How to Childproof Your Home
Childproofing a home is a necessary part of raising young children, and it can be a daunting task. Even for experienced parents or those with small homes, seeing the world from the perspective of a child, anticipating all the potential dangers and outsmarting the child’s persistent and curious mind can be tough. Thankfully, others have already seen it all and shared their advice. This list will help you cover some of the bases when it comes to providing a safe space for any young ones you might have or any pint-sized visitors to your home.
Install Gates & Door Handle Covers
The basics of childproofing often involve limiting a child’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 children away from staircases or specific rooms. They come in all shapes, sizes and styles and may be permanent or removable. Be sure children cannot climb, dislodge or open any gate you choose. Childproof door handle covers can stop taller children from opening doors they should not.
Covering the electrical outlets that children will be able to 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 meant as a last line of defense. Medications, cleaning supplies and other harmful substances must be secured far out of a child’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 Temperature
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 chance of 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.