Child Proofing Your Home

February 24th, 2009

In today’s economy, every dollar counts. There are many “child proofing” experts out there that would be happy to charge you hundreds and even thousands of dollars to child proof your home.  The big secret is that you can do it yourself for very little cost.

The first step in the child proofing process is to draw a basic layout of your home.  Identify areas in your home that  present a child safety concern.  Include electrical outlets that are low to the ground, outside doors and stairs.  Identify big hazards which would include a pool, sauna and any area where your child might be tempted to climb to an unsafe height.  Identify environmental hazards by red marking any rooms where your child might find unsafe things to play with such as matches, guns, knives and sharp scissors. Each danger area is a red zone until you make it safe for your child.

Good Work! You have designed your layout, now go room by room and make a list of items that you will need to childproof each area.  Some of the items may include:

  • Protective Covers:  One for each electrical outlet.
  • Stair Guard:  A protective barrier that can be purchased at a local store. It is designed to fit snugly against a wall and is tall enough to prevent babies and toddlers from climbing over.  You will need two, one for the top and one for the bottom of the stairs.
  • Plastic Tubs or Storage Bins:  For putting away dangerous objects and keeping toys organized.
  • Door Knob Covers:  Covers that make it difficult for a child to open an outside door.
  • Door Alarms: They sound off when a child has opened a door.
  • Cupboard Locks:  These will keep your child out of cupboards that contain dangerous substances such as household cleaners.
  • Pantry Lock:  To keep your child from getting into the food and climbing up the pantry.
  • A Cabinet and/or Lock:  For storing and protecting guns or locking up a pool gate.
  • A self swing and self locking gate:  For those areas that are difficult to constantly monitor such as a pool area or any dangerous area in your back yard.

With your list of the childproofing items you need, make some trips to your local department and hardware stores.  Look for deals, but do not compromise on safety.  If a lock or barrier seems too easy for you to open, chances are that your child will eventually figure out how to open it too.

Once you have made your plans and purchases, enlist the help of your husband, brother, uncle, or manly friend.  Give them an opportunity to show off their muscles and “tool time” skills.  While they are busy installing, you can cover electrical outlets and enlist other family members to help put away all of the dangerous stuff.

Put your sewing needles in a protective plastic container that your child cannot open.  Store the scissors and matches in high places that your child cannot reach.  Barricade your stairs and play safety police once a week where older siblings can scour the house while looking for potential safety hazards.  Set it up with colors or numbers for the different levels of danger.  A super danger zone could be labeled as red or a five, while a safe zone could be considered white, or a zero. While playing this game, give out ideas on how older siblings can help keep little brothers and sisters safe.  Pick up the toys just before bed and have family stranger danger and fire escape plans in place.

Protecting your child both inside and outside of the home is a challenging parental goal.  With a little masculine help and family team work, you will soon be able to declare your home a safe white zone.  Happy childproofing!

See our recent  post and protect your child from school germs!

By: Debby Hoffer

Entry Filed under: Child Safety

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