How to Baby-Proof and Pet-Proof Your House
Congratulations! Bringing home your first child or pet is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. However, with that joy comes some added responsibility. Your home may have been safe for adults to live in, but there are some things that you’ll want to do to ensure that your curious baby, dog, or cat are safe from potential accidents.
In this article we will tackle some simple, albeit necessary, tasks and DIY projects to baby proof or pet proof your home. Luckily, children and pets often seem to get into the same sort of trouble so many of these items will be very similar – if not the same!
Baby Proofing Your House
Let’s start with baby-proofing your house. As a general rule of thumb, we like to recommend adhering to ‘murphy’s law’ (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong). This is especially true for babies and children as they can and WILL get into anything as they grow and become more curious of the world around them. While every home and situation will be unique – here are some general rules and items that you should take care of to make your home as safe and baby-proof as possible!
There are a lot of potential hazards when it comes to your household furniture. Things such as sharp corners / edges, unstable shelves or cabinets, lightweight electronics, etc., can all be dangerous around a child. Here are some ways you can help reduce any furniture related accidents.
- Anchoring shelves or unstable items to the wall.
- Mounting your TV on the wall / out of reach from young children.
- Investing in anti-slip rugs or underlayers.
- (If possible) replace any cornered tables with round ones or add guards to the corners.
- Remove or store away any broken or unstable items that cannot be easily fixed.
Generally, if there are any items that you as an adult can easily pull down or hurt yourself on (when you’re not careful) those items should be modified or removed / replaced.
If you have any plants in your home, you’ll just want to double check that they aren’t hazardous or poisonous in anyway. This will come in handy for pets as well. Consider moving them to places that are out of reach for a young child so that they can’t ingest, knock over, or touch them (in the case of a cactus).
Baby proof cabinets is a big one, since most people store most of their dangerous items away in drawers, cabinets, and cupboards (knives, cleaning supplies, plastics, etc.) – you’ll want to make sure these are baby-proof. Investing in some new child proof hardware, locks, or removing hazardous items altogether will be imperative to creating a safe environment to your children.
Electrical Wires and Outlets
Lastly, one of the simplest and relatively cost-free ways to baby-proof your home is to hide away any loose or exposed wires so that they cannot be pull down or broken by a small child. Also invest in some baby proof outlet covers, so that small fingers or objects can’t get stuck in the electrical outlets.
Pet-Proofing Your House
Bringing home your new puppy or kitten (or older dog / cat) can be just as big of an undertaking as a new child. In many ways, a pet is just a baby that will never grow up. This is why it’s imperative that you create a safe environment and home for your pet. As mentioned in the intro, babyproofing and pet-proofing your home often go hand-in-hand since they seem to get into the same amount of trouble, so you may see a lot of overlap in the points below:
While your home furniture may not pose the same impending risk on your pets as it may for a child – there are still some preventative measures you can take to ensure that you protect your possessions and your pets from accidents.
- Consider investing in a pet proof couch cover to ensure that it remains free from rips and scratches.
- Pet proof furniture covers for chairs, beds, tables, etc.
- Pet proof carpets or anti-slip mats
- Remove or anchor unstable shelves, tables, chairs, etc., to the wall as your pet may jump on them causing them to fall over.
While many plants that are safe for humans, they can be very toxic for your pets. Whether they are inside your home or outside, you’ll want to be sure to remove them or put them completely out of reach from your pets. Common household plants such as Lilies, Cyclamen, Ivy, Oleander, Tulips, Aloe, Poinsettia are all highly toxic to pets. Check out the ASPCA’s website for a much larger list of potentially toxic plants.
Cabinets and Garbage Cans
Much like children, your pet may want access into your cabinets, cupboards, and (for some reason) your garbage cans. In most cases, your pet may steer clear of any harmful cleaning products as the scent may drive them away – but just in case it would be best to upgrade the hardware on your cabinets with magnetic locks. This will ensure that your cabinets stay sealed, and your pet cannot easily pry them open. Additionally, your pet may also like to get into – or eat out of – your garbage cans. We recommend either storing them underneath your sink or investing in some pet proof garbage cans so they can’t get into them.
Electrical Wires and Cords
Another hazardous point is your electronics, your pet may want to play with any hanging cords or get tangled in them causing your items to fall over and break. Wherever possible we recommend either tucking your cords away, investing in some cord sleeves, or unplugging and putting away any unused items.
Balconies, Doors, and Windows
One of the biggest hazards in your home are your exit points. Depending on where you live, (apartments or houses) your pet may be at risk of accidently falling and getting injured, or worse. If you should invest in some pet proof screens or pet proof screen doors so that they can enjoy the outside air without being at risk of falling out. While you shouldn’t let your pet access the balcony just due to how dangerous it is - we still strongly recommend that you create a barrier or screen around the entire balcony to prevent your pet from climbing up and falling over in case they get access to it by accident.
Now that we’ve covered how to baby-proof and pet-proof your home, there’s one final topic to discuss – storage. If there were items in your home that you wanted to keep for any reason, financial, sentimental, later-use, etc., you don’t have to get rid of them. At Go Mini’s we provide portable storage containers and long-term storage solutions to our customers so that they can safely tuck away all their extra possessions until they’re ready for them again (say when your child grows).
Our team of expert and professional drivers can drop a portable container off right on your driveway so that you can load your furniture and possessions at your own pace. From there, we can either leave it with you or store it in our secure facility until you’re ready for it again in the future!