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"Get down on the floor at baby level and look around for stuff that could be hazardous."

"If you have stair railing along an upstairs hallway or deck railing that has the balisters more than 3 or 4 inches apart, you need to look into netting of some sort to keep children from falling through the railing."

"The only suggestion I can really make is that nothing is baby-proof. It is rather like watches that aren't water proof, they're water resistant."

"A real important thing to remember is to never let your child see how you open a baby proofed item! Make sure your body shields the action. It is much easier for a child to figure them out of the see you do it. Ideally you never even want your child to realize there is somehing there."

"Besides the usual cabinet latches and electrical outlet covers, removing cleaning stuff and medicines, etc., if you have a dog, be sure you store the dog food where the baby can't getinto it, and don't leave the dog's food out on the floor. Some kinds of kibbles are perfect choking size.

"Also, if you have blinds, make sure you have hooks next to the windows or something you have hang the strings up on when the blinds are open. The strings can hang down far enough for a kid to get tangled up in.

"Dishwasher detergent is poisonous, so if you keep it under your sink like we used to, you might want to move it to a higher location.

"A lot of house plants are poisonous, but I'm not sure which ones.

"You can put doorknob covers on any doors that the baby can lock himself into or out of, so he can't open the door in the first place.

"I've read that toddlers can drown in 5-gallon buckets by falling in head first then not being able to get out. (Our solution to this is to never wash the car.)

"Sometimes you never know what might pose a hazard to a little baby. I read not long ago about an aquarium that leaked into a baby's crib and the baby drowned because the water puddled on his mattress and he was too little to lift his head."

Judy Drake

"Beware of loose sheets and thin shawls in the crib. My baby managed to wrap one around his neck several times while still very young. I think he grabbed an end and turned over. Luckily he was okay, but it's a potential danger."

Clare Chu

"Watch out for table cloths. To a small child, these look like wonderful 'handles' for pulling one's self to a standing position. ... Oven doors also have the 'convenient' handle on them."

David M

"Besides temperature-monitoring faucets, etc., hot water burns can be avoided by simply turning down the hot water tank thermostat, so that the hottest water that can come out of a faucet is not hot enough to burn. (I believe that this is an energy saver, as well).

"Tall, heavy furniture [and TVs] can topple and crush a child. Open bookcases are one of the worst threats, because they can be toppled by a child climbing up the shelves. This can be made safer by using hooks & eyes to securely anchor the top of the furniture to the wall.

"Be conscious about leaving choking hazards laying around, such as open bowlsof hard candy, loose change, etc.

"When taking care of poisons in the kitchen and bathrooms, don't neglect the basement and garage -- there's no time like the present!

"Be aware of crib strangulation hazards: bars too far apart (head can be forced through & caught), loose/long bumper fastening straps (child can get tangled in straps or caught under bumper), posts or other things which can hook clothing near the top of the rails or end pieces (child can be strangled by own clothing).

"Watch out for furniture or items which can allow a child to climb up on to a window sill or above, where the child can put weight on the glass and/or fall through.

"A couple kitchen things:

"It's a good habit to get into to push all hazardous objects to the far back of the counter (e.g. when putting down a knife, etc.)

"If no other drawers are child-proofed, the knife drawer is a good one. It's also a good idea to wash and put away knives as soon as possible after using them.

"Don't tempt fate. It's not worth the risk of carrying the boiling spaghetti water to the sink, even if you think the child is safely out of the path. Have someone else pick the child up for a minute, or toss a ball into an adjacent room to get them out of harms way long enough."

"Another category of things that should be put away out of reach in the kitchen are boxes of foil, plastic wrap, storage bags, and the like. Many of the boxes have *very* sharp edges, and the plastic bags and wrap pose a tremendous suffocation danger.

"With regards to securing cords for lamps, etc., most hardware stores carry "cord covers." These are long tubes with one flat side that has adhesive to attach to a wall. I usually see them in the lighting section. You can cut them to the appropriate length with a utility knife, and they can be painted to be more inconspicuous. I've seen them in two sizes, narrow for a one or two standard cords, and wide, for a lot of cords or cable, such as you would have with a computer. You run the cords through them and stick them to the wall, and can prevent a lot ofmishaps."

Julie McNulty

Frankly, this is an easy question. Due to mobility issues and undeveloped hand-eye coordination, simply locking the doors will keep the little rascals out. This doesn't necessarily work with teenagers, so be aware.

ALL the answers had good ideas, different things you don't always think of.Having said that, I'm going to add a suggestion that may get me "tarred andfeathered", but here goes. TEACH CHILDREN WHAT "NO DON'T TOUCH" means. ThereI said it. Certainly I firmly believe in sensible, obvious answers, like locks on chemicals (dishwasher soap that people keep under their sinks contain ACID.)Cleaning materials can be deadly. Electrical outlets will shock a child if theystick in things that conduct electriciy; paperclips; keys etc...but 110 volthousehold power won't fry a child to death. They will get a zap, pull away veryFAST and probably won't ever do it again! But use of plastic outlet covers are a good idea. But one day they will figure out how to take out the plastic, and still experience their first (and last) shock. Bathtubs are dangerous even withTWO INCHES of water. Why? Lack of supervision. NEVER NEVER leave a childunattended, even if its to go get a towel for "TWO SECONDS" They can drown invery little water, or in a toilet, in a bucket of water etc... Draperies with long cords can stangle a kid in a few minutes. Stairs without gates are not agood idea, but one day they will figure out how to unlock it. WHAT I'm tryingto say is, kids are SMART so don't ALWAYS depend on safety gadgets. TEACH yourchildren what dangers are; very young children can learn what NO means. So ifyou use safety gadgets, ALWAYS combine that with teaching NO. BECAUSE the day will come when the kid gets away from you for a few seconds no matter howvigilant you are. It also helps kids to know dangers, because at some pointin their lives, they will be exposed to a NON-CHILDPROOFED area, and any knowledge they have about dangers and NO TOUCH, may be the time it saves their lives. A NOTE TO NEW PARENTS: don't put EVERY single thing in the house up out of reach. THEY WILL NEVER learn not to touch; they won't touch simply because they CAN'T. Then you can never take them anywhere because they will beyanking down framed photos, knick-knacks, you name it, they will be ALL OVERpeoples stuff. Be sensible and lock/remove DANGEROUS items, but supervision andteaching, is a must; especially as they get older. I've been taking care of other peoples children since I turned 12; I'm now over 40 and still responsiblefor other peoples children- through my job working with challenging behaviorsin children from 6 months to 20 years old (special-needs) and NEVER has one ofmy little charges get burned, break a bone, pull heavy objects over onto themselves, or any other major injury. SUPERVISION, TEACHING, KEEPING AREASSAFE, & SUPERVISION, SUPERVISION, SUPERVISION. Never depend on one approachlike "childproofing". A well rounded approach will keep your child SAFE.

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Q: How do you babyproof your house?
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