Are you trying to figure out how to keep your home safe for children? Read this article to learn the best childproofing tips.
Keeping a wandering toddler safe from all the dangers in your home can be overwhelming. But it’s one of the most important things you can do.
Unfortunately, around 2,000 children die from home-related injuries each year. This includes accidents like drowning, burns, falls, choking, and more. Luckily, almost all of these accidents are preventable with a few childproofing tips.
15 Childproofing Tips for Moms That Want Maximum Safety
It’s impossible to watch a child every second of the day, which is why making your home safe is so critical. The good news is that once you know what to do to childproof your home, it’s quite easy to do.
These parenting hacks will help you prepare your home so that you can relax and breathe easy.
1. Watch Out for Sharp Corners
You’ll avoid a lot of tears (and maybe a few stitches) if you cover all of the sharp corners in your home. It’s easy to do with plastic or rubber corner covers, which you can buy in many department stores or online.
It’s a great idea to get down on the floor so you can see things from your child’s level. This way, you won’t miss anything.
2. Cover Electrical Outlets
Covering outlets is one of the most well-known tips for childproofing. Toddlers love to explore and will stick their fingers in outlets if given a chance.
However, those old-school outlet covers aren’t your best option. Curious children can sometimes pull them out, creating a choking hazard in addition to the electrical issue.
Instead, consider replacing your outlet covers with safe-plates. Doing this is a bit of a hassle but is well worth the effort.
3. Adjust Your Water Heater Settings
To minimize the chances of scalding, turn your water heater down to less than 120 degrees.
While you never want to leave a child unattended around water, if they happen to get their hands on the faucet, at least you won’t have to worry about a severe burn.
4. Keep Bathroom Doors Closed
Bathrooms can be dangerous places for children. Supervision is the number one bathroom safety tip. To ensure your kids don’t wander into the bathroom unattended, always keep the doors securely closed.
Consider adding childproof door handles to every bathroom in the home. This way, as your child starts to learn how to open knobs, you can still have the peace of mind in knowing they’re protected.
5. Adjust Crib Rail Height
A shocking number of babies and children sustain injuries related to cribs and crib mattresses each year. You’ll want to make sure you adjust the rail height as your children grow to make sure they don’t get hurt climbing out.
Beware of placing items like blankets and pillows inside the crib as they can create a smothering hazard. Even breathable crib bumpers can come off and get tangled up, creating a danger. This is primarily a concern for children under 12 months of age.
6. Keep Cabinets Locked
Cleaning products, laundry pods, and other hazardous items pose a real threat. Ideally, these should be kept in a locked cabinet out of your child’s reach.
If this isn’t an option, then using adhesive cabinet locks is the next best thing.
7. Watch Out for Heavy Objects
As soon as babies start to roll, pull up, and attempt to walk, heavy objects around the home create a serious hazard. Once again, you’ll want to get down on the floor and look at things from the baby’s point of view.
Remove or secure heavy objects on shelves or cabinets, anchor furniture to walls, and secure items like televisions and lamps. You can purchase furniture straps to attach cabinets and other furniture to wall studs. Museum putty can also easily hold decorative items in place on shelves so they won’t fall and break if they’re shaken or bumped.
It’s terrible to think about, but these types of accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, even if you’re super-vigilant.
8. Secure Window Blinds
Consider removing any blinds with cords and replacing them with cordless shades or coverings with inaccessible cord options. Do not underestimate this danger! Studies show that approximately two children end up in the emergency room from window-blind related injuries every day.
Even if cords aren’t hanging down, children can get tangled up in the inside strings that hold blinds together. So do yourself a favor and get rid of them today.
9. Secure Your Stairways
Falling down the stairs is another danger you can easily prevent. Make sure you put a user-friendly gate at the top and bottom entrance. There are many options, including retractable models, those that automatically close, and more. Spend some time looking for one that has the features you want, because you’ll likely need to use it for a few years.
Try to avoid pressure-mounted gate, as there’s a chance that they can slip. You may also consider adding a transparent plexiglass barrier along railings and banisters, so children don’t try to squeeze in and get stuck.
10. Make a Small Object Tester
Especially if you have older children in the home, you’ll want to pick up a small item choking tester and teach them how to use it. This is essentially a container that indicates whether an object is small enough to pose a choking hazard. If an item fits inside, a child can choke on it.
You can turn this into a fun game by having older children test various items and make sure to keep things like Legos out of reach. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can also create the same effect with an empty toilet paper roll.
11. Install Window Guards
Nobody wants to think about their child falling out a window, but it’s a real threat. Make sure you secure all windows in the home so they can’t open more than four inches.
Even if a window has a screen, a child can lean against it and accidentally push it out. Remember that screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to support the weight of a child.
A window stop is an inexpensive device that screws into the frame and keeps the window from opening all the way. Another option is a releasable window guard, which are bars that stretch across your windows.
12. Skip the Tablecloths
Kids love to pull on tablecloths! Whether they’re just curious or they’re trying to help themselves up, one little yank can send everything on the tabletop crashing down around them. Children can be hit with heavy objects, being exposed to broken glass, and more.
13. Unplug Appliances
An unintentional tug on a cord can also send appliances, like an iron or a hairdryer, crashing down. This can lead to burns and other types of injuries. This is particularly important in bathrooms, where things like curlers or electric razors could fall in the water and create an electrocution danger.
You’ll also want to conceal cords for anything that you can’t easily unplug – like your television or other electronics. Doing this will help prevent them from being pulled down and from your child accidentally becoming entangled in them. You can do this by using cable ties, covers, sleeves, wraps, or a combination of methods.
14. Check Your Houseplants
Houseplants and children can mix, but you’ll need to take precautions. First, research every plant in your home and get rid of anything toxic. No matter how beautiful the plant is, it’s just not worth taking the chance.
You’ll also want to keep your children from digging in the dirt and getting it in their mouths. One excellent option is to cover the opening of your pots with a screen or chicken wire. This way, water and air can still get in, but little fingers will stay out.
15. Create a Safe Play Area
No matter how great of a parent you are, there are times when you need to put your child down. Whether you use a pack-and-play, cordon off a section of the room, or use something like a Jumperoo, your child must have a safe place to play where you won’t have to worry about injuries.
When you’re cooking dinner, for example, allowing your child to just crawl around on the kitchen floor can create avoidable hazards.
Ideally, you’ll want to set up something that keeps your child contained and also keeps them busy. Look for play areas that have things like lights, sounds, and music, so they’re content to keep themselves occupied while you’re taking care of other things.
Start Applying These Childproofing Tips Today
The best time to start preparing your home is right now. Once you start applying these childproofing tips, you’ll see just how easy it is to keep your little one is safe. Just a few simple precautions can give you peace of mind, and that’s priceless!
When you’re a Mom, childproofing is just the beginning! Browse through more of our blog posts for tips to help you with every stage of parenthood.