams doors with such force that she could easily sever a finger. They make finger guards that prevent the door from fully closing and snagging fingers.ReplyCancel

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