Apartment babyproofing checklist for visiting little ones

For most people, the holidays mean having company, which is a wonderful thing. But not all guests are the same, and some require a little more preparation than others. No, this isn’t about nit-picking in-laws or that one loud cousin you have, it’s about young children. While you might not think anything in your living space poses a danger to anyone, you should not underestimate a child’s ability to get into things. It’s smart to always take the time to do a little bit of babyproofing before kids come over. Take a look at some of the ways you can quickly and effectively make your home safer for when the kids visit.

Make potential hazards tamper-proof. Start by locking doors, such as those that lead to the outside. Opt to invest in knob protectors that can keep kids’ overactive hands from turning on the stove. And lock cabinet doors with straps that they won’t be able to unlock. After you’ve taken these precautions, try looking at your home from a child’s perspective. What might catch their eye that’s dangerous? Eliminate those hazards as best you can. Taking note of these things will also help you to inform parents when they arrive of the potential situations that they may need to be aware of.

Ensure that breakable things are out of reach. If you have fragile decorations displayed in your apartment, you may want to put some of them away when the kids arrive. Accidents do happen, but it is up to you to minimize the chances of that happening. If there is an area where you plan on having the kids play, make sure that space is clear of any delicate objects, family heirlooms,and anything else that can be broken; the less time you spend cleaning up kids’ messes, the more time you will have to enjoy with company.

Watch out for choking hazards. You may not ever think to put those decorative glass pebbles in your mouth, but little kids might not be able to resist. Put away any potential choking hazards well before anyone comes over to make sure your home is as safe as it can be.

Be mindful of electrical outlets. If you haven’t covered your electrical outlets before this gathering, do so now. Putting covers on them will keep children from trying to stick things in the socket, which is extremely dangerous. Also, tidy up any dangling power cords, as they can pose a threat to kids’ safety as well.

Add softness. Those corners and edges are no big deal for bigger kids and adults, but when little ones are visiting, they pose a real threat. Avoid having anyone bang their head on a bare table or countertop by installing “bumpers” on those pointy areas, which you can find in home improvement stores or online. Because you won’t likely have small children around all the time, opt for the kinds of protectors that can be simply stuck on and removed when the get-together is over.

Kids Visiting? How to Quickly Childproof Your Home [U.S. News & World Report]

Childproofing Your Home When Guests Visit [Homeminders]