8 Ways to Child Proof Your Home

Published On July 23, 2011

Child proofing your home is an essential task for any parents with young children — particularly children under the age of five. Child proofing is also essential if you have family or friends with young children visiting your home at any time. In this article, we’ll take a look at eight important ways to make your home safer for children, from covering power outlets to replacing household plastic bags with green bags .

Purchase outlet covers

Power outlets are scattered on walls around your home and are a dangerous distraction for children. Taking your eyes off your child for even a second may result in them playing with these outlets and receiving an electric shock or worse. Outlet covers basically create small walls around electrical outlets, helping to prevent children from being shocked by power sources.

Put latches on cabinets

Kitchens and bathrooms usually have cupboards full of medicines, chemicals, knives and other items that can be dangerous to your child. To ensure your child doesn’t find their way into one of these cupboards or cabinets, invest in safety latches.

Keep dangerous items out of reach

When items such as cleaning chemicals aren’t stored in cupboards, or perhaps when you leave them lying around to access later, it’s important to ensure they’re out of reach at all times. Place these items on high shelves, and make sure those shelves can’t be climbed onto by your inquisitive child.

Do away with plastic bags

Not only is there a growing realisation that plastic bags are bad for the environment, but they can also be a suffocation hazard for your child. Replace these with reusable green bags; you’ll often receive these as promotional bags from businesses, or you can buy them online.

Install a pool fence

This is actually required by law in most local government areas around Australia, but that shouldn’t be the only reason to install one. If you have a backyard pool — in-ground or above ground — this poses a real threat to your child. Too many families have experienced the tragedy of backyard drowning. Make sure you have a pool fence, and make sure there is no way your child can sneak under or through it.

Keep them away from hot things

This is more of a general rule but one that is well worth observing. Never allow children near stoves, heaters, and other hot appliances — generally, those that are being used in the kitchen. Additionally, don’t carry any hot liquids, such as boiling water or coffee, around your child. Any unexpected slip or accident in these situations can result in serious burns.

Remove small toys and other choking hazards

Choking is one of the major causes of death in young children. Choking hazards may include food such as nuts, grapes, popcorn and lollies, and also non-food items such as batteries, magnets, coins, balloons, pen lids, safety pins, and small toys. Basically, if something is small enough to fit in a child’s mouth, keep it out of reach.

Keep stair guards on

If you live in a two-storey house, or any home with a staircase, for that matter, then it’s important to ensure the stairs are blocked off with a stair fence. Even if they only make their way up a couple of stairs, young children can easily lose their balance, falling down and resulting in serious injury.