A Simple Babyproofing Plan for Parents on a Budget

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The challenging economy can certainly cut into family budgets, but safety is no place to scrimp. Instead, take a tip from the childproofing pros and create a babyproofing plan to address the basic safety needs in your home--without overspending on unnecessary items.

Childproofing is not difficult or even too costly when parents start with a plan

Parents of small children are certain to feel the pinch of soaring fuel prices and the related higher costs of, well--everything. From diapers to formula, not to mention all other necessary "stuff," meeting little ones' needs can quickly strain a household budget.

Don't expect relief from spending woes on the home safety aisle, either. Shelves burst with products to solve every perceived home hazard, with numerous choices among each type of item. The selection alone can leave budget-minded parents feeling strapped before spending a cent.

Happily--and remember this when shopping--you don't need everything. Take a budget-friendly tip from babyproofing professionals; address the baby safety basics first, then add selected safety products to meet specific needs.

Krista Fabregas, founder of KidSmartLiving.com, an online resource for professional-quality babyproofing and kid-friendly home products, offers safety-stressed parents relief with tips and handy worksheets to help plan and budget for childproofing.

"Childproofing is not difficult or even too costly when parents start with a plan," says Krista. "Doing a room-by-room assessment before shopping--just like a professional babyproofer would do--gives them an accurate list of the types of products needed, correct quantities, and measurements for items such as baby gates and furniture padding."

Following a plan, you should expect to spend between $150 and $350 to childproof an average three-bedroom, one-story home. This includes securing child-accessible drawers and cabinets, interior doors, heavy and sharp-edged furniture, major appliances, electronics, blind and drapery cords, electrical outlets, and toilets.

Childproofing solutions for areas like stairways, open landings, fireplaces, wood stoves, and second-story windows generally come with a higher price tag. But, Krista says, costs can be minimized--and frustration avoided--by having good information at your fingertips when shopping.

"Parents can select the right items the first time when armed with accurate measurements and details about the areas being childproofed," says Krista. "Buying extra extensions or the wrong type of installation kit costs both money and time--or worse, causes frustrated parents to put off securing critical areas, like the top of the stairs, possibly endangering their child."

You can assess your home's childproofing needs and create a time- and budget-saving shopping list with these free child safety worksheets from KidSmartLiving.com: Baby Safety Gate Checklist and Worksheet, Childproofing & Safety Items Checklist, and Child & Family-Friendly Home Checklist.

While you might be comfortable covering only the basics when childproofing, some parents may want to invest in additional safety products such as hot water tap guards, stove guards, electrical cord covers and door alarms, to name a few.

"Once the basics have been covered, parents can identify additional safety needs unique to their home or their own comfort level," says Krista. "Selected purchases to meet specific needs are usually easy to budget for and almost always worth the added peace of mind."

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Deann Boran
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