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Safety First: How to Baby Proof Your Home in 9 Easy Steps

Whether you're expecting a new member of the family, or anticipating a visit from a little one, its important to create a safe environment for the baby and check your home for potential dangers. Use these 9 helpful tips for how to baby proof your home.

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Off Limitsronstik/Shutterstock

Off Limits

Installing a safety gate is a great way to keep young ones out of dangerous areas like staircases and doorways. It's a key step in how to baby proof your home. Check manufactures installation instructions to ensure the gate is installed correctly, and give it a good shake test to determine if it will hold.

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Home Safety

Home Safety

Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms, carbon-monoxide detectors and a functioning fire extinguisher. Check batteries in all alarms, and make sure everyone in the home knows safety procedures in case of an emergency. Check out these smoke alarm tips.

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Hot Water

Hot Water

Just a few seconds under water that's too hot can burn a child's skin. Check your water heater and make sure the temperature gauge is set at 120 degrees F or lower. Use this guide to learn how to adjust your water heater.

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Kitchen SafetyAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Kitchen Safety

You may want to re-organize your kitchen storage, putting dangerous items like cutlery, glass, heavy pots and pans, and chemical cleaners up high and out of reach. If this isn't an option, consider inexpensive drawer and cabinet safety locks. Don't overlook oven doors and range knobs.

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Dangerous Bites

Dangerous Bites

Little ones love exploring by putting anything they find in their mouth. Make sure all dangerous items are off limits, locked up, or stored out of reach. This includes small chocking hazards like papers clips and rubber bands, chemical cleaning supplies like laundry detergent and household cleaners and first aid supplies and medications. Photo: Teresa Odland

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Outlet Safety

Outlet Safety

Another step in how to baby proof your home successfully is to cover all unused outlets with baby-safe plugs, and check for appliances that you're not using that can be unplugged until you need to use them.

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Window Worries

Window Worries

A window screen can easily pop out under pressure, so make sure any windows you open are up and out of baby's reach. This includes ones near furniture that might put them within reach. Also, check blinds and drapes for low hanging cords, and install safety tassels or cord stops. Photo: Teresa Odland

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Furniture Fix

Furniture Fix

Low furniture with sharp edges should be covered with a soft bumper or guard. Inventory your home for heavy furniture that could be climbed or pulled over by a toddler. Dressers and bookcases are great examples, so consider using wall anchor mounts to secure them safely to the wall. Try these tips for choosing the right wall anchor. Photo: Teresa Odland

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Check OutsideFamily Handyman

Check Outside

The yard is an extension of the home, so check for safety hazards outdoors, too. Look for all poisonous plants, and dangerous yard tools. Keep an eye on areas near traffic, as well as areas of open water, like pools and ponds.

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Adult SupervisionAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Adult Supervision

Despite all these useful tips, accidents can happen and the very best way to keep young ones out of danger is to keep a close eye on them. Never leave the room with a child unsupervised. For a fun, hands-on way to keep kids busy, introduce them to DIY!