Whether you’re having kids of your own or just hosting a family with young ones for the weekend, a properly childproofed home is essential. Seeing the world from a child’s perspective to anticipate and eliminate any potential dangers is no simple task, however. This list will help you cover many of the bases when it comes to providing a safe space for young ones in your home.
Install gates and door handle covers
The basics of childproofing often involve limiting children’s access to dangerous parts of the home or preventing them from slipping out of the house altogether. Safety gates can be installed to keep young ones away from staircases or specific rooms. They come in all shapes, sizes and styles, including permanent or removable. Be sure children cannot climb, dislodge or open any gate you select. Childproof door handle covers or lock and key door hardware can stop taller children from opening doors they should not.
Covering the electrical outlets that children can reach is perhaps the most classic childproofing task. The traditional two-pronged plug-in outlet covers are no longer recommended by safety experts as they may be pried off and can pose a choking hazard. Plate-style covers offer greater protection.
Secure harmful substances
Child-resistant product caps are only intended as a last line of defense. Medications, cleaning supplies and other harmful substances must be secured far out of children’s reach or within childproof cabinets or drawers. Existing storage can be childproofed with pricier interior magnets or locks or with simple plastic locks that fit over existing hardware.
Turn down the hot water heater
If you have a home with its own water heater, it’s a good idea to turn down the heater’s temperature to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the potential for scalds. Test your water afterwards to ensure that the hot water faucets cannot produce dangerously hot water.
Remove dangerous or fragile objects
Sharp, unstable and fragile objects as well as those that pose choking hazards are all things that typically must to be removed from a childproofed room. Padded covers and cushions are available for sharp furniture and home features ranging from table and countertop corners to doorknobs and bathtub faucets. Childproof covers are also available for appliance knobs such as oven dials. A variety of straps, anchors and “anti-tipping kits” can help prevent children from toppling dressers, bookshelves, TVs or other heavy furniture.
While this list is not fully comprehensive of all risks that every home could pose to a child, it will put you well on your way to providing a safe environment for young ones.