Childproofing my home: How I made my home child-safe

My husband and I had childproofed (or so we thought!) our home long before our first child, Aarav, was born. We packed up everything with sharp objects, and also removed locks, latches and stoppers from doors. We also decided to put away all the porcelain and glass cutlery temporarily. It was only after Aarav started crawling about that we realized we hadn’t done a good job at childproofing our home. Fortunately, Aarav or my daughter, Aarna, did not hurt themselves but had plenty of narrow escapes! And that’s how we learnt how to childproof our homes to a hundred per cent.

The problem with childproofing is that we tend to seem overconfident that our child will not pick up a certain thing or won’t reach a certain height. Trust me, these little monsters can get just about anywhere! So here’s a little guide that we developed over a period of time that could be of use to other new moms and dads out there!

How I went about childproofing my home room-by-room

There’s no one room that is extra hazardous to kids. Every room has a spot that could injure your kid. Here are some general rules:

  • Do not leave out any object that can be moved or dropped. I’ve had to pack up the prettiest of vases and bowls to keep them out of my son’s sight.
  • Cover or completely remove any electric sockets that kids can reach.
  • Add guards to all sharp corners – bed corners, stair corners, slab corners, and so on.

Moving on to the specifics of each room in the house.

Living area

The living area was my favourite place in our home and I had carefully decorated the place with wall hangings, vases, and tiny artefacts. After I was done childproofing my home, it started to look like a barren land. Cannot wait for my kids to grow up already!

A cosy living room.
Living rooms have the most edges. Make sure you’ve guarded them all!

So, here are a few things in the living room you should watch out for:

  • Glass items: Put away photo frames and other objects that could shatter and wound your children.
  • Television: Mount your TV on the wall and make sure the cables are hidden. You wouldn’t want them tugging at cables that could make the TV fall on the ground, or worse, on them!
  • Coffee table: If you have a non-tempered glass coffee table, it’s time to get a new one! The edges are usually sharp and non-tempered top tables shatter easily.
  • Small objects: Put away or keep clocks and remote controls out of reach. The button-sized batteries in some electronic items can be swallowed by kids.

Kitchen

The kitchen obviously is the most dangerous area for kids. You can’t do away with sharp objects there so you’ll have to find a way to work around it.

A contemporary kitchen.
Anything with a pointy or sharp end goes on top!

Here are some of the things we managed:

  • Kitchen cabinets: We childproofed all our lower cabinets by adding an additional magnetic lock so that the kids wouldn’t be able to open them up easily.
  • Chemical agents: As a precaution, we moved away all detergents, chemical agents, polishes, etc. to cabinets higher up just in case they manage to open up the cabinets or manage to sneak in when I’ve left them open for a minute.
  • Gas stove: We added guards to the knobs of the gas stove. You can get plastic or metal ones to guard gas stove knobs.
  • Electronic appliances: We keep away the smaller appliances such as mixer-grinders, blenders, or anything that can be electrically connected, on higher cabinets. Every time I use one of these appliances, I notice my son plotting to do the same when I’m away.
  • Refrigerator: I lock the refrigerator when I’m not using it. As of now, I leave the key above the fridge but I have to find a different spot before my kids learn to climb up on stools to reach it.

Added precautions you could take, if you are childproofing your home, are always keeping all doors such as those of the microwave and refrigerator closed so that they don’t hurt themselves. Also, use farthest burners of the stove and turn the handle away so that kids don’t try to jump and grab them. Also, make extra sure they’re not around when you’re moving a hot pan or bowl.

Bedroom

The bedroom is where my kids spend most of their time. It’s mostly secure.

A children’s bedroom.
Stack up all the tiny objects on the top-most shelves.

Some of the things we made sure of are:

  • Window blinds: We got rid of window blinds because the strings used to control them can prove to be dangerous. Children like to play with them and may end up tying it around their neck.
  • Toys: Since our daughter is only 2 years old, we don’t buy toys that come with small parts.
  • Drawers: We found our son opening drawers, climbing on them and sometimes helping his sister climb up too! So, we added guards to the drawers so that they don’t open them up without our help.
  • Furniture: I made sure that furniture that is light and can be toppled over were moved away.

Bathroom

We try to keep the bathrooms as dry as possible so that our children don’t slip and fall. That being said, we try to keep them away from the bathroom altogether when we’re not around.

A luxurious bathroom.
Be sure to clear up the water puddles.

Some of the precautions we take in the bathrooms are:

  • Toilet seat: We close the toilet lid so that kids don’t try to stick their head in.
  • Electronic appliances: We lock away hair dryers and trimmers.
  • Pills: Kids can get curious and try to swallow one of our pills. We have a cabinet that we can lock in all our bathrooms so we keep pills locked away too.

That sums up most of the childproofing we’ve done at home. There’s no sure-shot formula to prevent injuries at home though. I’d say keep an eye on your child all the time, but they manage they seem to have an escape plan in place all the time!

Have other suggestions to childproof our homes? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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