Baby-proofing your home is a hassle–but it’s necessary if you’re going to host an infant or toddler. Parents and guardians may have made their own homes safe, but what about visiting family or staying in a hotel?
Kids like to explore their space. Sometimes, that exploration involves running at top speed or shoving things in their mouths. If you’re staying with family or at an Airbnb, look around for anything that seems even remotely precarious. Gather up the breakables and valuables, then place them somewhere kids couldn’t possibly reach.
Don’t forget to put everything back when you get ready to leave! Yes, this is a time-consuming step, but at least you won’t have to worry about destroying Aunt Vivian’s glass unicorn collection.
Your next step is to check all the possible ways to get in or out of the space where you’ll be staying. Make sure that the locks work on all the doors. Then check the windows and make sure that they are latched.
Vacation spaces often pose unique hazards. Pools and hot tubs are especially dangerous for kids. Ideally, those spaces will have additional fencing or gates to prevent kids from wandering over. Ensure that access is locked or otherwise inaccessible to unsupervised kids.
The flipside to this quick baby-proofing step are inside locks. Make sure that kids can’t lock themselves in bedrooms or bathrooms. Door knob covers are easy to pack and inexpensive–especially compared to calling a locksmith.
While you’re shopping for door knob covers, make sure to get some outlet covers while you’re at it. There’s a non-zero chance that kids will stick a finger–or another object–into those inviting little slots.
Covering outlets only takes a few moments, and the covers themselves are inexpensive. They won’t take up too much space in your suitcase, either.
To kids, the world is full of toys and fun challenges. To parents and guardians, those same objects are safety hazards. One of the most dangerous objects in any home is a dresser. Kids love to climb these pieces of furniture. Babies as young as nine months will use furniture to pull themselves up.
Tragically, it’s easy to tip over dressers. Most hotels furnish rooms with lower pieces that won’t tip. However, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and family homes could be a different story.
The best way to protect kids from furniture tipping is to install a wall anchor. That’s probably not an option for you while visiting or traveling, however. If you’re renting a place, talk to the owner about choosing a room without a tipping hazard. If they can’t accommodate you, then you need to look for someplace else to stay.
The other major hazard in most homes is the television. Wall-mounted TVs are generally safe. Sets that are merely sitting on top of a piece of furniture represent a real and immediate risk to curious toddlers. Again, talk to your host about removing the TV during your stay. This is one safety precaution that’s worth the hassle.