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How to Childproof Your Home

sidefeature_childproofingDo you have a little one at home who is just becoming mobile? I mean – starting to crawl around at a speed you didn’t think was possible and increasing the danger of getting to where baby should not be? I am hearing that my adorable grandson Jaxson is in that stage (and it was just yesterday that I held the little bundle weighing just over 8 lbs.in my arms!) So for all of you who have the similar situation on your hands, I have put together this article on what you need to do to prevent potential injuries and eliminate dangers lurking in your home:

How to Childproof Your Home:

Here is a little test you may want to partake in – take a crawl through your home on your hands and knees. Remember that kids will explore their everyday environment so it will be very important to check out things from their perspective.Household injuries are one of the top reasons children under the age of 3 are brought into hospital emergency rooms and nearly 70% of the children who die from unintentional injuries at home are 4 years old and younger. Supervision is the best way to prevent injuries – but even the most watchful parents cannot keep kids completely out of harm’s way every second of the day.

Here is shopping list for you to take along when you go a visit your local grocery or hardware store to buy safety items for childproofing your home:

  • Anti-scald devices for water taps (these will need to be installed by a plumber)
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors (for in or near all sleeping areas)
  • Corner and Edge Bumpers (for furniture and fireplace corners)
  • Door knob covers and Door Locks (to prevent children from leaving the house and entering rooms that haven’t been childproofed)
  • Door stops and door holders (to protect children’s fingers from getting caught in doors and hinges)
  • Outlet covers and outlet plates (make sure kids can’t easily remove them and that they are large enough so that kids can’t choke on them if they do take take them out)
  • Safety gates (use the ones that are screwed into walls only)
  • Safety latches and locks (for kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers_
  • Window Guards (make sure you use the kind that allows for at least one window to be used as fire escape)

What to Childproof

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before deciding what to childproof in your home:

Walls and Floors:

Are the walls in good condition with no peeling or cracking paint?

Are rugs secured to floors or fitted with anti-slip pads underneath?

Furniture:

Are bookshelves and other furniture secured with wall brackets so they can’t be tipped over?

Is there protective padding on any corners of coffee tables, furniture and counter tops that have sharp edges?

Have you checked that all used or hand-me-down equipment hasn’t been recalled?

Stairways:

Are there hardware mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of every stairway?

Are stairways clear of tripping hazards, such as loose carpeting or toys?

Have you places a guard on banisters and railings if your child can fit through the rails?

Doors and Windows

Have you installed a finger pinch guard on doors?

Have you removed the rubber tips from all door stops or installed one piece door stops?

Have you placed door knob covers on doors so that your toddler won’t be able to leave the house?

Do all glass doors in the house contain decorative markers so they won’t be mistaken for open doors?

Do all sliding doors have childproof locks?

Are there safety bars or window guards installed on upper story windows?

Are windows blinds cords tied with clothes pins or specially designed cord clips?

Heating and Cooling Elements:

Are all radiators and baseboard heaters covered with childproof screens if necessary?

Have gas fireplaces been secured with a valve cover or key?

So all working fireplaces have a safety screen?

Have any chimneys been cleaned recently?

Are electric space heaters at least 3 feet from beds, curtains or anything flammable?

Emergency Equipment and Numbers:

Have you places a list of emergency phone numbers near each phone in your home?

Are there fire extinguishers installed on every floor and in the kitchen?

Do you have an emergency ladder for the upper floors of your home?

Are there smoke detectors on each floor of your home?

Have smoke detectors been installed in the hallways between all bedrooms of your home?

Have you tested all smoke detectors within the past 6 months?

Have you changed batteries within the last 6 months?

If you cook with or heat your home with natural gas or have an attached garage, have you installed carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home?

Electrical:

Are all unused outlets covered with wall plugs?

Are all major appliances grounded?

Are all electrical cords in the house properly insulated (no broken or exposed wiring)

Have cords from lamps been bound with twist ties or special spools designed to hide extra cord?

Are there hazards, such as overloaded electrical sockets pr electrical wires running under carpets?

Are television, computers and stereo equipment positioned against the walls?

