Caring for Infants - Babyproofing Checklist
Health & Safety

Caring for Infants - Babyproofing Checklist

by Martha Scully

​When you have just started a new nanny job, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the home before you start caring for the child(ren). Secondly, you should make sure the home is safe for the child(ren) you are caring for.

If you're caring for an infant, here are some items to check:

The Home Environment

  • Cleaning supplies: don't expose children to cleaning chemicals, as they can contribute to serious neurological problems. Opt for toxic-free instead, like white vinegar for floors and windows, and baking sode for sinks and tubs. Also, don't store them in low cabinets where children can reach them, and use lock-latches if necessary.
  • Second-hand smoke: in Canada, this is typically second nature to most, but it never hurts to be reminded. Second-hand smoke can lead to serious respiratory issues.
  • House plants: did you know that pointsettas, daffodils, and caladiums are poisonous? Remove them from a child's reach.
  • Electrical outlets: all should be in good condition, covered with outlet covers whenever possible.
  • Fire safety: every home should have working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, know where they are.
  • Pots on stove: all handles should be turned toward the back of the stove so a child doesn't pull on it.
  • Blinds: keep blind cords out of the reach of children
  • Choking: know the Heimlich maneuver for infants. Better yet, get First Aid and CPR certified !
  • Medicines: keep all medicines out of reach.
  • Stairs: use safety gates to protect from falling down the stairs
  • Unattended child:  never leave a child unattended on a bed or sofa, even if strapped into a carrier. Never leave a child alone near any water source (tub, pool, pond, etc). Use a playpen or crib to protect the infant while your attention is needed elsewhere, like a phone call.

The Crib

  • Bars should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart.
  • Railings should be at least 26 inches higher than the lowest level of the mattress support.
  • Mattress should fit snugly.
  • Pillows and bumper guards should not be used as they may lead to danger of suffocation

The Change Table

  • The table should be sturdy.
  • There should be a strap to secure the infant.
  • NEVER turn your back on the child, even if they are strapped in.

The Toys

  • Always stick to age-appropriate toys
  • Avoid toys with buttons or small objects that may be swallowed
  • Ensure that all toys are BPA safe
  • Remember that everything goes into an infants mouth; don't give any toy to an infant that will fit into their mouth.
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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.