Child-Proof Your Home

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Eng, Lynn

As much as you love your kids, they can simply drive you crazy sometimes - especially during the terrible twos! Sure, you want them to move freely and have fun, even when indoors. However, sometimes you probably get worried they're not just going to break a lot of household items, but they might also break a leg or two in the process if you're not careful. The good news is, there are a lot of smart and simple ways you can childproof your home.

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Your worry doesn't end with their wrestling and horseplay, though. There are other things that may pose a threat to your kids as well, such as electricity, fire, and poisonous substances. It's not enough that you take all these precautionary measures by yourself and hope your kids never get to dangerous items, or find a way around them; you also have to get your kids involved. Talk to them in a way that will help them understand what can hurt them or get them in deep trouble. Don't underestimate your kids because they're way smarter than you sometimes give them credit for. Try talking to them as early as age one to two years old, when they can better absorb things, like a sponge.

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When is the best time to make your home childproof? As soon as you find out you're expecting is when all the planning should start. The good thing about starting early is that you will have about nine months to prepare, which ought to be enough time to get everything in place. Childproofing won't be so intimidating if you've already experienced baby-proofing before.

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Things don't have to be so overwhelming if you know how to take it all in stride. Do the "restructuring" section by section. You can start with the kitchen, then go on to the living room, then the bedrooms, bathrooms, and so on. Before you know it, it's done. You can even take it a step further by childproofing your car or other ways to keep your kids safe outside of your home. Then again, that's a whole different story. Here are some simple yet effective steps to make your home safe and child-friendly.

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Your kitchen

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  1. 1
    Make sure all drawers and cabinets have their safety latches on to prevent your children from reaching the poisonous household chemicals.
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  2. 2
    Keep your pots and pans out of reach by turning their handles toward the back of your stove.
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  3. 3
    Avoid putting heavy and pointed kitchen wares at the edge of tables or kitchen counters, so they won't topple over.
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  4. 4
    Label poisonous materials appropriately with Mr.
    Yuk stickers to make it easier for kids to remember not to touch them.
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Your bathroom

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  1. 1
    Keep the lids of your toilets closed by having toilet locks installed.
    Remember that kids are more prone to leaning and falling into the toilet and can easily drown in very shallow water.
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  2. 2
    Label poisonous substances appropriately.
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  3. 3
    Avoid burning accidents by installing anti-scalding devices on your shower heads and faucets.
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  4. 4
    Ensure everything is unplugged after you use them, such as hair dryers, to prevent electrocution.
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  5. 5
    Put safety caps on electrical outlets when not in use, and make sure all areas with water sources nearby have GFCIs to turn them off automatically as soon as they fall into the water.
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Other household areas

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  1. 1
    Your stairs at the top and bottom must have safety gates to prevent them from going down or climbing up.
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  2. 2
    Provide your knobs with covers, especially rooms with hazards like a gym with heavy work-out equipment where children could be easily injured, or a swimming pool that can be a drowning hazard.
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  3. 3
    Have edge bumpers on your tables and other furniture to protect them from injury.
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  4. 4
    Avoid putting furniture near high Windows, so they won't climb on the windowsills.
    Remember that screens won't do anything to protect your kids if they choose to climb onto the Windows.
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  5. 5
    Always check your blinds against looped cords to prevent strangulation.
    Lock them into place so kids can't fiddle with them.
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  6. 6
    Keep your furniture from toppling over by securing shelves and other heavy items to walls using anchors and brackets.
    Place heavy items at the bottom drawers or shelves to prevent injuries from falling objects.
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Tips to prevent poisoning

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  1. 1
    Restrict kids' access to cabinets by installing locks and latches.
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  2. 2
    Never underestimate your child's ability to open or climb anything.
    Keep them out of reach and out of sight. Lock them up and hide them away.
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  3. 3
    Never, ever transfer poisonous substances into food containers.
    Yes, recycling is good, but it can be downright deadly if you're careless.
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  4. 4
    Needless to say, never put your poisonous items together with your food items.
    Always place them away from each other, especially those that look a lot like food.
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  5. 5
    Store poisonous materials right after use.
    Never leave them lying around, even just for a few seconds. A lot of things can happen in a short span of time.
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  6. 6
    Keep a safe and separate receptacle for medications and poisonous household products when you're about to discard them.
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  7. 7
    Avoid mixing products to prevent dangerous fumes from forming.
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  8. 8
    All medications have to be placed in containers that are child-resistant.
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  9. 9
    If you like having indoor plants make sure they're out of reach because a lot of them can be poisonous.
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  10. 10
    Be alert for potential signs and symptoms of poisoning in children and know exactly what to do when they occur.
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Tips for preventing fire at home

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smoke detectors

  1. 1
    Put smoke detectors and alarms in your kitchen, bedrooms, stoves and fireplaces.
    At least one smoke detector per floor is recommended.
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  2. 2
    Change your detector's batteries at least once annually.
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  3. 3
    Keep your fire extinguisher near your kitchen and have it checked annually.
    Make sure you know how to use it properly.
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  4. 4
    Teach your children how to use matches properly, and what to do with electrical sockets, cords, household chemicals and stoves.
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  5. 5
    Engage in fire drills regularly - every other month or so - to keep things fresh in their memory.
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Tips for proper toy safety measures

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  1. 1
    Get age appropriate toys for your kids, as toys for older children may pose safety hazards to younger ones.
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  2. 2
    Do not give children under three years old toys with small parts as they may put it inside their mouths and choke on them.
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  3. 3
    Stuffed toys are okay as long as they have secured body parts, such as the noses, eyes, etc.
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  4. 4
    Avoid giving toys with pointed or sharp edges, or those with strings long enough to strangle a child.
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  5. 5
    Avoid buying electric toys that have heating elements in them for kids seven and below.
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  6. 6
    Follow safety recommendations and labels on toys, and read and follow instructions carefully.
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  7. 7
    Make sure your kids have safety gear whenever they go out and take their bikes, scooters, or skates for a ride to prevent possible injuries.
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It's quite a long list, but it's worth your while to refresh your mind on the smart ways to childproof your home. Monitor your kids' games and toys regularly to ensure their safety at all times. Happy parenting!

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Article Info

Categories : Home Safety

Recent edits by: Eng, Anonymous, Nerissa Avisado

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