In Part II of Baby Proofing Your Home, we are moving into the living room or family room, if you prefer. So, let’s take a quick virtual scan of your living room and see what potential dangers might be afoot.
The focal point of your entire living room is first on our list of things that needs to be baby proofed. Nowadays, the majority of people will have their flat screens mounted on the wall, out of reach of curious, greasy fingers. If this is you, then bravo…you are already on the right path. But don’t forget those cords and cables! If you don’t have them fed through the drywall, then you need to hide those cords.
Cord Covers – Buying something like this is a great way to conceal those cords from your little one.
It also just makes it look better than having random cords hanging from your TV. Please don’t use duct tape. You aren’t in your dorm any longer.
Now that is all well and good, if you do have your television mounted on the wall. But what about those of us who still have it sitting on a stand? How do we make sure that heavy television won’t be tipped over, leading to a potentially fatal accident?
TV Safety Straps – This is an absolute MUST HAVE if your TV is sitting on a stand and in reach of your small child. These safety straps screw into the back of your TV. Yes, pretty much all brands of TV have pre-drilled holes made specifically for this. You simply screw the straps into the back and then you’ll need to drill 1 or 2 holes, depending on the straps you buy, into your TV stand…or whatever it is sitting on. Check out something like this strap, from Amazon.
COFFEE TABLES, TV STANDS, AND MORE.
In this section we are going to look at anything that has a corner or hard edge on it. Once your little guy or gal starts pulling up and eventually walking around, they will start biffing it. I seriously think my 15 month old drinks bourbon when I am not looking. There are just times when he looks drunk and unstable, where normally he’s pretty solid on his feet. The point being – your kid is going to trip and fall A LOT. When they don’t know how, nor do they have the reflexes, to brace themselves, this can be very very dangerous.
Edge and Corner Covers – Unless you have an extremely open and modern floor plan, with little to no furniture, then odds are you have some edges that could lead to black eyes, cuts, and possibly worse. Cover them up, now. Pick up something like this from Amazon or Walmart and you’ll feel so much better knowing your kid is a bit safer as they stumble through your living room.
Okay, I don’t think I need to cover why fire is potentially hazardous to your child’s health, right? Even if you do not use your fireplace, you still do not want your kid crawling around in there.
In most cases the fireplace will have some sort of hearth, which is the area in front and or around the fireplace.
This can be made of stone, tile, ceramic, and a bunch of other stuff that could leave marks if your kid were to fall on it. So we definitely need to keep your kid away from this, no matter what style you have in your living room.
Gates and Play Yards – Setting up a solid gate is a great way to keep your kid away from the fireplace. You can go as far as drilling the gate into your wall, but hopefully you can get away with just placing it in the right spot.
A great thing about most of these gates is that they can adjust in size and shape, so they will normally fit any design you need. And, once you no longer need to block the fireplace off, you can use it for something else.
A solid option is the North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate or something similar.
- Comes with six removable and adjustable panels; encloses up to 10 square feet and is 30 inches high.
- Optional two panel extensions are available and will increase the size from 10 square feet to 19 square feet Unlimited two panel extensions may be used.
- Can also be hardware mounted as an extra wide barrier or fireplace screen.
- Swinging walk thru door panel is built with a child proof double locking system.
You can get a Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate here.
You can also go the more colorful, plastic gate route. These can still work very effectively. The size of the gate you need is going to vary from person to person.
Your stairs may not technically be in your living room, in most cases, but we are still going to cover it here. The stairs are one of the first things that parents think to baby proof and rightfully so. Those climbing temptations are like a magnet to newly crawling and walking youngsters.
Baby Gates – There are a plethora of baby gates out there and it is really dealer’s choice. We use this one from Munchkin Child Gates.
This is a pressure-fit gate, but it does come with the option to install it into your wall or door frame.
- This gate comes with a few different inserts, so you can increase the width of the gate. The gate will fit openings 29.5 inch to 35 inch wide.
- The handle has a double locking system, making it virtually impossible for children to work.
If you want to check this Munchkin Child Gate out, click here.
Who among us hasn’t wanted to stick a fork or knife in a wall outlet to see what happens? Probably not as fun to think about, when it is your child. This one is very easy to handle guys. I am not ashamed to admit that there were plenty of installations that my wife was more involved than I….but damn it, I handed her the tools in a speedy fashion! But seriously, even I could stick a plastic thing in the little outlet. Feels good…feels good to brag about my achievements.
You can pick up something simple like this from Mommy’s Helper. There are many many inexpensive options out there. Just be sure to get something and before they are crawling.
I believe that will do it for Part II of Baby Proofing Your Home. Everyone’s living room is different, so just take the time to look around and see what could be a potential problem. If there is even a question on whether something is safe or not…. baby proof it up, good and tight.
And I know you are dying to know, and yes, Part III of Baby Proofing Your Home will take us into your bathroom. Stay tuned!
If you missed Part I, you can check it out here