Childproofing your home is an important part of keeping your kids safe. Unfortunately, with each new stage of your child’s development, new dangers arise on the homefront that you have to guard against. It’s important to childproof each room of your house for each stage of your child’s growth (see below). Your home can be a safe and healthy place for your child, but many dangers are easily overlooked.
Quick Tips from the Experts
- Give your house a “crawl test” to check for unseen dangers. By going from room to room yourself, you have your child’s point of view and dangerous objects are easier to spot.
- Don’t call medicine “candy.” Many parents will use this tactic to get a stubborn child to take a dose, but experts say it could mislead a child to take other medicines they accidentally get their hands on.
- Always have the number for Poison Control handy: 800-222-1222.
- Keep your children from seeing you unlock doors and drawers or open safety latches. They can learn from watching you.
- Keep dog and cat dishes away from your child’s play area.
- Keep watch for small objects in reachable distances of your child. This includes food, buttons, and other objects kids can choke on.
- One study shows that parents with childproofed homes don’t need to say “no” as frequently because all dangerous objects are out of reach and children are in safe play areas.
Different Rooms to Baby Proof: Basics
- Living Room: Anchor down TVs and all light or loose furniture (lamps, bookcases) that could fall, topple over, or be pulled down.
- Your bedroom: Same as with living room, but also latch all drawers.
- Nursery: Before using a new crib, make sure all screws are tight and that rails are no wider than 2 3/8 inches wide.
- Bathroom: Latch the toilet cover and low cabinets and keep medicines and all dangerous items out of reach.
Dangerous Areas Around the House
- Basement/ Garage
What to Buy and What to Replace
- Fit all electric outlets with outlet covers – and even keep a few in your bag. Never assume a playdate’s home is childproofed.
- Replace rubber-tipped door stops with soft door jambs to avoid a possible choking hazard.
- Make sure smoke alarms are properly placed in every room of your home and test them once a month.
Childproofing at Different Ages
- 0-6 months: Don’t underestimate your child. They may not have rolled over yet, but they will – and it will be a surprise. Make sure your child is properly secured on changing tables and in car seats.
- 6-12 months: Small items that your child can choke on are very important to watch out for at this stage. Your child has begun to crawl and any object in their path will get a taste-test.
- 1-2 years: Make sure everything is properly anchored down or out of reach. Your child will have begun to stand and will pull on anything and everything to hold themselves up.
- 2+ years: Pad the corners of coffee tables and low furniture. Keep external house doors locked. Everything that can be opened will get opened.