*This post is sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute to help parents understand how important it is to practice laundry safety, including properly storing and handling laundry packets. You can find our disclosure page here.
Children are so naturally curious
In the early baby days, I knew if I walked away for a few minutes that my babies would be in the exact spot I left them. Therefore, the urgency to child-proof every nook and cranny in our home wasn’t there…yet. After all, they were completely immobile for almost the first year of life!
But with each new, curious day comes another baby milestone (or so it seemed).
First, it’s the rollover (so exciting!). Then baby develops an army crawl. And, before you know it, they pull themselves up to a stand.
Then, boom, you have your very own baby-walking machine! A little unstable, but a baby on the move nonetheless. All the while putting anything and everything they come in contact with into their mouths.
As exciting and adorable as it is to watch, it is also the time those curious minds can do their wobbly, little Frankenstein walk and come into contact with substances that they should not touch – such as household cleaning supplies…
So, in case you didn’t already know: now is the time to make sure your house is 100% baby-proofed! No excuses!
Safety first, always
As an emergency room nurse, I have witnessed first-hand plenty of accidents involving children that could have been prevented- including the ingestion of household items. It only takes a second for those tiny, delicate hands to get into trouble when a home isn’t properly child-proofed.
But I get it, I’m a mom too – parenthood can be overwhelmingly busy and I also sometimes feel I’m being run over by a tiny human army I created myself (and I usually am!).
It is so easy to forget to child-proof your home when you have 1,000 things on your to-do list. But if you take a few simple steps and have systems in place that will prevent accidents from happening, then it will make your life so much easier in the long run. Especially if something bad happens that could have easily been prevented.
Babies and children of all ages need safe spaces to move around and learn in safe environments. Many accidents that bring our little ones to the emergency room can be prevented and avoided altogether.
So in honor of Emergency Nurses Week in October and my desire to encourage other parents to take an active stance in child-proofing their homes, my #1 safety message this year is to encourage parents to put their Packets UP!
Don’t forget to child proof the laundry room
The laundry room is one of those places in the home that is the last to be childproofed, if it even gets child-proofed at all.
That’s why I’ve partnered up with the American Cleaning Institute to help parents understand how important it is to practice laundry safety, including properly storing and handling liquid laundry packets. Accidents involving liquid laundry packets are 100% preventable!
I’m talking about taking simple steps to keep the laundry room safe at all times. By putting a few simple systems in place, you won’t have to worry about accidental poisoning and you will be proactively preventing avoidable child injuries.
Think of it like this: Playtime + child-proofed home = SAFE SPACE for baby and child growth and learning opportunities!
(The ER nurse in me geeks out about safety-proofing. You should see our home – even my husband has a hard time getting into closets and drawers. But at least I know our kids are safe!).
Keep the laundry room safe by keeping your packets up!
Simple child safety tips in the laundry room
Step #1: Keep liquid laundry packets out of reach
Keep all laundry products in a designated out of reach and in an area that children can’t get into.
If you don’t have a cabinet with doors to hide your cleaning products available, place liquid laundry packets (in the original packaging) into a larger bin with other laundry and household products and put it up high where children won’t be able to see it.
Step #2: Don’t keep laundry packets on display
While clear or glass jars can be an Instagram-worthy way to display household items, storing liquid laundry packets visibly in these jars could attract unwanted attention from young children. Always keep liquid laundry packets tightly secured in their original packaging, stored up and out of reach.
Step #3: Keep laundry packets separate from groceries
When purchasing laundry packets and other household cleaners from the store, have them bagged separately and put them away in their designated safe storage spot – out of sight and out of reach – as soon as you get home and unpack your groceries.
Step #4: Make safety checks a priority
Conduct routine safety checks in the home to prevent accidents.
Tip: Consider making a sign in the laundry room to remind yourself to check your laundry packets and make sure they are stored properly and out of children’s reach. That way use can ensure safety each time you do the laundry. If you have a housekeeper or someone else who does the laundry, have a conversation with them about how important it is that they also follow your laundry room safety rules. All adults in the house need to be on the same page.
If a liquid laundry packet is ingested:
Call the Poison Help Line immediately at 1-800-222-1212.
I hope this messaging can help parents understand how important it is to practice laundry safety, including properly storing and handling laundry packets. Safety is the number one message here, and I hope this helps to encourage and remind all parents to find simple ways to keep all laundry products up and away from little ones in the home.
Let’s have ZERO accidental laundry product accidents this and every year. Safety first!!
Remember these key laundry packet safety points:
- It is so important to store liquid laundry packets up high and out of sight and reach.
- Don’t forget to completely close and seal liquid laundry packet containers after use.
- Finally, always store liquid laundry packets in their original containers.
For more information about the Packets Up campaign:
Visit packetsup.com for more information and tools to help you prevent exposures from liquid laundry packets. You can also join the conversation: follow #PacketsUp for the latest laundry room safety tips and information.
Order a free cling and put it on your cabinet as a safe storage reminder.
