How to Toddler Proof Your Home

Any parent knows that once they bring baby home for the first time, they have to have eyes in the back of their head!

You want to make your home the safest and happiest place possible for everyone in the family, no matter how young or old.

One of the foremost worries parents have is making sure their home is completely childproof, especially if they have a new baby, or a small toddler, who is particularly inquisitive.

There are some dangers and hazards that are immediately obvious, but others that might pull you up short and make you reconsider how your home is structured. For some new parents, the process of making a home baby and toddler proof might seem very scary, on top of all the other worries they have!

However, we’re here to help. We’re going to totally demystify toddler and child proofing a home to keep you and your family safe and

What are Common Home Hazards for Children?

One thing many adults fail to notice are the hazards that, while not presenting any risk to them, are potential danger spots for little ones. Often, you need to literally get down to the level that your children are at. Look around properly and see what could raise potential concerns in terms of general accidents, bumps, scrapes cuts and bruises.

Walk through the home with us now…and think about the obvious dangers and some of the harder-to-spot signs.

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What’s Cooking in the Kitchen?

The most obvious hazards are both parts of your cooker – the oven. Also think about items that might be left out on work surfaces such as knives, glassware or other breakable or sharp objects.

Consider the following points:

  • How easy is it to reach the controls of oven? If they are within a grabbing distance, then you can purchase special covers for them so that they cannot be turned on easily or leaned on. It’s one of the simplest ways to prevent burns, scalds and fires.
  • Always turn pan handles away from the surface edge of the stove top. Even if your children are not nearby, this is a simple safety precaution that you should get into the habit of doing.
  • If there are any electrical appliances, such as food mixers, air fryers or sandwich makers in regular use, they should always be kept in cupboards and stored away safely when they’re not needed.
  • What do you use to clean your home? Think about laundry detergents, washing up products and bleaches. These should be placed in cupboards that are high up and not under the sink.
  • If you have a space that also doubles up as a kitchen table, always make sure chairs are neatly tucked under the table when not in use and that tablecloths do not have a long overhang.

Beware the Bathroom

Good common sense and sensible parenting should mean never leaving babies and young children unsupervised in the bathroom. There are far too many risks associated with running water, hot and cold. If you have to leave the bathroom, make sure there is someone else to supervise the children.

  • Non slip mats should be bought to put in the bottom of both the bath or the shower, so that very young children do not have any accidents.
  • The lid of the toilet should always be down, and if possible, a toilet lock should be used too.
  • If you have common medicines that are kept in the bathroom, they should be in a locked cabinet that is out of reach. Any medication bought must have, wherever possible, a child proof lock on it and should always be kept in its original packaging.
  • This same practice should also apply to cleaning products that are kept in the bathroom, such as bleaches and cream cleaners. Even soaps and bubble baths that have the ‘put them in the mouth and chew’ factor should be kept well out of reach.

A Safe Children’s Playroom and Bedroom

Your child will be spending a lot of their leisure and (hopefully) sleep time in either one of these rooms. This means there is the potential for extra hazards

  • If you’re investing in a new bed, then make sure it is compliant with the safety standards for your country. This is especially important if the bed or cot you have bought has come from an online marketplace, or second had shop. If there are no safety details on the packaging, it is wiser not to buy.
  • Always keep drawers or cabinets closed and locked if not in use.
  • Fit safety guards on door hinges. Safety guards stop accidents involving trapped fingers, toes or other limbs!
  • Toys and games with small pieces should be tidied away properly at the end of every session, and only played with under adult supervision. Always pick toys and games that are age appropriate. Games or toys that are too advanced might pose safety hazards to younger children.
  • Fixtures and fittings should be child proof wherever possible.

Toys and Games

  • Avoid toys with small parts for small children and babies who are still at this stage. They pr esent a major choking hazard.
  • When buying cuddly or plush toys, make sure they are sturdily constructed. They must have tightly secured parts (such as eyes and nose)
  • Dispose of any plastic toy wrappings safely. Any small objects that have been put in as part of the packing process should be disposed too.
  • Don’t give young children small balls or balloons. If the object in question can fit inside the empty tube of a roll of toilet paper, then it’s too small and shouldn’t ever be given as a toy to a baby or toddler.
  • Don’t choose toys that have sharp edges and points or pick ones that have strings, straps, or cords longer than seven inches. These provide cutting, scratching or strangling hazards.
  • Monitor your child and the toys the play with. Never leave them unattended. If you must leave the room, take them with you or remove hazards from them.

Breathe Easy in the Living Room

The living room or lounge is another area where there is much leisure time and relaxing. Make sure this room is safe and sound by taking the following precautions:

  • Add corner guards to tables, or the edges of furniture. This will stop bumped heads and knocks.
  • Put fireguards over any fireplaces in the room and make sure this is safe and sturdy enough, so it doesn’t topple over.
  • Free standing furniture – for example book shelves, CD racks, and sometimes even TVs – should be fixed to walls so they can’t be accidentally pulled over or damaged.
  • Sockets that aren’t in use should be covered with socket covers. Electrical cords should either be taped to walls or fixed in place properly with cable ties.
  • Move furniture that can potentially be climbed on to get to windows. Windows in any room should always be locked. If you’re in a room with a window open, never leave a small child unsupervised.
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Make a Safe Entrance to the Hallway

The hallway is a room seen as the conduit to other rooms in the house. It’s therefore a good idea to put door stops on any doors leading to and from here. They can also stop fingers from becoming trapped and injured.

  • Put slip proof mats under any rugs.
  • Consider replacing a glass paneled front door or porch door. If you can’t do this then make sure the glass is shatter resistant. The same should apply to any internal doors and back doors to the house.

Finally – Don’t Panic

This seems like a lot to take in, and you might even be feeling a little scared. That’s perfectly normal and it’s important to remember that most children will suffer from scrapes and bumps at some stage. Accidents will happen from time to time and if they do, try not to panic or worry too much or show your child that you are scared.

Utilizing and understanding these tips will not only make your home safer for your little ones but will give a greater peace of mind to parents too.