Babyproofing Your Home from Top to Bottom

The Small Stuff

You've covered the big tasks; now it's time to attend to the small details. Go through each room and take the following measures:

Babyproofing Your Home: Toys
Babyproofing Your Home: Toys

  • Place safety gates at the entrance or exit to any room that's off-limits to baby, such as a formal living room.
  • Make sure all of your houseplants are nontoxic varieties. Some plants are extremely poisonous.
  • Empty ashtrays promptly and keep matches, lighters, and tobacco products locked away from baby.
  • Vacuum regularly to suck up loose change, paper clips, or any small item that can cause choking.
  • Place locks on liquor cabinets; alcohol can be poisonous to young children.
  • Cover radiators and heating vents to prevent burns.
  • Check your doorstops; many have removable caps that pose a choking hazard.
  • Keep toy batteries safely stowed away; they can leak acid, causing serious burns.
  • Clear cosmetics and shampoos off sink and tub ledges, as they pose a poison risk.

According to a recent study conducted by the Home Safety Council, children under 1 have the highest rates of unintentional home-injury death of all children under 15, with choking and suffocation topping the list as the biggest hazards. For more information on keeping your home a safe haven for your child, visit for tips, checklists, and more.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, September 2004. Updated 2010.

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