Baby Safety: Child Proofing Your Home with Style
Posted on September 19 2019
Child proofing…likely the first important task you face as new parents. Even before the baby comes home, you start looking at the stylish living space you once treasured as a danger zone threatening to do harm to your child. Coffee table corners, steep stairs, and medicine cabinets now become public enemy number one.
Until recently, parents had limited choices in baby safety products for their home. Most were made out of foam, plastic and/or metal with an aesthetic look that can only be described as “institutional.” But hey…it’s a battleground. Isn’t it? The good news: Your baby is safe. The bad news: The benefits of positive aesthetic design must be put on hold. Or does it?
Today's new parents are asking for alternative baby products that can be both safe as well as aesthetically pleasing. Having done the research, we find the large baby product companies with proven records for safety, have little interest in meeting the secondary demand for stylish options. So instead, millennial parents are opting for design alternatives that eliminate some of the common baby dangers altogether. For example, they are purchasing soft covered ottomans to eliminate the sharp corners of wood/glass coffee tables. They install cordless shades to avoid the danger of hazardous cords hanging from traditional curtains. Some even incorporate smart hacks like command stripping decorative lamps to side tables instead of removing them altogether and substituting an obnoxious plastic fence with a blackboard to cover up the fireplace.
While these alternatives work to eliminate some key baby hazards, there is still a need for child safety products made for unavoidable potential baby dangers. In those cases, young parents are opting for products that are hidden, like unseen magnetic cabinet locks to replace the complicated and unsightly white plastic contraptions used to keep doors shut. We’re also seeing a trend in products that make these necessities less noticeable; like clear/transparent gas stove knob covers, outlet plugs and corner guards.
Still, a few baby safety companies, like Fusion Gates, are diving straight into safety products with a stylish design that is noticeable, attractive and reflective of a family’s personality. Second to safety, building in aesthetic value when possible, should be a key consideration when designing new baby safety products. Why? Because we see your living space, not as a battleground to be feared and taken over in those early years, but always as a safe, harmonious and sacred place your baby will call home for years to come.
Baby Proofing Basics
The following is an excellent list of babyproofing basics. We recommend visiting the Juvenile Product Manufacturing Association (JPMA) for a complete list!
- Not sure when to when to start the child proofing process? We recommend early in your pregnancy so you know what products you'd like to include on your baby registry.
- How do you know where to look first? When baby proofing, get on their level and think like your baby! Though it may sound silly, getting eye-level with where he or she will be will, provides you with the perfect perspective for you and your partner. It's important to have different points of view to make sure that nothing safety-related is missed.
- Obviously, you want to take care of first things first when it comes to safety hazards. Be sure to use plugs on electrical sockets and tie cords from blinds up high or change them out for cordless blinds. Be sure to remember other risky areas such as your dishwasher, tablecloths and poisonous plants.
- Babies and toddlers are curious to begin and like to explore more with all five of their senses when they become mobile. Baby safety is your priority, so make sure to take a look at every room in your home for any hazards that should be addressed and/or removed.
- Child proofing is an ongoing process and one that you are going to make sure that you keep up with even as your child grows. If your baby is starting to get on all fours, don't wait to install a safety gate on the stairways and/or entryways in your home. If everyone in your family is accustomed to them prior to actually needing them, your baby will see it as a more natural transition.
- Ready for babies 2, 3 or 4? Be sure to re-visit possible safety hazards, especially if it's been a long-time period between pregnancies or if you have moved. Even in your current home, you'll need to watch for areas that maybe aren't as secure as they were. In addition, if your baby has older siblings, you'll want to watch for small toys and things like opening cabinets, toilet seats, doors, drawers and more.
- Safest Option - Keep in mind that new products meeting current safety standards are the safest option.