(This baby proofing checklist post may contain affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
To all new parents: just in case you didn’t know, you need to baby-proof your house!
It all happens so fast. First, the baby starts to roll and crawl. Then they start “cruising.” And finally, your sweet little bundle of joy takes his or her first Frankenstein steps. And just like that, you have a walker!
Now, I may be just a tad overzealous when it comes to baby-proofing our house. After all, I am an ER nurse, and I have seen what can happen when a home isn’t baby proofed. (To top that off, our 8-month-old baby just started cruising with his Vtech walker. Gasp!)
I wrote this baby proofing checklist in honor of emergency nurses week and my desire to encourage other parents to take an active stance in baby proofing their homes. If you are anything like us, you may be a tad bit sleep-deprived and overwhelmed. I hope this list helps to make it easier to create a more baby-friendly home
Why is having a baby proofing checklist so essential?
You would be surprised at how quickly babies can hurt themselves. The prevention of accidental injuries is the #1 reason why babies need safe physical boundaries in place.
Think of it like this: Playtime + baby-proofed home = safe space for growth and learning opportunities!
As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our kids are in a safe environment. Children need a secure place to get messy, play, explore, learn, and have fun.
Here are a few things to consider when baby proofing your home:
The first item on our baby proofing checklist is the safety gate. One second your baby is playing in one spot, the next they are on the other side of the house trying to open up the cutlery drawer in the kitchen. Once babies learn how to crawl or walk, they can be surprisingly fast! Safety gates help keep kiddos within a safe area. Remember that you want to make sure safety gates are screwed into the wall if they are at the top of a staircase.
Note: Although safety gates are a great way to keep your baby safer, it doesn’t mean that they can’t get hurt on them. A study from 2014 found that as many as 2,000 U.S. kids visit the emergency room for treatments resulting from injuries caused by climbing or falling through gates.
Although they appear to be just tiny pieces of plastic, corner guards and edge bumpers have been instrumental in preventing a few very BIG injuries. Why? Because many corners on tables and shelves are at the same height as toddler’s heads when they are standing (or worse, running). Hello, head injury!
If your toddler runs into the corner of a piece of furniture with a corner guard or edge bumper, they are much less likely to sustain a serious head injury. We have corner guards on our kitchen table, coffee table, bookshelf edges, fireplace, and even our bedroom side tables.
Doesn’t it seem as if toddlers like to explore in every space you DON’T want them to be? Small children are curious creatures, and forbidden places are exciting to them. They love testing their boundaries. Doorknob covers are great for keeping little ones out of the areas you don’t want them wandering into. Especially places like broom closets, bathrooms, or out the front door.
Door nob covers just spin in circles if a toddler tries to open it. But adults can easily open it by squeezing it tightly and turning the knob.
Screens are not enough to keep a child from falling out of a window. And if children can open a window, then there is the possibility of an accident. Children can be resourceful by climbing on furniture or toys to reach windows, so even if you think there is no way they could reach them, window guards are still a good idea.
Side note: I don’t love that these window guards do not let me put the windows up all the way. But I would rather have them in place than risk having a horrible accident.
Toddlers love exploration and will open up every single drawer and cabinet in your home. And if there is one that isn’t locked, I assure you, they will find it! Use safety latches to keep household chemicals, cleaning supplies, and other hazardous things out of the reach of tiny hands.
There are several types of safety locks that you can buy depending on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to put in. We use the 3M safety locks and they work great. You can install them instantly without any drilling and can uninstall them easily when you no longer need them.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous places in the house for a toddler. It wouldn’t be difficult for a tiny hand to reach up and turn on a stove the moment you are not looking. Stove knob covers work very much like doorknob covers and makes it impossible for a toddler to turn on.
Note: It is a good idea to get into a new habit of using only the rear stove burners to reduce the chances that your little ones can get burned. If you do need to use the front burners, always make sure the handles of any pots or pans are facing inwards so those little ones can’t pull them off the stove and sustain a burn injury.
The toilet bowl is a fascinating place for toddlers, and they may feel inclined to look inside the bowl to see what is in there. They may even try and pull themselves up onto the toilet. However, a toddler’s head is huge in proportion to their body. The weight of their heads would make it hard to pull themselves out if they accidentally fell in. So make it impossible for them to pull the lid up with a toilet lock cover.
It is a good idea to secure all tip-able furniture to the wall. As toddlers become more mobile they may climb on furniture, such as a bookshelf, causing it to tip over. Secondly, in the event of an earthquake, you don’t want any heavy furniture falling over on the little humans below (we live in California, so we have to think about that here!). For aesthetics, you can anchor furniture from the backside so you can’t even see it unless you are looking.
I hope you enjoyed reading this baby proofing checklist, written by an emergency room nurse & mom. It is always better to plan ahead and create safe spaces for our little ones. Accidents happen fast, but by setting up a few safety systems throughout the house, you can decrease the chances of having to take your child to the emergency room. Stay safe!
What are you doing to baby-proof your home?
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