How to Childproof Your Home

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A grand staircase, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a sparkling in-ground pool are all attractive features when buying a new home or planning a renovation. If you have young children, however, you’ll want to ensure their safety by identifying potential hazards and making your home a safer space.

Whether your baby is a newborn or just learning to walk, it’s never too early to go ahead and prepare for all stages and ages, particularly those first few years of mobility. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to keep kids safe and prevent injuries while enjoying all the amenities your home has to offer. Here’s a comprehensive room-by-room guide on childproofing your home:

Babyproofing the Kitchen

  • Install stove and oven guards. A boiling pot on the stove or bubbling casserole in the oven may intrigue your toddler. Reduce the chances of accidental burns with a stove guard, knob covers, and oven locks.

  • Position the handles of hot pots and pans so a child can't reach up and grab them off the counter or stove.

  • Lock cabinets and drawers. Keep kids of all ages out of drawers with sharp objects, away from cabinets with smaller appliances, and out of household cleaners stored under the kitchen sink. Purchase a home childproofing kit with cabinet and drawer locks and latches, or move objects out of reach.

  • Keep choking hazards like refrigerator magnets, button batteries, and dishwasher detergent tabs away from little mouths. If your child swallows any of these, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends seeking medical attention immediately.

  • Put appliance locks on low-to-the-ground freezer drawers and dishwashers.

Bathroom Safety

  • Provide constant supervision for young children around water in the tub, sink, or toilet. Never rely on a bath seat to keep your child safe in even the shallowest tub.

  • Install a toilet safety latch. Even if you keep the door to the bathroom closed at all times, your curious toddler may venture into the room.

  • Add non-slip mats to the tub and other slick areas to prevent bumps, bruises, and falls.

  • Set your water temperature to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or install an anti-scald device on your water heater. Always check the water on your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot before you place a baby or toddler in the tub.

  • Use a faucet cover. Grab a cute silicone whale or duck to keep kids from banging their heads on the tub’s faucet.

  • Put all electrical appliances and sharp objects out of reach. Hot hairstyling tools, razors, hair-cutting scissors, and any cords should remain away from little hands.

  • Move toilet brushes. While not inherently dangerous, you probably don’t want your 2-year-old putting a toilet brush in their mouth.

  • Keep medicines locked up or out of reach.

Reducing Hazards in Common Areas and Bedrooms

  • Clear a room of choking hazards, including small toys, loose change, jewelry, and batteries.

  • Think like a toddler when taking inventory of potential hazards. If you have a rocking chair positioned near the baby’s crib, can they reach out and grab it? Are they tall enough to knock artwork off the walls above their bed?

  • Secure any furniture. Even that heavy dresser or changing table may be able to tip on its side, trapping a child beneath. Install straps that anchor furniture to the walls.

  • Choose a safe crib with a mattress that fits snugly. Keep anything out of a baby’s bed that could suffocate them. Follow the CDC’s latest guidelines for child sleep safety.

  • Never leave a baby or toddler unattended on a changing table.

  • Invest in a baby monitor for a young child’s room, and place security cameras in common areas.

  • Put door knob covers or reverse locks on a child’s door so they don’t get out and wander the house at naptime or at night.

General Childproofing Tips for Other Areas and Outside Spaces

  • Keep the washing machine and dryer doors closed at all times.

  • Store all chemicals, fertilizers, outdoor equipment, gas, oil, and industrial cleaners out of reach or locked away in the garage or shed.

  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home.

  • Soften sharp edges of countertops, fireplace hearths, and stairs with adhesive-backed padding.

  • Add plug covers to all outlets and keep cables and electronic cords out of reach.

  • Install window and door sensors around the home and understand how they work.

  • Swap out window treatments with cordless blinds or shades.

  • Use safety nets to keep kids secure while playing on interior balconies and exterior decks.

  • Add gates to the tops and bottoms of stairs for young children.

  • Add a fence or security gate around any pool or body of water and install sensors on all doors leading to the pool. When it comes to pools, hot tubs, or any water feature on your property, the more layers of protection surrounding them, the better.

  • Keep any firearms or other weapons locked in a safe at all times.

Enjoy the safe, comfortable surroundings of home with your loved ones, whether you have older children or you’re just starting your family. Visit the Brinks Home™ Smart Center for tips on how to add peace of mind with smart home technologies or contact a Brinks Home Senior Security Consultant to get started with a comprehensive home security package.

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