Baby proofing for toddlers



Now your baby's on the move, it's time to ensure your home is a safe environment for a curious little explorer.

While home is your relax zone, it can also pose unseen risks for little ones, so it's crucial to be extra vigilant about safety when young children are in residence.

The smaller they are, the greater the danger. According to child safety organisation Kidsafe, one third of Australian children presenting to hospital with an unintentional injury are under five years old, and almost half of the injuries where location is specified are in the home.

Kidsafe recommends a thorough sweep of every room and outdoor space in your house, checking for hazards from a child's level. From there, the world can look pretty different and it's often astonishing what you'll spot.

Door sense

Check for removable knobs on doorstops. These can be pulled off to remove sharp points beneath. They could also be swallowed.  Doors are a danger zone for finger jams too; little digits are most often trapped in the hinge side when a door slams shut. To protect against this, use chocks or wedges to block internal doors from slamming, and consider purchasing one of the many devices available to modify the hinge side of your doors so they're finger-jam-proof. Whenever you close a door, be aware of where the little ones are, and remember that when back and front doors are both open, air currents can cause them to slam suddenly.

Toy story

Teddy bear's eye was detached by toddler and in sleeping 10 months old baby hand, poorly attached button was removed by kid, beware of choking hazard for children concept, warning for parent
You've bought age-specific toys for your youngest child, but their older siblings might have stacks of favourite treasures riddled with hazards for the smallest in the house. Beady eyes, nylon hair, detachable buttons, small metal pieces and little plastic components are all candy to a toddler's eyes. Opt for higher storage solutions - plastic tubs with firmly secured lids provide peace of mind – and out of sight is best too, to avoid the temptation of a climb to reach the goodies. Educate the older kids about the dangers so they know not to share inappropriate play objects with younger siblings. Cut all tags off toys immediately after purchase to avoid any choking risk.

Be stair smart

Test out the lock on that baby gate! Toddlers are surprisingly dexterous and strong. They're also often experimenting with climbing, and a determined mountaineer can scale all kinds of obstacles. Place gates at top and bottom of each staircase.

Beware those pet bowls

What looks tasty to your furry friends will be just as tempting for your tiny tots. Plus, even the best-natured pooches and pusses can be territorial around food, especially with someone who's close to their size. To avoid problems, place your pets' food and water bowls out of bounds to baby.


Fix that furniture

child safety at home concept - toddler reaching for pan on the stove in kitchen

If not adequately secured, your furniture is a lurking landslide, capable of inflicting serious and even fatal injury to a child. The national Coronial Information System tells a sad story about this: at least 14 children under nine years old died in Australia during 2000-2015 as a result of domestic furniture falling on them.

If you haven't already, secure to the wall all bookshelves, TVs, wardrobes and basically any piece of furniture that looks like a fun jungle gym to busy little walkers. Chest of drawers are particular hazards – put clasps on all the drawers so kids can't climb inside them. Remove any objects your adventurer can pull down; table cloths are a no and are better replaced with non-slip mats, while we can't remind you enough not to leave pan handles sticking outwards on the stovetop. Use corner protectors on all sharp corners to guard against collision injuries.

Optimise your air

Ensure the air in your home is clean. An air purifier can help to clean the air by eliminating pollutants, such as pollens, allergens, pet dander, and odours, like lingering smoke, from the air allowing both you and your mini-me to breathe easy. Winter, when spending more time indoors, is the perfect time to consider purifying the air inside which can be up to five times worse than it is outside [1] .

Remember the remote

While baby toys have the batteries screwed in to their compartment, TV remotes don't. The solution is as simple as a couple of strips of masking tape across the back.

Medicine menace

Little boy opened the freezer door and taking things out of it. Playing with fridge. Baby boy and freezer. Baby proofing. Freezer with an open door and little boy playing with it. Little helper. Danger of household items for babies.

Most parents remember to secure all the family medicines in an out of reach spot, but it's easy to overlook any stored in the fridge. Secure them in a lockable box.

Hide handbags

You'll be used to stashing your own handbag out of reach of the tinies, but when you have visitors, remember to do the same with theirs. A handbag placed on the floor is an irresistible new attraction for a toddler or baby, potentially filled with perilous items, from make-up to cigarette lighters to chewing gum.

This article has been produced in association with Dyson. 

Dyson, a world leader in problem solving technology, spends over AU$14 million a week in research and development. The Dyson Pure range of purifiers are at the forefront of technological change; driven by intelligent sensing, big data, analytics and machine learning to create the optimum indoor environment. Dyson has been developing filtration systems for 25 years and the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link™ purifier fan heater is our most advanced purifying technology yet to ensure the air in our homes is cleaner. Considering that every day we breathe an average of 10,000 litres of air, it's no surprise that people are starting to pay more attention to the quality of the air we breathe and its overall effect on our health. The machine contains a smart sensor that monitors the environment for pollutants and when harmful pollutants are detected, it automatically purifies the air. The Dyson Link App enables people to 'see' the invisible pollutants in an air quality graph; by tracking air quality history people can monitor air quality, feel informed and adjust their behaviour accordingly.

Click here for more information. 

[1] Supported by data from the Centre or Australian Weather and Climate Research