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Getting ready to host an infant or toddler in your home

Do you have young nieces or nephews? Do you have friends who have recently had a baby? If you are likely to have a baby or your toddler home in the near future, it is important that you baby-proof or toddler-proof your home. You may be frustrated by this guidance, after all it is not you who has decided to have a baby or toddler, so why should you be expected to rearrange your home for someone else’s child? The short answer is that if you fail to make reasonable efforts to keep a guest infant or guest toddler safe in your home, you may be held accountable for your failure in court.

Although it is relatively rare that a loved one would sue another for premises liability, this kind of legal occurrence is not unheard of. Therefore, it is important to either meet with infants and toddlers outside of your home or to adequately protect them from harm while they are visiting your property.

One of the most beneficial things you can do is to get down on your hands and knees and view your home from the point of view of a baby or toddler. This change of perspective will allow you to assess which possessions can easily be pulled off tables and shelves, what kinds of sharp objects may be within reach and what other hazards may threaten the safety of your youngest visitors.

This exercise may be frustrating, but it is a necessary one. Without taking steps to ensure the safety of visitors of all ages, you leave yourself vulnerable to potential personal injury claims.

Source: FamilyDoctor.org, “Child Safety: Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby,” Accessed Jan. 2014

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