How to Childproof Your Home
Every year nearly 3 million children are killed in household accidents. Accidents in the home top the list of causes of childhood deaths. Accidents can be avoided by properly childproofing every room of your house. With some time and some handy safety devices, you can easily prevent a tragedy, and make your home safer. It's vital, however, to first look at the unique safety hazards in each room.
Childproof the Bathroom
Turn the thermostat on your boiler down to 120*F and place "anti-scalding devices" on the faucets. Anti-scalding devices take many shapes and forms. The most trustworthy anti-scalding devices are the ones that screw onto faucet and shower heads. The small filtering device automatically closes off the water when it goes above the set temperature.
Place toilet locks on the toilet seat, especially if your kid is just starting to toddle. Toddlers like to grab onto things for balance and could easily fall into the toilet bowl. Once your loved child is ready to begin potty training, you can remove the locks.
Secure under sink cabinets and drawers with safety latches. Companies like Safety 1st make numerous different latches and locks for different drawers and cupboards. You may need to purchase a few different kinds to completely childproof the bathroom.
Childproof the Kitchen
Using the same devices as in the bathroom, lock any cupboards or drawers that contain cleaners and medicine. Despite the fact that the cabinets could be high above the reach of your child, don't underestimate his climbing skills. Use cabinet and drawer locks to keep these potential poisons unreachable.
Cook on the back burners of the stove, use burner covers when you're not cooking and make sure to always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that they can't be nudged and bumped off the stovetop. You should also consider purchasing stove knob covers that prevent children from turning the burners on.
Call your local Poison Control Center and stickers to place on items that should not be consumed. This will discourage young children from putting icky stuff in their mouths.
Childproof the Rest of the House
Make sure that the tops of stairwells are blocked with baby gates to avoid a nasty tumble. Luckily, baby gates are very portable and can be carried from room to room to block access to off-limit spaces or to contain your child to a safe perimeter. Even if you know "where" they are, always make sure you can keep an eye on them anyway; eventually the baby gates might fail, and the child might go wandering into the unexplored areaâ€¦
Plug unused electrical outlets with outlet covers and make electrical cords as untouchable as possible. That might mean sacrificing the beauty of your home for a year or two while cords remain taped to the floor or covered by plastic cord covers. You can also purchase child-safe power strips (or p
ower strip covers) that slide to close unused outlets.
Cut the blind cords or use a retrofitting kit to avoid the possibility of strangulation. Just like those dangling toys above the crib, babies love to touch hanging objects. Make sure Blind cords are NOT accessible. The Window Covering Safety Council provides free kits to retrofit Venetian and other blinds with dangerous cords. If you can't get a free kit, just wrap the strings around something to keep them from dangling at child height.
As basic home precautions, check your smoke alarms to make sure they work properly and install additional ones as needed. Also make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand in most rooms of the house. The best type to have is a multipurpose ABC extinguisher. They're a little more expensive, but can put out all classes of fires, including flammable liquid and electrical fires.
Construct a locked fence around your pool and cover it when it's not in use. Childproof upper-story windows by using window guards or netting. Screens can easily give way with the weight of a child pushing against them.
Overall, there are many things you can do to protect your little one from household harm. Remember the vital rule of looking after children: "What do you trust more, the lock on the door, or your own eyes on the prize?"