Innovative Baby-Proofing Techniques: Beyond Outlet Covers and Corner Guards

Having a baby or toddler brings a huge amount of joy into your home. They’re a new life, having fresh experiences in your family’s space. This is why it is so important to take comprehensive steps to keep your home a safe, secure, and positive space for them.

baby boy sitting on floor with tongue out

Photo by Ivan Samkov

Many new parents are familiar with the basics of baby-proofing a home, such as fitting outlet covers, installing corner guards, and securely storing chemicals. But new advances in technology are being made all the time. There are some fantastic innovations in tools and techniques you can adopt to enhance your child’s safety both in the home and beyond.

Smart home solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a more common part of people’s lives. Effectively, this is an ecosystem of connected smart devices that automate elements of the home or help them run more efficiently. The good news for parents is that various IoT devices can make your home not just smarter but safer.

Some of the effective tools here include: 

Smart baby monitors

Gone are the days when a baby monitor was simply a two-way radio you could use to listen to your child while they slept in another room. Smart baby monitors combine cameras, microphones, and other sensors with an app for your smartphone. On the most basic level, this allows you to look in on your child wherever you are to ensure they’re not getting into mischief. Many will also use sensors to provide more detailed information on your baby’s breathing and sleep patterns, alerting you when there are disruptions to either.

Smart locks

Once your baby or toddler starts moving around independently, the potential for accidents to occur tends to increase. This is particularly likely if they can get outside when you’re otherwise occupied. Smart locks don’t need keys but rather unlock or lock your doors via mobile apps. Installing these keeps your child from letting themselves out, but also stops unwelcome visitors coming in. You might also consider smart locks for minimizing access to rooms in the home with hazardous elements, such as the kitchen or garage.

Smart devices can be something of a financial investment. Fortunately, the technology is gradually becoming more affordable. You can also buy single devices as and when you can afford them, eventually building up a connected ecosystem that keeps your child safe as they grow.

If smart locks just aren’t an option for you, be sure to childproof dangerous areas such as your garage and yard. Make all hazardous items inaccessible to little hands, and consider safely storing things you might not think of as hazardous. 

Protection on-the-move

Baby-proofing doesn’t begin and end in the home. There are times when you’ll be out and about with your young family and it’s important to keep them safe from potential dangers there, too. Some of the innovative techniques you can adopt include the following.

Finding safe neighborhoods

When looking for a new home to buy or rent, one of the key considerations for parents is finding neighborhoods with safe play areas for their kids. There are various elements to check here, from local traffic levels to the potential to access well-maintained parks. Reviewing safety statistics—particularly crime levels and cleanliness—can also be essential to protect your kids when they’re babies and beyond. 

You can make this a little easier with some tech tools. Websites like SpotCrime and AreaVibes enable you to search locations and review different elements of safety. If you’ve already moved in, Neighbors is a mobile app by Ring that allows community members to update one another on any local safety concerns in real-time.

Investing in wearable tech

A lot more people today are incorporating wearable technology into their lives. Most often, this is in the form of fitness trackers and smartwatches. But some wearables keep your child safe when outside of the home. For babies and younger kids, tracking tech—such as the Amber Alert GPS—lets you know where your child is at all times. There are options for geofencing with many devices, allowing you to set a boundary area on an app, alerting you if your child strays outside of it.

Water safety

Water safety is a vital part of protecting babies and toddlers. There are multiple water risks in the home, from slipping in baths to drowning if they access pools unattended. Even hot tubs can present safety risks. While most tubs have slip-proof steps, those with limited mobility can still fall. The hazards can begin before your baby is born. Hot tub use isn’t recommended for pregnant women due to the risk of birth defects due to exposure to elevated temperatures. For the most part, though, water safety is about mitigating children’s access to water when unsupervised.

Technology can help you here. If you have a pool, smart alarms can alert you if your child wanders into a specified area around the pool. With a combination of sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) driven software, these systems can also detect both your child breaching the area around the pool and disturbances in the water surface. This triggers alerts, giving you the chance to respond swiftly.

It’s also wise to utilize covers for your pool or hot tub. There are now automated versions of these on the market. They tend to be more secure than manual covers, as they can’t be retracted or displaced unless someone presses and holds down a button to operate the motor.

Conclusion

Baby-proofing continues to benefit from tech advances, like smart monitors and wearable trackers. It’s important to remember, though, that tech alone doesn’t keep kids safe. Rather, they need to be paired with a sense of vigilance, looking out for potential issues and addressing any gaps. It can feel like a constant battle to protect your kids, but your efforts provide them with a positive and healthy childhood experience.

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