Child Proofing Basics

Home Repair & Maintenance
BY Jameson Coffey ON Feb 03, 2017

Emergency Room personnel can testify to the fact that most serious child injuries could
be prevented. Following the ideas in this article could prevent your child from injuries,
both small and big and save you worrisome trips to the emergency room. Not only that,
but following the following strategies will add to your peace of mind. Once you know that
your child can play safely in any room of the house, you can relax and more fully enjoy
your child’s early years.

In all Rooms:

Wherever your child has access, examine carefully for any safety hazards.
- Cut all blind cords, a strangling hazard, and replace them with safety tassels or
inner cord stops.
- Cover all unused electrical outlets with sliding covers so that little fingers can’t
poke inside.
- Check the stability of furniture! A flat screen TV not secured to the wall with
brackets could tip over. Shelves and drawer chests also should be attached to
the wall with safety brackets unless they’re stable enough to withstand little
people pulling or climbing on them. Check whether chairs can topple easily. If so,
replace them with stable chairs.
- Remove all glass and breakable objects. If you must display some tchotchkes in
your living room, make sure your child cannot climb to reach them.
- Install window guards and make sure children have nothing to climb on near
- Keep plants out of reach. Make sure that all your houseplants are of non-toxic
- Switch to cordless phones.
- Check your doorstops. Some of them have removable caps that can create a
choking hazard; replace them with child-safe stops.
- Keep all remote controls out of reach of your child. The batteries pose a burn
- Use wall-mounted baby gates at the base and at the top of all stairs. Spring-
mounted gates do not present sufficient security. When you purchase baby
gates, look for a written statement that they’re appropriate for stairs.
- Secure electrical cords with electrical or Velcro tape. When you use small
appliances, such as toasters, irons, curling irons, make sure the cords don’t
dangle where baby can pull them.
- Ensure that all your rugs are skid-proof.
- Keep items with button batteries out of reach: key fobs, calculators, musical
cards and other small electronics. These are dangerous to children when
- Attach cushioned corner guards or edging to furniture with sharp corners and
edges, such as coffee tables.

The Entranceways

It only takes a minute to fall asleep on the couch, especially if you’re a busy parent!
Use locks or safety latches to prevent a child’s hasty escape.

Child Off-Limit Areas

It’s a good idea to completely block off access to some areas of your home that contain
more dangerous items.
- A garage or toolshed where there are sharp tools and dangerous or messy
liquids, such as cleaners or paints. A lock can keep your child out of this area.
- A cupboard for cleaning supplies. And while we’re on this topic, aim to keep

cleaning supplies as non-toxic as possible. Also, keep truly poisonous supplies
far away, for example, in the basement or garage.
- Your office where a little person can pull cords to printers or monitors, or pull a
drawer open only to result in a filing cabinet toppling over. (This is not so hard for
a child to do!) If you want to let your child play in your office so you can work
while you supervise, how about placing a playpen in the corner?
- The bathroom, unless you’re with your toddler.

Your Child’s Bedroom

- Install a baby monitor so you can keep tabs on signs of distress
- Make sure your crib or child’s bed meets current safety standards.
- Place a rug on the floor to soften falls.
- Put your child’s toys in a safe toy box – one without a lid.
- Stretch your infant’s sheets tightly.
- Don’t use stuffed pillows, quilts or animals until your child can walk – they can
present a suffocation hazard.

The Bathroom

- Install a safety latch on your bathroom door so your child cannot gain access to
it, and remember to keep the door closed.
- Keep your water heater temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. This
way, your child will not be able to scald herself in the bathtub.
- Make sure that your shower curtains can withstand the weight of a small child so
he cannot pull it down on top of him.
- Check to see that all cleaning supplies, medicine, bathroom products, toiletries
and cabinets are above a child’s reach or in a locked cabinet.
- Place a child safety guard on the toilet.

The Kitchen

- Turn all pot and pan handles away from the front of the stove when you cook so
that they cannot be pulled down or knocked over. In fact, aim to use only the
back burners of the stove while your child is very young.
- Place all containers with hot food toward the back of the counter so they’re out of
reach. This goes for tea and coffee too!
- Install appliance knob covers on your stove so that little fingers cannot turn them.
- Install a safety cover on the garbage disposal. This not only prevents possible
injury, but also the mysterious disappearance of some of your belongings.
- Attach safety latches or locks to any drawers or cabinets with sharp utensils or
breakable items.
- Keep all breakable dishes and glassware out of your child’s reach.
- Don’t place your infant in a baby bouncer or car seat on the counter top! When a
child wiggles, so does her seat. Instead, place the seat on the floor.
- Store plastic bags out of reach. According to the Home Safety Council, choking
and suffocating are the number one cause of accidental death of infants.
- Use the buckle on your child’s highchair! It is there to keep your child safe. It’s
amazing how those wiggly bodies can slide through tight spaces.
- Apply only toy magnets approved for children onto your refrigerator. High-
powered magnets, if swallowed, can pose a danger to young children.

The Backyard

- Make sure your shed is securely locked.
- If you have a pool, install a five-foot-high fence around it and make sure the gate
has a lock that meets safety standards.
- If your child plays in a kiddie pool, make sure an adult watches at all times.

General Safety

Make sure your home meets general safety standards:
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors work and that
you have them on each floor of your home.
- Check that all bedroom windows can open.
Taking care of all the items on this list will help keep your child safe and free from
serious injury, so you can worry less and enjoy more the precious time with your young

By: Larry Grenier


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