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Babyproofing Your Home for the First Year


moms sitting in a circle holding babies, some babies playing on the floor


Babies are curious and once they get mobile, they can find themselves in harm's way very quickly.  That's why it's important to babyproof your home - before your little one is crawling.

REMEMBER! - Childproofing will help make your home safer and is an ongoing process. Supervising your baby is the best way to prevent injuries.Get down on your hands and knees and look all around. At that level, you'll be able to see what might attract or interest a baby. Dangers may include:

  • small objects your baby could swallow or choke on 
  • cords your baby could get tangled in
  • heavy, large or sharp items - such as flat screen T.V.'s - that a baby could pull down or climb on to
  • poisonous materials or harmful objects - these should be locked up, out of sight and out of reach.

Baby Gates

A baby gate can help keep your baby out of harm's way and give you peace of mind. It's best to get one before you need it. That way, you'll be prepared for the day when a new skill like crawling appears. Here are some tips for choosing safe baby gates:

  • Use gates manufactured after 1990.
  • Avoid accordion style or expandable gates; these are not safe. Babies can get trapped in the wide, V shaped openings along the top or diamond shaped openings along the sides.
  • Check the gate for a safety-approved label.
  • Ensure the gate has a smooth finish and is free of splinters, cracks, snags, and rough parts.
  • Make sure the gate is the right size and style for the space being blocked.
  • Use hardware mounted swing gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Do not remove them until your baby can climb stairs without help.
  • Pressure gates can be pushed over, so they are only useful in between rooms or in hallways, not for stairs.
  • Avoid raising the height of the gate by lifting it off the floor; your baby may try to crawl under it.

Resources & Links: 
HealthLink BC: Health and Safety, Birth to 2 Years
HealthLink BC: Nursery Equipment Safety Checklist

Last Updated: August 7, 2013