Children can catch us off guard. A newborn or family visiting from out of town, and you find yourself feeling stressed as you try to make your home safe. Fortunately it doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. There are simple preparations you can take to childproof your home. Read on for some helpful tips, and at the end of this post you can print a free checklist for when you childproof your home!
Now you can do what I do, and that is actually get on your knees and wander through the house so you can get their perspective. Remember, children are smaller than adults. They see the world from a completely different point of view. So get within their scope, and figure out what they can reach and what may look tempting for them to play with. (Yes probably everything!). This will help you figure out what you need to do to childproof your home.
Before we get too far, let me say that no matter how fancy the “gadgets” get to help keep your child safe. The absolute best mechanisms for child safety are your eyes, ears, and attention.
ChildProof Your Home, 11 Tips
- It is very important to address what they could have immediate access to that is at their level. I am talking about the cupboards that are below the bathroom and kitchen sinks. There are cleaning products full of chemicals that you want to keep out of reach. If you have visitors, it isn’t difficult to temporarily move these items to a different place of storage. Regardless if you move the products or not, I would still recommend that you purchase a childproofing mechanism to keep children from getting into those cabinets.
- Install a toilet latch to keep children out of the porcelain throne as some of the younger ones are top heavy. You can set your water heater thermostat to max out at a temperature so faucets won’t scald or burn a child. I am also a huge fan of a childproof mechanism on door handles to prevent them venturing into the bathroom in the first place.
- What gets used in bathrooms? Hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners etc… I cannot stress enough in being diligent to properly putting these items away after use. Accidents with hot and electric items are unnecessary.
- What else is at or near the eye-level of children? Electrical outlets! First you might think, “I can get those plastic covers that plug in to the outlets.” Yikes! Those are small items that could end up in a child’s mouth! I would recommend that you actually replace the outlet covers with a sliding latch version that keeps accessible outlets covered. You can find a lot of safe outlet options here: Outlet Covers At Home Depot.
- Put mechanisms on doors to any rooms you do not want children having access to. Commonly this includes bathrooms and the garage. In living spaces and dining rooms, tables or other décor with sharp corners are common. There are plenty of products available that you can put on these items to soften those corners. You can also make sure that furniture is secure. Too many accidents happen every year where furniture tips over and falls on children.
- In the kitchen, be thorough in making sure that knives and glass dishes are securely stored. I know this is obvious but it is worth making note of. Also in the kitchen, try to just use the back burners on the stove. Be sure to keep handles turned away from children reaching up at them.
- Let’s not forget that if your home has stairs, get gates for both the top and bottom. It is best to not only keep children from falling down the stairs, but to also prevent them from playing on them period.
- Working in real estate, it is too often that we come across smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with dead batteries. Smoke detectors should be installed in every room, and whether needed or not the batteries should be replaced annually.
- When you have guests, make sure that purses and bags are stored away from the reach of children. Perhaps on the upper shelf in the coat closet? We never know what medications, lighters, cosmetics etc… are inside those bags that can be harmful to the curious child.
- Do you have a pool or another situated body of water on your property? Take this seriously! A properly installed gate system is a must in securing this area when you aren’t able to keep an eye on the young ones.
- As always, maintaining proper cleaning habits go a long way as well. Especially with toddlers and infants living on the floors! It doesn’t hurt to maintain those cleaning habits so that the children grow up with those habits themselves. Just consider the teenage years the, “Dark Ages.”
This is to be considered a quick rundown on ways you can childproof your home. There are always new ideas and new ways to keep your home safe for small children. Hopefully this article provides a starting point and you are able to childproof your home in your own way!
Do you do anything else to childproof your home? Let us know in the comments!
Here is your free ChildProof Your Home Checklist!
Latest posts by Matt Quanstrom (see all)
- Walnut Creek Real Estate Market Report, January-March 2017 - April 4, 2017
- Concord Real Estate Market Report; January-March 2017 - April 4, 2017
- Walnut Creek Real Estate Market Report February 2017 - February 24, 2017