Childproofing your home can seem like such a daunting task. There are so many things your little one can get into. So figuring out where to start childproofing is half the battle. You could hire someone to come in and do it all for you, but not everyone can afford something like that. This really is a totally doable do-it-yourself project, though, so don’t totally wash your hands of the task. Try these steps to childproof your home and you should be fine.
1. Lock It Up
Dangers in every home include household cleaners, medications, and even vitamins. Even if it has a childproof cap you need to keep these items locked up. Putting these things up high is great, but then having them locked away will be even better. And it’s important to remember to lock it back up when you’re done.
There are many different locks and latches which will do the job. Find ones that are sturdy to withstand pulls and tugs from a child, but are easy to install for an adult. It’s important that you follow installation instructions carefully.
2. Gate It
Baby gates are great for keeping kids from going into areas that are unsafe for them. The stairs should have a gate that is screwed into the wall. Ones that swing open and closed are better than those pressure gates because they can’t be pushed over. Plus it’s easier for adults to go through them rather than stepping over them.
3. Door Knob Locks
Keeping the doors to the outdoors locked is always a good thing. Even if you think your child can’t reach the knob, you never know how resourceful a child will be when he (or she) is determined to do something. This could be another way to keep a child out of rooms with hazards you don’t want them in as well. Closet doors locked and with a door knob cover will help keep curious little ones from getting into that which you do not want them to get into.
4. Adjust Your Water Heater
Adjust your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Add anti-scald devices as well to help prevent accidental burns.
5. Smoke and CO2 Detectors
Having at least one on every level of your home is an important must – whether you have children or not. Make sure you go over a family fire plan for getting out of the house as well. Changing the batteries and testing them every six months is important.
6. Guard Your Windows
Children fall out of windows all the time, so installing window guards will help prevent this. Make sure you check them frequently to make sure they are sturdy and have not become worn due to weather.
7. Blind Cords
Speaking of windows, don’t forget about the blind cords. These are a strangulation hazard. Cordless blinds are great, but can be expensive. You can do it in the rooms that your child will be in the most frequently. There is also a repair kit you can get to make the blinds with the inner cord safer for children. Try to not put a child’s bed near the window either.
8. Cover Up Electrical Outlets
Kids are very curious and love to stick things in holes. Getting covers for the electrical outlets in your home is the safest way to prevent this from happening.
9. Anchor It
In your child’s bedroom, anchoring the furniture to the wall will help prevent things from tumbling down on your child and crushing him. For any other rooms that your child will be in a lot it is a good idea to anchor furniture to the wall.
10. Pool or Spa Protection
Be extra cautious if you have a pool or spa. A gated fence and installing alarms on your door going out to your pool will help prevent your child from wandering into the pool and drowning. This is also where those locks will come in handy.
Getting down on your hands and knees and exploring the environment from your child’s level will help you to see where the problem areas lie. Not everything needs to be done at once; it can be done in stages if the cost is too great for you. Just figure out where the biggest need is in your home and start there.
If you have at least one room that is completely safe then you know that this is the best place for some unsupervised time. But when your child is in the rest of the house you’ll want to make sure you’re more eagle eyed.