Child proofing should be at the top of your list when you have little ones at home. “Unintentional injury” is the leading cause of death among 0 to 17-year-olds and nearly “9 million children are treated for their injuries in hospital emergency departments each year” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To get you started, here is a room-by-room checklist for making sure your new home is safe for the entire family.
- Store soaps and cleaning products up high.
- Lock cupboards and drawers that contain anything you don’t want your little one getting his or her hands on, like if the garbage is in a cupboard under the sink or knives are stowed in a drawer.
- Tuck away appliance chords to prevent a reaching two-year-old from pulling the toaster down on his head.
- Keep the knife block as far back on the countertop as possible.
- Cover exposed outlets. Even if they aren’t reachable from the floor, they could become easily accessible when you have a mini sous chef helping to prepare dinner.
- Install an oven lock.
- Be vigilant when using the oven, stove, blender or garbage disposal.
- Cover burners and knobs on the stove.
- Cover exposed outlets and don’t forget to encase surge protectors.
- Mount bookshelves to the wall. You might hesitate to do this until you’ve finalized the room’s layout, but that could be dangerous if your child is a climber.
- Tack or tape lamp chords against end tables and walls.
- Check for any wobbly furniture, like plant stands or entry tables, and keep them in storage until your child is older. Same goes with floor lamps.
- Anchor the television to the entertainment center or wall.
- Cut or tie window-blind chords so they are out of reach.
- Install window locks.
- Purchase a fireplace cover.
- Add corner guards to furniture with sharp edges.
- Keep cleansers, medications and anything with a chord, like a curling iron or power razor, out of reach or in a locked cupboard.
- If the garbage is not locked in a cupboard, be aware of what you discard. That razor blade that wasn’t accessible from a shelf in the shower could easily be plucked from the trash.
- Install a toilet seat lid lock.
- Develop the habit of keeping the bathroom door closed.
- Set the water temperature no higher than 120 F.
- Designate a place for guests to hang their coats and purses. Pocket knives, medication, change and other small items are kept in handbags and pockets, so keep them out of reach.
- Install locks on doors that lead out of your hom
- Add doorstops to keep fingers from getting pinched.
- Make safety gates your new best friend, especially near stairs.
- Block any openings that are wider than four inches with plastic shields.
- Put new batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.