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Our homes have many dangers that may not seem obvious to adults, but to babies and toddlers, these hidden dangers can pose a serious risk. Whether you are a new parent, have friends with little ones, or have grandchildren visiting, it is important to childproof your home.

One quick way to view the dangers is to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. This way, you are at the height of your baby or toddler and can see what poses a risk and might cause those curious little people to get into something they shouldn’t. Once you have identified some of these risks, it’s time to take action.

The first thing to do is add either a safety gate to stairs or rooms that are off limits, or lock the door to a room you don’t want the child in. Book shelves, TVs and dressers all pose a risk since they can be pulled down, causing injury. Make sure they are secured to the wall or can’t be reached easily. Cords for draperies or blinds also pose a risk, so be sure they are out of reach. Outlet protectors should be used on ALL outlets. Fireplaces need to be closely monitored when the child is near and you have a fire going. When not in use, place a soft cover over the hearth so a fall won’t result in an injury.

In the kitchen, place safety locks on cabinets that contain breakables, cleaning supplies, detergents and even heavier items that could fall on the baby. There are many inexpensive options available at your local hardware store for those safety locks. When cooking, be sure and point your cookware handles inward and use back burners when using the stove top, so your toddler won’t grab a handle and get burned. The cleaning supplies should be marked with a Mr. Yuk sticker, even if they are locked up.

In the bathroom, keep any curling irons, straightening irons and their cords out of reach. Again, keep the cabinets and drawers secured with safety locks. Over the counter medicines, make-up, cleaning supplies and even soap can all be toxic.

Keep the phone number of poison control in a central location in your home. If you have a sitter come in, be sure she or he has access to this number.

The best course of action is to be aware of where your little one is. But if you do turn your back for a minute, these tips should help in keeping him or her safe.

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