The final papers have been signed and you're ready to move into
your new home. But before you do, do not forget to consider child
safety in the home.
Child proofing your new home should be a priority – one you can
and should complete before you move in. Child proofing does not
have to be a long and drawn out process – many home safety
products are available on the market. If you follow the seven
tips below, you can easily child proof your new house in less than
Child Proofing Tip # 1 – If It Does not Look Safe, It Probably Is not!
As a parent, you have a pretty good idea of what is and is not
safe for your child. If something looks dangerous, figure out
what you can do to make it safer. For example, staircases always
pose a danger to a young child. Why worry about your child
falling down the stairs when you can install a child safety gate
(often called a baby gate) at the top and bottom to keep your
youngster off the stairs when you're not watching?
This will not prevent the older kids from sliding down the banister
but at least it will prevent the little ones from falling down the
stairs. When installing a baby gate on stairs, make sure it is
held permanently in place. Do not use pressure-mounted gates.
While they may seem strong to you, small children can easily put
too much pressure on the gate causing it to dislodge and fall.
Childproofing Tip # 2 – Learn From Your Children.
Your children WILL find the most dangerous things in your house,
often finding things to do that you would never have considered
but that can cause serious injury. If your child gets hurt, do not
Let yourself think that your child has learned and will not do it
again. Chances are, he or she will! Thank them for showing you
the danger and do something to prevent it.
Childproofing Tip # 3 – Store all Medicines, Cleaners and Other
Dangerous Substances Out of Your Children's Reach
Move all poisonous substance out of the reach of your children.
Safety is often overlooked for convenience. If you must store any
type of cleaning substance or medicine within a child's reach, be
sure to put safety latches on your cabinet doors and / or drawers.
If at all possible, store cleaning materials and medicines out of
a child's reach and sight. The ledge of the bathtub and under the
sink ARE NOT good places to store cleaning items.
Razors are another item that can be dangerous to an unsuspecting
child. Children love to imitate adults. Do not give them the
opportunity to mimic shaving with a real razor – the results can
be very painful.
Childproofing Tip # 4 – Prevent Children from Accessing Windows
and Blind Cords
You've probably heard horror stories of children falling several
stories after pushing on a "secure" window screen or falling out
of a window a parent thought they could never reach. Children are
extremely creative and curious – they can find ways to get into,
onto and out of things you would never imagine possible.
Be sure all windows, whether screened or not, are either out of
reach of a child or securely locked. You can purchase a child
safety door lock or child safety window lock at most stores.
Blind cords are another potential hazard for both children and
pets. Cords should be wrapped up and secured out of reach a
child. You can easily wrap the cord around a hook on the wall or
even around itself and then tuck it out of sight on a curtain rod
or on the top of window blinds.
Childproofing Tip # 5 – Protect Outlets
Common outlets can be a danger to young children who like to put
things where they do not belong. When we moved into our
house, we were amused to find 128 outlets that needed to be
covered. The easiest way to protect children from an outlet is
to use a safety plug to cover each outlet. The safety plug
is inserted into the outlet much the same as you would insert a
plug. As long as the safety plug is in place, nothing can be
put into the outlet and the plugs are very difficult for children
Childproofing Tip # 6 – Child Toy Safety
Remove small toys from the reach of young children. Small toys
and small pieces of just about anything can pose a choking hazard
to young children. Do not be comforted by the fact that your child
"never puts things in his or her mouth." Be safe rather than
sorry by getting in the habit of picking up anything that is less
than three inches in diameter.
Older children should be taught to pick up and put away their
toys to prevent their youngger siblings from getting an item that
could be hazardous.
A source of choking that is often overlooked is food. Items that
seem safe – like grapes, hotdogs, apples and hard boiled eggs –
should always be cut into small pieces to avoid choking. Hot dogs
should be served in quarters or halves to make them easier to
Childproofing Tip # 7 – Child Water Safety
Never leave small children unsupervised around standing water.
Common household items such as buckets, toilets, bathtubs, filled
sinks, bird baths, ponds, spas and pools can be a danger to your
child. There are many inexpensive safety devices that can be used
to make these items safer. For example, you can use a toilet lid
lock to prevent small children from raising the toilet lid. Locks
are available for windows and doors that will prevent children
from gaining access to a yard. Self-closing springs are available
for gates and doors that lead to water areas. Although it may be
inconvenient, a padlock or other locking device should be used on
all gates leading to pools, spas and ponds. The lock should be
relocked after each use.
There is no substitute for adult supervision but there are many
things you can do to make your children safer and your supervision
job a little bit easier.