Childproofing your home

Childproofing your home

Kids are so curious about the world around them it can lead to accidents around the house, as any parent will tell you!

From trying to go down the stairs before they can walk, to crawling into tumble driers, the home offers up a world full of potential pitfalls for children. But with a little effort and planning, it’s possible to make the home much more child-friendly.

Here are a few ideas to help achieve this, room by room:

Kitchens

Kitchen entrance – Always gate the kitchen off.

Sharp edges – Turn sharp edges on tables and worktops into curves, or put padding on them.

Detergents and chemicals – Lock lower cabinets or at least move all detergents and chemicals high up.

Dishwashers and tumble driers – Buy a dishwasher and tumble drier that lock.

Cookers – Use a guard on knobs, or use induction or electric cookers with safety locks.

Small appliances – Keep all small appliances (toasters, kettles etc.) out of reach.

Fridges/freezers – Use latches and/or locks on fridges and freezers.

Bathrooms

Bath taps – Use rubber spout covers on taps so it’s harder for a child to bang, bruise and burn themselves.

Hot water temperature – Set the hot water temperature in the system to low.

Toilet seat – Keep it down so a toddler can’t fall in head first!

Electrical items – Shavers, hairdryers etc. should be kept unplugged and preferably put away after use.

Medicine – Get a medicine cabinet that can be locked or is at least completely out of reach.

Toiletries – As with kitchen detergents, place toiletries out of harm’s way, especially if dangerous to ingest.

Bedrooms

Cots and beds – When a child can sit up on its own, it’s time to lower the cot mattress.

Windows – Get guards on windows so that they can only be opened a tiny amount.

Window blinds and curtains – Make sure you don’t use looped cords and blind pulls as a child can strangle themselves on them.

Drawing equipment – It’s all too easy to leave pencils, crayons and pens out, which a child can choke on. Make sure everything’s away out of reach after play time. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about unwanted “art” being drawn on the walls either!

Furniture: Dressers and chests – Make sure any furniture can’t topple over and is secure.

Living rooms

Televisions – Kids are attracted to TVs because of the bright moving lights. Make sure yours is secured to a wall and can’t topple over.

TV remotes – Keep TV remotes out of reach as they contain small batteries which kids might swallow.

Socket covers – Place socket covers on any accessible sockets.

Gas and electric fires – Make sure any gas or electric fires are serviced annually and are child-safe.

Stairs

Gates on stairs – It goes without saying that until a child can get up and down the stairs safely, gates should be at the top and bottom.

Policy Expert

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Published 21st March 2019


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