Okay, so maybe babyproofing at the Spahr House won't be as challenging as most, (come on, I am a babyproofer); but I do understand. I have many clients cutting back their list, wanting approval for not strapping furniture, or opting out of latching each and every cabinet in the kitchen. They want a list of the essentials. So...here it is, The Can't Live Without it, Must Have, Even During a Recession, List of Essential Babyproofing Products.
- Kidco Swivel Latch: Locks your drawers and cabinets to limit your child's access to potentially hazardous items. The Gains: inexpensive; easy to install if you are handy with a drill; ability to "turn off" latch. Hint: to keep the cost down, consolidate your dangerous items into a few cabinets and lock them up. Keep your medications, chemicals and other dangerous items high in a locked cabinet for extra security.
- Window Wedges- These wedges keep windows from opening past the AAP recommendation of 4". The Gains: inexpensive; easy to install; no tools required; Hint: for older children you may choose to use a different type of latch/lock. Be certain that any lock you have is easily disabled in the event of an emergency.
- Furniture Straps- Keeps furniture from tipping over. The Gains: inexpensive; easy to install if you are handy with a drill. Hint: straps should always be installed into a stud in the wall.
- Childproofing Gates- With falls being a leading cause of injury to children under age 4, gates are a must. The Gains: there are many gate options available; excellent barrier to keep your tots out of "off-limit" areas; gates available (and recommended) for the top and bottom of the stairs. Hint: can be difficult to install; you may want to consider hiring a professional for this installation- could save you money in the long run. Find a babyproofing consultant in your area by visiting the IAFCS.
- Slide Plates vs Plugs- Used to keep fingers, keys, forks and other items out of the outlets. Slide Plates: The Gains: easy to use; you won't break your nails trying to operate; Plugs: The Gains: inexpensive; no directions required; Hint: if it fits through a toilet paper roll, it's a hazard! Keep plugs out of reach of children. Consider using the slide plates for outlets commonly used, and for outlets in the nursery/playroom. Use the plugs in outlets rarely accessed.
Other useful links: International Association for Child Safety, Home Safety Council