Friday, June 21, 2013

6 Ways To Childproof Your Home

Everybody thinks childproofing your home just means putting child latches on their kitchen cabinets.  While this is definitely part of the process, there are many dangers lurking in your home you might not know about.  Here are some ways I have childproofed our home over the years for my one and four years old boys.

1. Doorknob protectors. These are extra useful when your baby begins walking until they are potty training age. They should work until your child is at least four years old and coordinated enough to use a doorknob in spite of a protector. I have them on all of our bathroom doors and the door to the garage that does not have a deadbolt on it. Once my toddler got into the bathroom and had pool time in the potty without me knowing, I realized the importance of doorknob protectors.

2. Edge and corner guards. In the last couple of years, they have really improved the quality and durability of guards for the edges and corners of fireplaces and furniture. We put them around our brick fireplace and our coffee table and it saved many a head injury!

3. Baby gates (not just for stairs). We have a small one-story home, so we do not have stairs, but our office area is a section of our living area. It has since been turned into our store-all for dangerous electrical cords and other items like my sewing and serging machines. We use the baby gate to keep our little one out of the area, while our older boy can still get in to play games on the computer.

4. Secure heavy furniture and flat screen TVs. Your doctor should mention this, but it is still easy to let it slide. However, this could be a very deadly situation, especially if you have a climber on your hands. Flat screen TVs are always best hung on the wall with appropriate equipment. Likewise, any furniture that you could pull over if you really tried are capable of falling on your small child and causing serious injury or death. Please go to your local baby store or online and get furniture safety brackets and install them immediately!

5. Put away medicine. Again, most people think if they put their medicine in a medicine cabinet that it is out of reach. But think about when your child is old enough to climb onto the bathroom sink and reach those items. My boy could easily do that at three years old - well before he could be trusted around medicine. I put all of our medicine and dangerous items in our "medicine box" which is just a tupperware box with a lid. I store that box on the highest shelf of our hall closet where the boys never go and never see it. If it is out of sight, it is usually out of mind.

6. Video surveillance. When all else fails, video surveillance can be a life saver. If by chance your child does get into your medicine or poisonous items and accidentally ingests them, you can have a way of knowing what they ate and how much it probably was. We use Grand Prairie Home Security for our video surveillance and we have been happy with them the whole time. My brother and sister-in-law use Smith Monitoring and have been equally pleased with them. These are both local companies who are committed to working with you whenever you need it.

Please take all measures to make your home as safe as possible for your children. It may seem like an inconvenience to secure your home, but it will be well worth it when you have full confidence they are safe even when you do not have your eyes right on them. Also, be sure and take a look around your home to make sure you do not have any additional dangerous items I may not have mentioned. Thank you so much for reading, and please comment below with any additional ways you have childproofed your home.

Author bio: Karen is a work from home mom of two busy boys who works hard to always be more healthy, safe, fun, and frugal!

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