If you’re moving into a new apartment there are, of course, many things on your mind. Will this place feel truly like home? Are my neighbors nice? Are there amenities? What about the location? On and on, the list goes. However, there is one more thing you should consider, especially if you’re a parent: how can I make sure my apartment is safe for my child? It may not be as simple as locking your kitchen cabinets. In fact, you’ll want to make sure to proof more than just one room of your apartment: bathroom, nursery, kitchen, and living room.
- Always test the water temperature before placing a baby in the tub.
- Safeguard from slips and falls by using nonslip mats in and out of the tub, as well as on any hard-surface floors near the bathroom.
- Store medicines and supplements in an out of reach area; think about investing in a lockable medicine safe.
- Keep the flat-iron cord (or any other appliance cord) out of a baby’s reach to avoid burns or other possible harm.
- In 2014, the U.S. unrolled new crib safety standards which included prohibition on drop-side cribs. Additionally, make sure your crib’s slats are 2 3/8 inches (or less!) apart.
- Remove all bumpers, blankets, pillows and stuffed animals from a baby’s crib. Often, babies like to chew on their stuffed animals, which can often act as choking hazards. Mobiles with small hanging parts should come out as soon as a baby can pull herself or himself upright.
- Do not use plastic outlet covers as they are proven choking hazards, so consider sliding covers instead.
- A baby monitor is a must-have, but keep any cords tightly wound and always away from the crib, or choose a cordless monitor.
- Store toys in an open toy box so there’s no lid to slam a baby’s fingers.
- This may depend on the age of the child, but you may want to consider installing a gate to keep children out of the kitchen when you’re cooking a meal.
- Familiarize yourself with the location of the fire extinguishers in the common hallways. Go over a plan of action with your family if the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector (in apartments with interior heaters and hot water heaters) sounds, the building fire alarm sounds. Smoke alarms and fire alarms are not connected to the fire department. Make sure you are safely away from the building, and then call 911. If you need more information on the various protection devices in your apartment, call the office and arrange for maintenance to review the location and type of devices within your home and building.
- Under-sink cabinets are a typical place to store cleaning products. You need to move these products out of a baby or toddlers reach. If they are to remain in the low cabinets, invest in latches and locks, and always keep the cabinet doors securely shut.
Living Room Safety:
- Make sure balcony window covering cords are fastened to cleats, or well out of reach of a baby and toddler.
- Coffee tables, TV stands, even window ledges often have sharp corners that create the potential for toddlers to injure themselves. Cushion the edges with bumpers. Move breakables out of reach.
- Secure bookcases and other tall furniture to the wall with bolts or adjustable, locking furniture straps that attach to the wall, and to the object, to keep your child from pulling it over.
- Place TVs behind closed doors in an entertainment center, or mount a flat-panel model to the wall.
- Keep houseplants out of reach to avoid having your child eat leaves that may be harmful.
- If your apartment comes equipped with a balcony or patio door, make sure to keep the sliding door locked at all times. Also, make sure not to leave the door cracked open so that the only barrier between your child and the balcony is the screen.