Certainly makes me think about how to organize the house in Washington. I'll have to really think about this since the kitchen is attached to the great room in a way that it's easily accessible by little feet. I am looking forward to being able to plop her in the high chair and put her up to the island to help me cook! That will be a lot of fun.
Anyway I googled, how to baby proof your home, and found this article:
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, suddenly the fireplace you once thought was so cozy becomes a potential hazard. There are many products marketed to parents to baby-proof their homes, but you don't have to buy every one of them. As with most parenting issues, the best solutions often rely on common sense.
Below are iVillage's 17 most popular and practical ways to make your home safe for your new arrival.
- Crawl through your house to get a baby's-eye view, and remove anything that is either dangerous to your baby or precious to you.
- Turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns.
- Secure cupboard doors with childproof locks -- but don't expect them to work all the time (some babies are more wily than other!). Put dangerous items (e.g., cleaning solutions, knives) in high cabinets, far out of reach of children. Leave one easy-to-reach cupboard open and fill it with plastic containers or pots and pans that are safe for baby to play with.
- Cover all electrical sockets with plastic plugs or, better yet, replace the cover plates with childproof ones.
- Take the sharp edges off your fireplace or furniture by covering them with throw pillows, quilts, blankets, or foam rubber. Murphy's Law dictates that falls will happen in the worst-possible places.
- Put a hook-and-eye latch high up on your doors so that baby doesn't end up anywhere he shouldn't be (like the basement or outside).
- Make sure every area of your house has a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. If you need help or information, call your local fire station.
- Remove refrigerator magnets. They frequently fall off the refrigerator when the door is slammed, and they are small enough to pose a choking risk.
- Program your phone's speed dial with the numbers of your pediatrician, the poison control center, your spouse at work, and your ambulance service (if you don't have 911). Let your baby-sitter know the numbers are there.
- Keep a bottle of ipecac syrup on hand (up high or in a locked cabinet, of course) in case of poisoning emergency. This syrup is derived from a plant of the same name, and it triggers vomiting (not all poison cases require vomiting, so be sure to check with a doctor before administering it). Call your local poison control center for an emergency reference card. Let your baby-sitter know where the syrup and card are.
- Keep older siblings' toys separate, either in their room or in a playpen, so that your baby can't get at them.
- Make sure your baby monitor works and is within range. As a test place a ticking clock near it. If you can hear the tick-tock from the other end of the monitor, you can be sure you'll hear the baby.
- Keep hot liquids away from baby. Whenever you're drinking coffee, tea, or other hot liquids, be sure to keep the drink far enough away so that if it spills, your baby won't get burned.
- Never leave your baby alone in the bath. Babies can drown in just inches of water, so always stay next to your baby when you're bathing her (or when you're near a pool, the toilet, or a bucket of water). If the phone rings, let the machine get it -- or buy and use a cordless phone.
- Don't expose your baby to smoke. Secondhand smoke can cause illness now and serious health problems down the road.
- Ask a professional. In many areas, professional "baby-proofers" will come to your home, install protectors and locks, and look for hazards you might not notice. Because they are so quick, they can be inexpensive. Ask your pediatrician if there are any reliable, inexpensive baby-proofers in your area.
- Get a good stain stick to clean anything that your didn't baby-proof.