Mom’s purse. What to avoid keeping in your purse according to Dr. Sears’s The Baby Book: mace or pepper spray, vitamins and/or medications (at least be sure they are kept in babyproof containers), sharp objects such as nail clippers or scissors, aerosol sprays, small objects such as spare change.
Your home office, which tends to be full of cords and other dangers, according to Palmer of Family First.
The yard. Ensure that any play equipment is safe, according to Dr. Sears. Check for sturdiness and splinters, any obstructions too close to playgrounds, exposed bolts or screws, or hard surfaces like cement or pavement directly underneath swings. Beware of poisonous plants and mulch and don’t let kids play on lawns recently treated with pesticides.
The diaper bag. Even some infant items are dangerous to have within reach, such as ingestible lotions or sprays, infant nail scissors or any infant medications.
Hand-me-downs. It might seem great when someone wants to bestow her old baby gear on you. Most hand-me-downs are probably fine, but carseats should always be bought new in case they’ve been in an accident. Cribs and mattresses should be researched thoroughly to be sure they meet current safety standards. Toys and clothes should also be given a double check for safety; look for missing or dangling parts and loose threads.
Family pets, especially dogs. In this situation, prevention should go both ways — “You need to consider special training for your dogs and your children,” notes Dr. Pang. Teach older children not to bother pets when they are eating or playing with a toy. Train pets to accommodate a new person in the household, as they’re likely to treat them differently than adults do.
Trash cans. Small trash cans may be fine on their own, but once you put a plastic bag inside, you’ve got a suffocation hazard in easy reach, notes Palmer.
The stroller. Every few months, check to be sure brakes are functioning properly, that there aren’t any loose screws and that all latches, movable parts and reclining features are working properly.
Spare refrigerator. If you happen to have an extra fridge or freezer in the garage or basement, keep it locked to prevent small children from hiding inside and becoming trapped.
Laundry room or area. Be sure detergents and cleaning products are out of reach. Keep dryer doors shut and consider keeping the door to the room locked.