Several experts recommend literally crawling from room to room to see everything your child has access to. Anything that poses a hazard within reach should be moved.
Sometimes there isn’t a specific product to address a hazard, reminds Linette Palmer, co-owner of Los Angeles babyproofing service Family First. “You may need to block off an area,” she says, or “get creative with solutions.”
In some cases, wait a few years before introducing certain items. “There’s no way to make a tall halogen lamp safe until your kid is old enough to know not to knock it over,” says Palmer.
Keep certain latches or locks a secret from your children, and don’t let them see you operate them, suggests the team at Family First. If they watch you unlatch the dishwasher or a particular cabinet, they may learn to do so themselves.
Constantly scan your floors and easy-to-reach surfaces for loose change, buttons, dropped pieces of food or any other small objects that kids could choke on.
And no matter how well you childproof your home, you also need to be prepared for accidents. Be sure that the phone numbers of your pediatrician, poison control and the address of the nearest hospital are posted in an easy-to-find place for any caregivers. Poison control’s line is 800-222-1222.