How to Childproof a Home
Before bringing a child into your home, it is important that you make your home safe, and always childproof each room.
- Install safety latches on all cabinets to keep children away from any household products. If you know of anything to be poisonous, make sure that it is out of reach of children and locked up.
- When using the stove, use back burners and move pot handles toward the back of the stove. This keeps the hot pots and pans out a child’s reach.
- Keep any kitchenware and appliances away from the edge of countertops and tables, so kids cannot pull them off the counter.
- When answering the phone or door, take any open household products with you, or secure them before leaving the area.
- Finally, keep the poison center phone number somewhere visible. No matter how careful you are, things happen and you need to be ready if something does.
- Just like in the kitchen, make sure to install safety latches on cabinets and drawers to keep children away from any household products.
- If you have any medicines in your bathroom, keep them in their original packages, and ask your pharmacist for childproof containers.
- Install toilet locks to keep your toilet lids closed. It is easy for small children to fall right in, and children can drown in just one inch of water.
- Unplug any hair dryers and electric rollers after you use them to prevent the risk of electrocution.
- Install anti-scalding devices to your faucets and shower heads. This helps prevent burns. Additionally, setting your heater thermostat to 120 degrees instead of 140 can be very beneficial, as it takes a child three seconds to get a burn from water that is 140 degrees.
The Living Room
- Keep candles and matches out of reach. It’s possible for a child to accidentally light a match and start a fire. If they get a hold of a candle and chew on it, they can choke on the wax.
- Any photo frames should be kept high up and out of reach. If the photo frame falls, the glass can shatter, even on a carpeted floor.
- Make sure that your television is mounted. If your child tries to climb the TV stand, it’s possible that the set can fall on them. If your TV is mounted to the wall or on a mounted stand, anchor it to the wall too for extra protection.
- Your fireplace should be covered with heat-resistant gates, which keeps the gates cool while you are burning a fire. If you have any sharp edges on your fireplace, cover them with pads to prevent injuries. While the fireplace is not being used, make sure that the doors are locked and any tools are out of reach.
- Be sure that your child’s crib is set up correctly. If your child can sit up, lower their mattress. Stuffed animals can pose a suffocation risk for babies, and can also be used as a stepping stool for children who want to get out of their crib.
- Windows should have a guard, making sure that they only open about three inches.
- Window blinds should be cordless. Looped cords pose a strangle risk for children, and in fact, more than 200 children have died from looped cords since 1990.
- Anchor the dresser, or any heavy furniture, to the wall.
General/Around The House
- Safety gates should be used at the top and bottom of staircases, and in the doorways of any rooms with hazards.
- Use doorknob covers to keep children away from/out of rooms or areas with hazards, but make sure that these devices are easy for adults to use as well, in case of emergencies.
- As we mentioned before, make sure that windows don’t have looped cords.
- Place furniture away from high windows.
- Put corner bumps on furniture and any other “pointy” items to prevent injuries.
- Cover any unused electrical outlets with safety caps or outlet protectors. If you have any outlets near a water source, make sure they are updated with ground fault circuit interrupters, which will cut off electric currants if an appliance falls into the water.