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Child Safety at Home: 7 Tips for Babyproofing and Childproofing

Child Safety at Home: 7 Tips for Babyproofing and Childproofing

Child Safety at Home: 7 Tips for Babyproofing and Childproofing

If you’re a parent, you’ve put a lot of time and worry into keeping your child safe. Even with careful planning, you may have a safety hazard hiding in plain sight. Several everyday household items can cause injury and death to babies, toddlers, and children. Childproofing your house is necessary as soon as your child starts crawling. Here are seven childproofing and babyproofing tips to improve child safety in your home.

1. Remember, Safe for Adults Doesn’t Mean Safe for Children

Many household items adults take for granted can be dangerous for infants, toddlers, and young children. While babyproofing or childproofing your house, try to look at every item through the lens of safety. For example, think about:

  • Locking the garbage can lid to prevent digging through food scraps or potentially sharp objects
  • Removing magnets from the fridge that could be a choking hazard or cause serious medical concerns if swallowed

Changing your perspective can help you keep your child safe.

2. Watch the Windows

Toddlers and preschoolers love to look out the windows. This can be a great learning opportunity but presents safety hazards. If the window is open, window screens can be easy for even young children to push out of place, creating a fall risk. Make windows safer by installing safety netting or window guards. Leave one window in every room available to use as a fire escape as needed, but keep it locked.

Cords on window blinds and coverings also pose a strangulation threat for young children. If possible, use cordless window coverings. Alternatively, make cords as short as possible and ensure there are no cord loops. The Window Covering Safety Council also offers free retrofit child safety kits to make window coverings with cords safer.

3. Set Boundaries for Child Safety

Interior and exterior doors may lead to excitement and danger for little ones. Use door locks or knob covers to keep kids inside and out of areas with hazardous materials, such as the garage or laundry room. Make sure the door locks or knob covers are sturdy but easy for an adult to open in an emergency.

Safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs help prevent falls — secure gates at the top of stairs by anchoring them to the walls with screws. Make sure your child safety gate meets current child safety standards.

4. Prevent Furniture-Related Injuries

Appliances, furniture, and TVs may not seem like a safety hazard. Still, they can tip over, potentially leading to injury or death if your little one attempts to:

  • Climb them
  • Pull themselves up on the appliance or furniture
  • Reach a high shelf or upper drawer

Install wall anchors to prevent dangerous tip-overs. These are usually included with taller furniture, like bookshelves, but they can also be purchased from hardware stores.

Sharp corners on furniture or fireplaces can also cause a safety hazard if a child falls into them. Cover sharp edges with corner and edge bumpers that attach securely.

5. Babyproof Electrical Cords and Outlets

Electrical cords and outlets may lead to shocks or electrocution. Use outlet covers or outlet plugs to prevent little ones from sticking fingers or objects into electrical outlets. Choose tamper-resistant covers or plugs that are large enough to avoid a choking risk. Keep electrical cords out of reach, and consider cord covers to prevent curious toddlers from biting or chewing on cords.

6. Practice Water Safety Indoors

Even a few inches of water can cause drowning. Use a safety latch on the toilet. Always supervise babies and young children in the bath and ensure the tub drains completely when bath time is over.

To prevent burns from hot water, either:

  • Install anti-scald valves on bathtub and sink spouts
  • Set the water heater temperature to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit

7. Childproof Cabinets and Closets

Many cleaning products pose serious child safety hazards, including burns, choking, or poisoning. Protect your children from cleaning supplies by installing a safety latch on cabinets where cleaning products are stored. If they’re kept in a closet, install a door lock or knob cover.

Keep prescription and over-the-counter medications far out of reach or locked up. Though child safety caps help keep children away from drugs, many children can figure out how to open them.

For toy storage, use open toy bins instead of a cabinet, closet, or toy box to prevent your child from getting trapped or sustaining hand or head injuries from doors or a falling toy box lid. Alternatively, choose a toy box with a spring-loaded lid support to keep the box open.

Want to learn more child safety tips? Call 307-212-7712 to make an appointment with a provider at our Pediatric Clinic.