Kitchen:

Are knives, forks, scissors and other sharp tools in a drawer with a childproof latch?

Have you installed a dishwasher lock so that your child can’t reach the breakable dishes, knives and other dangerous objects?

Have you installed a stove lock?

Are chairs and step stools positioned away from the stove?

Have knob protectors been placed on the stove knobs?

Are all pot handles on the stove turned inward or placed on back burners where your child can’t reach them?

Are any bottles containing alcohol stored out of reach?

Are all garbage bags and sandwich bags out of reach?

Are refrigerator magnets and other small objects out of reach?

Are any cords or wires from telephones and small appliances out of reach?

Are child proof latches installed on all cabinet doors and drawers?

Child’s Room/Bedroom:

Does your baby’s changing table have a safety belt?

Are crib slats less than 2-1/2″ apart?

Is the crib headboard and foot board free of cut outs?

Is the crib mattress firm and flat and does it fit snugly in the crib?

Do lids on toy chests and toy containers have a lid support to keep them from slamming shut?

Has a window guard been placed on the window?

Are any night lights in the room not touching curtains, bedspreads or any other fabrics?

Does your child have flame retardant sleepwear?

Have you removed all drawstrings from your child’s clothing?

Adult Bedroom:

Are all medication bottles, coins, scissors and any other small or sharp objects out of reach?

Are windows blinds and curtain rods tied with clothespins or specially designed cord clips?

Bathroom:

Is the thermostat on the hot water heater set below 120F?

Are razor blades, mail scissors and other sharp tools st red in a locked cabinet?

Are childproof latches installed on all drawers?

Do the outlets have grounded circuit breakers?

Are toilets always left closed and is there a toilet lid lock on the toilet?

All all hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors unplugged when not in use?

Are there no skid strips on bottom of the bathtub?

Are there no slip pads under loose rungs to hold them securely to the floor?

Are all prescription and non prescription medications, cosmetics and cleaners stored in a locked cabinet?

Are bottles of mouthwash, perfumes,hair dyes, hair sprays, nail and show polishes and mail polish removers stored in a locked cabinet?

Garage and Laundry Area:

Are all tools and supplies used for gardening, automotive and lawn care stores in a locked container?

Are all hazardous automotive and gardening products in a locked area?

Are recycling containers out of reach?

Are all bleaches, detergents and any other cleaning supplies out of reach?

Outdoors/Backyard/Pool

Are all walkways and outdoor stairways well-lighted?

Are all walkways clear of toys, objects or anything blocking a clear path?

Are all sidewalks and outdoor stairways clear of concrete cracks or missing pieces?

Are all garbage cans securely covered?

Are all swing sets or other outdoor equipment securely fastened?

Is the surface beneath swing set soft enough/cushioned with material such as sand, mulch, wood chips or approved rubber surfacing material to absorb the shock of falls?

Are all outdoor toys put away in a secure, dry place when not in use?

Is there climb-proof fencing at least 4 feet high on all sides of the pool and does the fence have a self-closing gate with child-proof lock?

Have all ladders been removed from an above ground pool when not in use?

Other Safety Issues:

Have you removed any potentially poisonous houseplants?

Have you instituted a no-smoking rule in your home?

If there are guns in the home, have they been placed in a locked cabinet with the key hidden and ammunition locked separately?

Do you always supervise your child when around pets, especially dogs?

I am sure that if you go through all of these points, you will give yourself a peace of mind that you have done everything possible to prevent accidents and possible injuries to your little one! And if you have comments, more ideas or suggestions, please let me know – your input is always welcomed!

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About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

2 comments
Swing sets Australia - June 3, 2010

Thanks for your post. It is really helpful especially for the family with kids. The shock-absorbing surface is very important for underneath swing sets. And material of swing set is important for safety as well.

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kids furniture wall units - April 4, 2010

kids outdoor furniture: KidKraft Octagon Table with Striped Umbrella & 4 Stool Setkids outdoor furniture: Enjoying the outdoors is very important for children. Your kids can picnic outside every day with this outdoor dining set! This octagon table is complemented by a fun, striped canvas market umbrella and 4 wooden stools, all ….

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