5 Simple Steps to Childproofing Your Home

Posted on Apr 10 2015 - 4:28pm by Suzanne De Vita

look at the babyWhether you’ve got a litter of kids or baby’s on the way, childproofing your home is a preventative measure no family should go without. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends a number of safeguards to make your home an environment free from hazards. Here are five of those steps to maximize safety at home.

Window Guards – Open or unlocked windows can be hazardous for any member of your household. To avoid injury or worse, install a window guard with sturdy bars securely fastened to the frame. And be wary of window treatments that operate with a cord – younger children especially may think the dangling string is a toy. If possible, go cordless.

Related: 7 Easy Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home

Interior Gates – To restrict access to stairs or areas that are off-limits, install a safety gate. Before purchasing a product for your home, measure the access point to ensure the gate fits securely. The CPSC advises using gates without a V-shape design so a child will not become trapped.

Locks and Latches – Prevent children from entering barred rooms, closets or cabinets with locks or latches that only adults can access. This is particularly crucial for under-sink cabinets and kitchen drawers, where chemicals, like bleach, and sharp objects, like knives or scissors, are typically stored.

Outlet Plates and Covers – Outlets without plates present a danger to both children and adults, so be sure plates are secured to every outlet in the home, especially ones near the floor. Outlet covers, which are inserted into the prong slots, can deter small fingers from accidental shock. Try removing the cover to test the product – they can potentially become a choking hazard if they come loose.

Pool Safety – There’s a reason why pools require additional insurance coverage - they present a much higher risk than other features at home. Pools must be enclosed with a fence no lower than four feet high, with a gate that self-closes and self-locks. Inspect the fence to ensure there are no gaping holes. In addition, the CPSC encourages a comprehensive “protection layer” that includes an alarm and a power safety cover.

For more tips on safety at home, visit CPSC.gov.

RISMedia intern Cait Goetz contributed to this blog.

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2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Joe Mohorovic April 14, 2015 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    And don’t forget to ANCHOR & PROTECT your furniture and TVs!

    Children like to climb on furniture. For them, the home is a playground. As you childproof, you may not be aware that unsecured TVs, furniture and appliances are hidden hazards lurking in every room. To prevent a tip-over tragedy:

    • Buy and install low-cost anchoring devices that can prevent TVs, dressers, bookcases and other furniture from tipping.

    • Place all televisions on a sturdy, low base and push the TVs as far back as possible, particularly when anchoring them is not possible.

    • Nick Caruso April 15, 2015 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Great additions to the list – thanks, Joe!

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