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Childproofing Your Home

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Childproofing Your Home

By nature, small children love to explore their environment. But the same curiosity      that  helps  them learn  about  the  world can sometimes get  them into trouble.
baby.jpg (5117 bytes) As  a  parent,  you   need to  do  everything you  can  to  ensure their  safety  while  they  grow.
The  following  checklist,  which  goes
  room  by  room, can help you  determine  if  your  house  is  safe.  Taking  steps  to child-proof  your  home  can  provide  you  with  peace of mind while  you   enjoy  your children.  But remember, childproofing  is  an
ongoing job. Be alert for anything you might have overlooked.

Do a careful room-by-room home safety survey every six months !

 ringy.gif (2396 bytes)  BABY'S BEDROOM

  • Make sure the cords from blinds or curtains are out of reach of the crib.

  • On the changing table, use a safety strap to keep your baby from falling.

  • Keep all supplies out of reach, especially baby powder, so that the baby won’t accidentally inhale it.

  • Make sure the crib, mattress and bumper pads meet safety standards and the mattress fits snugly so there’s no gap.

  • Do not use dry cleaning bags or trash bags as mattress covers.

  • Be especially careful when considering a second-hand crib; it may have been manufactured before safety standards were in place.

  • Children under 33 ins. (84 cms.) tall should use a crib.

  • If you have installed a crib gym, it should be removed when the baby is five months old or is able to push up on hands and knees.

  • Examine teething rings and toys for small ends that extend into the back of the baby's mouth and can cause choking.

  • Falls are a common cause of serious injury. Keep furniture away from windows, and remember: screens keep bugs out, but they don't keep children in.

  • Make sure night lights are away from drapes or bedspreads, where they could cause a fire.

ringy.gif (2396 bytes)  SIBLING’S BEDROOM

  • If your baby has older brothers or sisters, you may have to make their rooms off-limits, especially if they're full of toys with small parts.

  • Any small object can be a choking hazard to a child who's putting things in his/her mouth. Your best bet may be to

  • Keep the doors to a sibling's room securely closed.

  • Children under 6 years old should not use the top bunk of a bunk bed.

  • Children should understand that bunk beds are not playthings.

Crawl Around On Your Knees
See Your House The Way Your Child Does

ringy.gif (2396 bytes)  PARENT’S BEDROOM

  • Make sure loose change and other small items in drawers or on night stands are out of reach.

  • Move medicines or perfumes to a safe place to prevent poisoning.

  • Keep any guns unloaded and locked out of reach. Don't let your children see firearms, and never store a gun and its ammunition in the same place. A gun in the home is more likely to shoot a family member than an intruder.

ringy.gif (2396 bytes)  BATHROOM

  • Store potentially dangerous items, even those you use on a daily basis, out of your child's reach. This includes razors, cosmetics, after-shave, mouthwash and medicine.

  • Keep all medicines in child-resistant containers. Medicines don’t belong in the bathroom.(see Bathroom Safety)

  • Install safety latches on cabinet doors and drawers.

  • Keep hair dryers and other electrical appliances unplugged and stored out of reach.

  • Make sure the water temperature of your water heater does not exceed 120 F. Consider installing anti-scald devices in your shower and bathtub that stop the water flow when the temperature exceeds 120 F.

  • Always check the water temperature with your elbow before placing your child in the tub. (see Burn Prevention)

  • Put nonskid bath mats in the tub and floor.

  • Install toilet and lid locks.

  • Never leave a child unattended in the tub. Drowning is the third leading cause of death of children
    ages 0 to 4.

  • Before putting a child into the bath, take the phone off the hook, and put a  "DO NOT DISTURB"  sign on the front door.

ringy.gif (2396 bytes) KITCHEN

  • When you're preparing a meal, always turn the pot handles towards the back of the stove.

  • Watch what you heat. Never leave cooking unattended.

  • Store sharp knives and other utensils out of reach.

