When it comes to childproofing your home, these are some important areas you don't want to overlook.
1. The floor
"Taking a trip around your home on your hands and knees is the only way to see it like a child," says Susan Baril, co-founder of Safe Beginnings, a child-safety company. Check for paper clips hiding along the baseboards, blind cords hanging at neck level, splinters in the hardwood, exposed electrical outlets, and tacks in carpet seams.
2. The baby gate
Never use pressure gates at the top of stairs. They'll hold back a crawling baby, but not a pushy toddler. Wall-mounted gates are a must.
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3. The fireplace
Don't just block the fireplace; the hard, sharp hearthstone in front poses as much danger, especially as kids transition from crawling to walking to running, Baril says. A hearth gate can keep children away from the entire area.
4. The television
More than 15,000 kids are injured each year by falling furniture, according to the Center for Injury Research and Policy. And most of those are caused by falling television sets. Secure yours — especially flat-panels, which tip easily — to the wall or the back of your entertainment center.
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5. The cat
Scampering felines can step on toddlers while they sleep, Baril says. If you own a cat, invest in a crib tent.
"Toddlers love to imitate," Baril says. Don't let a child see you operate the baby gate, or they'll try it. Likewise, if they see you step over the gate, they'll try to scale it, too. Above all, remember: "A well-childproofed house is not a baby sitter. Constant adult supervision is the best way to prevent injury."
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