Childproofing 101: Making Your Home a Safe Place for Kids


Parents often worry endlessly about how to protect their children from the harmful elements of the outside, such as violence or abduction, that they fail to overlook one huge threat that can befall on their child: their own home. According to statistics, unintentional injury—which may be because of burns, falls, drowning, and poisoning—leads as the cause of morbidity and mortality among American children.

This should encourage people to ask themselves: is their child safe in their own home? If you’re having second thoughts, you can start childproofing your home by applying the following tips.

Take a Baby’s-Eye View

The best first step to take when childproofing your home is to scope out the territory through the perspective of your child. This means you may have to get down on your knees and to see how things look from there. Check out what’s within reach that may fall or which spaces your baby may get into. You’ll have to check every once in a while, as your child grows and starts walking and climbing sooner than later.

Keep or lock away any hazard substances and objects, such as cleaning products, medications, or cutlery, far from your baby’s reach. Even seemingly harmless substances like beads, paper clips, or coins should be off any table or furniture, as your baby can easily choke on them. Once you see your home the way your child does, you will be surprised to discover more things that can potentially be harmful to your little one.

Cover Electrical Outlets

Make sure to protect your child from electrocution by covering all electrical outlets at home. However, don’t rely on removable plug-in caps as they can easily be swallowed by your child. In this case, you can use a safer alternative, such as ones that have a sliding safety latch.

There are different ways that you can childproof your outlets, but you can also just block off any access to them by covering them with furniture. This way, you can protect your child from harm even when an outlet is used.

Be Careful with Furniture

You’ll want to be careful with the placement of fixtures and furniture around your home, though. Many children’s injuries are caused by furniture and appliances falling on them. To keep your kids safe, push back any appliances away from the edge of furniture, and secure them well.

Also, place heavier items on bottom shelves or drawers to keep your furniture less heavy on the top and less prone to falling over. Position floor lamps so that they are behind furniture to keep your babies from easily knocking them over. Moreover, cover all sharp corners in your furniture with child-safe bumpers as additional precaution.

Making the Bathroom Safe

Bath time is often an enjoyable time for your child, which is why it is highly important that this space is safe for him. Aside from installing safety latches on your medicine cabinets and drawers, you can childproof your bathroom by installing toilet locks to keep the lids closed. Children can drown even with one inch of water, and since they are more top-heavy than adults are, they can easily fall into the toilet when they happen to lean on it.

Meanwhile, older kids, who are curious about everything, can get something stuck in your toilet more often. This can cause the water to stagnate (emit foul odor) and eventually overflow, and children may slip while walking into the bathroom.

If you don’t have any know-how about plumbing, you can have a macerating upflush toilet installed instead. This type of toilet spares you the hassle of complex demolition or plumbing, and can be installed in just a few hours. Toilet waste will be ground into a pulp, so you won’t have to worry about clogging.

Always Think of Safety

Don’t wait until your baby learns to crawl and climb before ensuring that they are protected within your home. These might just be simple pieces of advice, but they can mean a lot to your child’s safety.

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I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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