  • Put latches on cabinets that contain cleaning liquids, bleach and dishwasher detergent.

  • Install a safety latch on the oven door if your child is able to open it.

  • Keep electrical cords out of reach.

  • Don't store vitamins on the kitchen table. Iron pills are the leading cause of poisoning deaths in children
    under 6.

  • Keep hot foods and drinks away from the edge of tables and counters. Avoid placing them on a tablecloth, which a child can easily pull off.

  • If you're holding something hot, don't hold your child, too.

ringy.gif (2396 bytes) LIVING ROOM AND SALON

  • Throughout your house, make sure that electrical outlets are covered with safety covers.

  • Appliances that produce heat, such as gas or kerosene space heaters, should be off-limits to young children. Use barriers to keep children away.

  • Put corner guards on any furniture that has sharp corners.

  • Put house plants out of reach.

  • Make sure heavy items such as televisions are secure so they can't tip over. Do the same with top-heavy furniture.

  • Check under the couch and behind the cushions for any small toys belonging to older children.

  • Keep drapery cords out of reach.

ringy.gif (2396 bytes) STORAGE AREAS

  • Store paints, cleaners and chemicals in cabinets that can't be opened or reached by children.

  • Keep hazardous household products in their original containers with their child-resistant caps secured. Make sure labels are readable.

  • Keep children away from tools.

ringy.gif (2396 bytes) MISCELLANEOUS

  • Post the Poison Control Center number by the telephone.

  • Keep a bottle of syrup of ipecac (used to induce vomiting in some cases of accidental poisoning) on the top shelf of the medicine chest ( used only on poison-control instructions ).

  • Always strap children into highchairs and strollers.

  • Don't let children play alone on balconies

  • Unguarded windows that open more than 10 cms. (4 ins.) pose a danger to toddlers. Secure them with locks.

  • Keep matches and lighters out of teach of children. Teach children that these items are tools for adults,
    not toys.

  • Don't assume kids will learn fire safety at school. It’s really a parent's responsibility to make sure kids are safe from fire. Set a good example with how you cook and heat your home and how you dispose of smoking materials and matches if you are a smoker.

  • Have smoke detectors present on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Check batteries monthly; change them bi-annually, each time you change your clocks.

  • Nothing can replace parental supervision of infants and toddlers. But for those times when you need to answer the phone or take a quick shower, have a playpen handy. And teach your children about safety. Children who learn about safety grow up knowing that they can make good safety decisions for themselves.

  • Draw up a home escape plan and practice it twice a year. Knowing what to do when smoke detectors go off is as important as having them! Children are eager to learn, but in the absence of information, they can make a tragically wrong decision.


Before Grandchildren Visit

When your young grandchildren visit, you'll want to be prepared with hugs, cookies, books and games. To make sure their visit is a safe one, check this list before they arrive.

  • Are all your medicines safely out of reach, including those in your purse?

  • Are matches and lighters put away?

  • Have you picked up loose change and other small items that children could choke on?

  • Have you put away the bowl of small hard candies?

  • If you're cooking, are the pot handles turned inward?

  • Don't offer peanuts, whole grapes, cut up hot dogs, or raw carrots. These foods can cause a small child
    to choke.

  • Are cleaning supplies put away?

  • Is your old crib unsafe? The slats should be no more than 5 cms (2 ins.) apart.

  • Is your water heater temperature turned down to 12O F?

  • In the bathroom, have you put away electrical appliances, like electric shavers or hair dryers?

  • Grandchild-proofing your surroundings helps ensure the safety of your grandchildren when they visit. It can also ease your concerns, so that you can enjoy your time together.


According to the U. S. National Safety Council, fires and burns, suffocation, drowning and falls are the leading causes of child fatalities in the home.

Nothing Substitutes

Boruch Rofeh Cholim 1999
Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material for non-commercial purposes as long as credit line is included.