Which baby proofing gear is most important, and which can we do without?

Q: Which baby-proofing gear is absolutely necessary, and which is not worth it? How can I tell? Do I need to put babyproofing on my stove burners, refrigerator, toilet bowls, etc etc etc. How do I decide? It seems like I can go crazy, there's products for every inch of the house, but I don't want to be neurotic about it.

A: The key with child safety is to do your best to see the world the way they do. Get down on your hands and knees and figure out what they can reach. Figure out strategies to keep your child away from danger rather than put your house into lockdown. In other words, close your bathroom door instead of locking up all the contents, including the toilet. If your little one is a door-opener, then employ a simple child-proof door knob. Move dangerous items like cleaning supplies to higher cabinets. Use cabinet and drawer locks, which are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, where there are things you just can’t move from their reach. Not every gizmo is necessary. My top pick: Secure any shelf, dresser or TV stand that can topple. One child dies in the U.S., on average, every two weeks from furniture or a TV falling on them.


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