Childproofing a home can prove to be invaluable step in reducing risk of injury and preventing a frantic trip to the emergency room. If you’re a parent or caregiver of a young child, you should consider childproofing your home even before your child is able to crawl or walk. The same goes if you’re planning to host a young child at your home anytime soon.
There is, of course, the material aspect of childproofing your home – slipcovers over your sofa, placemats on your coffee tables, breakable items out of reach – but of considerable more importance is the safety aspect of childproofing your home.
These five childproofing tips will help make your home a safer environment for young children who are crawling or walking.
Remove poisonous products
Many poisonings happen when parents or caregivers are home, but not paying attention. Store all of the following items in a cabinet completely out of the child’s reach or keep the products in a locked cabinet with a safety latch:
- All-purpose cleaners and bleach
- Dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent
- Drain openers and toilet bowl cleaners
- Furniture polish, nail polish remover, cosmetics, mouthwash, perfume
- Medicines, vitamins and supplements, as well as alcohol
- Items in your garage like gasoline, insecticides and antifreeze
Get down to their level.
What do you see from the eye level of a 1-year-old child? Thinking like a toddler – and viewing your home at their eye level – will help you catch any additional items that could get them into trouble.
- A purse hanging from a doorknob might hold medicine or potential choking hazards. Better clean it out or keep the purse somewhere else.
- A trash container might contain spoiled food, old razor blades, or batteries. Make sure your trash has a child-resistant cover.
- Check your floors regularly for small objects, which can be choking hazards if swallowed.
Cover electrical outlets
Outlet covers and outlet plates will prevent electrical shock and possible electrocution.
Make sure the outlet protectors are secured tightly so they can’t be easily removed.
Use Anchors to Prevent Furniture From Tipping Over
Furniture, televisions, and bookcases can tip over and cause serious injuries to young children.
Anchoring your furniture and appliances to the floor or attaching them to a wall provides added security if your children attempt to climb onto them.
Use safety gates, cabinet locks, and window guards
Once you’ve secured dangerous liquids and choking hazards, it’s time to consider access. Taking the following steps will make sure children avoid rooms in the home that may be more susceptible to accidents:
- Set up safety gates to keep children from falling down stairs. Look for safety gates children can’t dislodge easily and replace older gates with V shapes that are large enough to for a child’s head and neck to become stuck.
- Use cabinet locks on any lower-level cabinets.
- Finally, take a look at our previous blog post on window guards to make sure you prevent falls from second-story windows.
No matter how much preparation you take, accidents and injuries will still happen, so be ready for an emergency by looking up the Elite Care 24-hour free-standing emergency room nearest you. Consider saving the address in your phone and posting it somewhere accessible in your home.