As the parent of two boys I know all too well the emotional roller coaster that a first or even a second time parent rides. First there is excitement of all the wonderful things to come then the fear and anxiety of protecting this new little person you have created from the big bad world. And at first glance the whole world does seem to need childproofing but trust me it gets better. Like all other parents you soon realize that your little bundle of joy is made of rubber and that many of the things you worried so much about in the beginning were not that big of a threat. Now on the other side of that there are many things that can and do need childproofing. For example in our house the cabinet under the kitchen sink has house hold cleaner and chemicals in it so we added a lock to that cabinet. So if you have been wondering what areas of you home that will definitely need some attention for safety I have created this list of the top 10 must have childproofing products for your home.
The following list is in no particular order simply because to me there is no one area that is more important than another.
1) Outlet/Power Strip Covers - This should be one of the most obvious places to start your home childproofing. There are many different designs available to protect your child from electrocution they all work very well so picking one is a matter of preference. Some of your choices include the classic outlet plug or cap that is simply a flat piece of plastic with two prongs that fit directly into the receptacle. Another choice is an outlet cover, this looks just like your typical cover except for the part that has the holes for the plug in slides to the side keeping anything from entering the electrified section of the outlet. To use simply slide the little cover over until it lines up with the holes. And there is one other type that you can buy that is more like a plastic box that replaces the standard plug cover. It is easy to install you just remove the old cover then screw on the new one that fits completely around the receptacle and the plug of what ever it is you are powering. The box has a hinge on it that allows you the adult to easily plug and unplug at will. The power strip covers work exactly the same only they don’t need mounting. They just fit around the power strip.
2) Cabinet Locks - Like most other child safety devices child proof cabinet locks come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. But if you are like my wife and I the looks of a product are almost as important as the function. So to there was only one choice when it came to cabinet locks and that was the Tot-Lok. Here is a link will to my detailed review of the Tot-Lok if you would like more information. Now if it isn’t what you are looking for there are many other styles to choose for example some attach with double sided tape or screws most of these work like a hook. You must open the door a little to reach the hook them push it out of the way allowing the door to open. I have seen older kids about three or four open these with ease after seeing there parents do it over and over. Then there are some that work like a zip tie/pad lock that goes around the door handles.
3) Baby Gates - Baby gates can be used all over the home indoors and out. We have two at our house one outside at the top of the deck stair and one blocking our hallway to the utility room. We keep the kitchen garbage can on the other side of the this gate to keep the kids out of the it. There is a full range of gate sizes to fit most people’s needs. Most gates are made of either wood or plastic but some of the more expensive ones are metal. The best baby gates are the ones that are designed to open like a gate which makes it very convenient to cross. These gates typically have some type of locking handle on the top or a foot pedal on the bottom. I do not recommend the foot pedal type my oldest son who is only three has learned to open the one at his daycare by jumping up and down on it making it pointless.
4) Bathtub Faucet Covers - This is a great product that I myself would have never considered if we hadn’t received it as a gift at my first sons baby shower. Most of the time these rubber covers are shaped like an animal or other kid friendly object, ours is a fireman ducky. The way these work is they slide over the part of the faucet were the water comes out making it soft to the touch. This protects little ones from bumping their heads or falling on the hard faucet.
5) Toilet Seat Locks - These are also a nice thing to have in the bathroom they simply lock the seat in a down position. Until you have children you will never now how interesting a toilet could be! Plus it keeps the odd toy from being flushed causing a backup you never want to deal with, trust me. On a more serious note there have been cases were small children have drowned in a toilet. Here is an easy way to keep this from happening.
6) Door Locks - Now I’m not talking about the locks that are built in to the door knob because your kids will learn to open these. What you need are the door knob covers that spin on the knob unless you squeeze it or some type of hook that can be mounted high enough that they can’t be reached by kids.
7) Corner Guards – Are small pieces of rubber that fit over the corners of just about anything you feel needs covered to keep a toddling child from falling on them. Some of these are precut to a specific size others come as rolls of soft foam that can be cut to size. Common corners worth considering are the corners of tables, fireplaces, and stairs.
8) Oven Knob Covers - The knobs on your stove are another one of those things that kids just love to play with. The knob covers are hinged for easy access for adults to use without removing them.
9) Banister Rail Nets - If you have stairs in your home whether it’s outside on your deck or a staircase to the second storey you should definitely consider railing nets. These nets mount over the inside of the rail keeping kids from putting their head, arms or legs through. They also keep them from climbing which is more of a fear for me because all the rails in my home are close enough together even my one year olds head will not fit through.
10) Furniture Straps - Here is another product that could save your child’s life or at the very least a trip to the hospital. I already talked about the climbing that kids do after a certain age, well TVs, tall dressers, entertainment centers and other types of furniture is prime climbing for a curious child. And needless to say it doesn’t take a whole lot to tip one of these big heavy pieces of furniture over. These straps work by attaching to the wall and the furniture in question. Most big pieces of furniture will even come with a strap do you and yours a favor and install it.
There we go the top 10 must have childproofing products for your home. I hope this list will help you make your home as childproof as it needs to be and if I have forgotten anything that you feel should be added pleases for everyone’s sake leave a comment below. Stay safe!