Achieving a Safe Childproof Home
October 8, 2014
There are a lot of things to be done immediately after the birth of a child, but something you need to do before the child arrives is to get your home ready for a new, free-roving, chaos causing resident! We put together a short list of tips for a safe childproof home.
Childproof Home Basics:
- Cover all electrical outlets. Protect infants from electricity with simple plastic outlet covers. They’re available by the bag at dollar stores, slip easily into electrical outlets, and are difficult for the baby to remove. Also be sure to secure all loose electric cords and check them for frays. Check to see if they can be easily yanked out of their sockets and route them accordingly along walls and near furniture.
- To maximize your chances for a great childproof home, get a low view. The baby’s universe, at least the parts that it can encounter first hand, are going to be three feet and below. Go through your entire house and get a look at everything the child will be able to interact with. Remove any appliances, tools or other items you would not want an infant to touch. Remove anything breakable. Remove any items small enough to be put into a child’s mouth.
- Get household chemicals out of the way. Where possible, move household chemicals like cleaning agents and pest controls high out of a child’s reach. If that is not possible, find a way to close secure those cabinets so that children cannot get in. Horseshoe-shaped plastic locks are available in several stores, a stout wrapping in rubber bands can achieve the same effect. If there is a question of an accidental ingestion of these kinds of chemicals, contact the Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
- Move the medication. Treat all medications, even the ones for children, as you would the household chemicals in #2. Make sure all medications in the house have child-proof caps.
- Get safety gates. Simple, expandable child safety gates should be placed in front of all staircases, up or down, to keep the baby from roaming where he or she shouldn’t. A simple barrier like a loaded clothes basket or a closed door might work for a while, but eventually, a child will either become strong enough to move the barrier or intelligent enough climb over it. A baby gate is harder to defeat because it is taller.
- Anchor all heavy furniture. Children eventually become climbers and unsecured large objects can fall if weight is placed on the wrong parts. Strap top-heavy pieces either to the wall or other furniture nearby. Where possible, eliminate easy hand- and foot-hold spots.
- Police your yard. As with the stairwells, put up a fully enclosing backyard fence that has a door with a latch mounted well out of reach. If you have a pool, keep it covered when not in use. Any other outdoor water features should be similarly covered or fenced-off.
- Watch out for water. Don’t let any water stand that a child can get access to. In the case of a newly mopped floor, there are cleaning chemical residues to consider. In the case of bathtubs, wash buckets and toilets, there is a potential for drowning. Avoid the danger by fencing off newly cleaned areas, draining water as soon as it is not needed and buying toilet lid securing clips.