Childproofing your home or child care space is of paramount importance for any parent or educator. The best way to childproof is to get down to a child’s level to look for hazards. Try to think about what a child would see that would both attract and be potentially harmful to a young child. Extension cords, strings from curtains, cupboard doors, electrical outlets, and breakable objects within reach all pose a threat to a child’s safety.
Cleaning and medical supplies stored in child-proof cabinets.
Children are attracted to bright colors. Many of the medicines and cleaning supplies we use come in wide assortment of exciting colors that remind a child of candy or juice. It is best to have these supplies stored either high out of a child’s reach, or in a child-proofed cupboard.
There are several options for child-proofing your cupboards. Choose your product by considering the style of your cupboards and how much you are willing to spend.
If your cupboards have knobs, the most cost effective solution for you are slide latches. A slide latch will fit over the knobs and when the middle bar is pushed back against the knobs, it keeps a child from entering the cupboard. Slide latches are easy for an adult to use, one you get the hang of them!
Magnetic locks are my go-to. Although they are more of an investment, they cannot be seen from the front of the cupboard. Locks are installed inside of the cupboard and come with a magnetic key. The locking function can be disabled by flicking a switch on the locking mechanism. There are two options when you are looking to purchase magnetic locks; hardware mounted, or adhesive. I highly suggest the adhesive version. Who wants to run the risk of ruining your cupboard door by a drilling mishap while installing a lock? Not me. I was worried that the adhesive wouldn’t be strong enough, but it is still holding strong a year later. Keep in mind the thickness of the door you are trying to childproof. The thicker the cupboard, the weaker the magnetic key becomes. So, please, check out product descriptions to make sure magnetic locks are compatible.
Electrical outlets must be covered.
Electrical covers are easy to find. Mine were given to me by a parent whose child was past the childproofing age. Check your local dollar store or hardware store. No need to spend big money here. Plugs should be difficult to pry out of the outlet.
Gates at the top of the stairs need to be secured to the wall.
When placed at the top of the stairs, pressure mounted gates are an accident waiting to happen. The weight of a child leaning against a gate that is not secured to a wall could easily let go, allowing the child to tumble down the stairway. One of the leading reasons behind young children visiting emergency rooms is due to falls. A young child’s head is generally the first thing to come in contact with the ground during a tumble. Scary stuff when it comes to stair.
A gate that is wall mounted is worth the investment to keep children safe from stairway tumbles. I suggest doing your research on several gates before purchasing. Look up reviews. Some gates are easily figure out by three to four year-olds. I found mine on sale, so check locate flyers, or online to find a good deal.
Covers on doors leading to outside or other rooms where children are not welcome.
Kids like to figure out how things work. Door knobs included. Any kind of latch holds some kind of fascination to a child. Door safety covers can be found for a variety of handles. Typically, opening a door with a safety cover involves simply applying more pressure as you grip the handle to open.
Pull Down Doors and Drawers
Doors that pull down. What do I mean by that? Well, oven and dishwasher doors fit that description quite well. Often, with newer appliances, a locking feature is available. If they cannot be locked, childproof straps can be used to secure.
Drawers in the kitchen especially tend to hold items that are better off locked up with young children around. Scissors, knives, and other sharp utensils just to name a few.