Emergencies happen in homes every day all over the world, so it's best to be prepared in case one happens to you.

Emergency Readiness Checklist

When you hear the word "emergency" when thinking about your baby or child, good feelings do not ensue. No parent really wants to think about the reality of an emergency potentially occuring, especially when it involves their children. But, as a parent, we can only do so much to prevent accidents. Emergencies are an unfortunate reality in any home, but they're often a forgotten piece of baby proofing. It is also vital that you take the steps to prepare yourself just in case you ever find yourself in an emergency situation. The list below will help you know what you need to do to make you prepared in an emergency. It's important to note that all of these tasks are recommended regardless of how many kiddos you have in your home or what their ages are.

Emergency exit plans are critical to everyone in your family knowing what to do in an emergency.

Create Emergency Exit Plan

Create Emergency Exit Plan

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

When there's an emergency such as a fire in your home, do you know what you will do? Do you know the quickest and safest route out? Do you know a safe place where you'll meet your other family members outside if you can't escape together? Taking a few minutes to discuss a plan and draw it out isn't just for businesses and big buildings. It is a task that you should take the time to do and, if your kids are old enough, tell them about it and practice it with them. I would even test the fire alarms so they know what they sound like.

Keeping a fire extinguisher in your home, especially in your kitchen, is critical to preventing a whole house fire.

Get a Fire Extinguisher

Get a Fire Extinguisher

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

All large fires started small. Think about that for a minute. No house has ever spontaneously caught on fire all at once (explosions excluded). A candle was knocked over, dinner was burned, etc. If you're lucky enough to be around when something like this happens, having a fire extinguisher around (and knowing how to use it) could save your home and even your child's life.

Emergency exit ladders provide an easy way to add an additional escape route to the second floor of your home.

Get an Emergency Exit Ladder

Get an Emergency Exit Ladder

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

If you have a second or third floor in your home, there's a good chance you only have one set of stairs to get back to the main floor. If those stairs ever become unsafe to descend (like in a fire), how will you and your child get out? Having an emergency exit ladder gives you a second safe way to get out in an emergency. They fold up fairly small and can fit in a closet out of the way. In an emergency, they're easy to grab and latch onto an open window so you and your kiddo can get to safety.

Preparing a storm shelter area in your home ensures your family will have a comfy place to stay safe during severe weather.

Prepare a Storm Shelter Area

Prepare a Storm Shelter Area

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

Severe weather is no joke. It can sneak up quickly and cause unbelievable damage. The common advice during a severe storm is to go to the inner-most part of the house away from windows on the lowest level possible, and that's great. But did you know there's more you can do? Severe weather is dangerous and scary--especially for little ones. Consider pre-designating an area in your home as a "storm shelther area" and try to make it as comfortable as possible. Imagine taking your little one into it in a severe weather event and think about how they might feel in that space. Would you be standing in a gross space in the basement that's dark, damp, and filled with spider webs? Consider putting carpet or other comfy flooring in that space, pillows, comfy seats, books, toys, stuffed animals etc. to help ease your little one's anxiety about the storm. Be sure to include the safety items too like a a battery powered light and radio, bike helmets, etc.

Being trained in CPR and First Aid will make you better prepared should you encounter a medical emergency at home.

Get Trained in CPR & First Aid

Get Trained in CPR & First Aid

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

If your child suffered an serious injury, illness, or other health-related emergency would you know what to do? Calling 911 should be first on your list, but what next? Starting CPR or First Aid as soon as possible might be a life-saving necessity in that situation. Getting trained and certified in CPR and First Aid is often a 1-day training, once every two years. Having it does not require you to use it in any situation where you aren't comfortable using it. But if you ever need it and have it, you just might save a life.

A list of emergency phone numbers list is always a good idea to keep readily available in the event an emergency occurs.

Make an Emergency Numbers List

Make an Emergency Numbers List

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

911 is the best number to call in any emergency. Having other helpful numbers posted in your home such as emergency contacts (including you) will help should anyone else ever be in your home with you and need to call in an emergency. Be sure to program the same numbers in your cell phone as well!

First Aid Kits are critical in being prepared for emergencies by making all of your necessary materials are in one place.

Get a First Aid Kit

Get a First Aid Kit

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

Bandaids in the cupboard work great for minor cuts and scrapes. Hopefully nothing worse than that will ever happen to you. But just in case it does, it's always a great idea to have a legitimate first aid kit on hand. You don't need a military grade kit--just something with tape, gauze, larger bandages, benedryl, etc.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors installed on every floor of your home will help protect your family from fire or poisoning.

Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

Every home should have at least one smoke detector on each floor of the home. Make sure you have one near the bedrooms in the home so they can be heard easily should they go off in the middle of the night. The same is true of carbon monoxide detectors. Once installed, make sure you change the batteries in these devices and test them twice a year.

Preparing a list of your child's medication & alergies makes it much easier to give the information to first responders.

Make List of Allergies & Medications

Make List of Allergies & Medications

  Newborn       Crawler       Toddler      Big Kid  

If you, your child, or anyone else in your home ever has a medical emergency, medical professionals will want to know if he/she has any allergies, and what (if any) medications they are taking. Having a list already made means that all you have to do is pass that list onto the medical professionals and you don't have to remember it when you're dealing with an undoubtably scary situation. 



Development Levels


  Infant    Starts at birth | Ends when first mobile, 6-10 months*

  Crawler    Starts when first mobile, 6-10 months* | Ends First independent walking | 10-14 months*

  Toddler   Starts First independent walking | 10-14 months* | Ends around 4 years old.*

  Big Kid   Starts around 4 years old* | Ends when you feel your child can operate safely in your home without special safety measures.

*Ages based on averages.
Get more Development Level information here.

Special Note

You know your home, your child(ren), and your situation the best, so please use your own judgement about what baby proofing techniques and products work for you. The tips and suggestions on this site can help you make safety decisions, but they should not make safety decisions for you.