Homeowner Hacks: How to Childproof Your Home

By Alex Long

Posted on September 1st, 2022

baby touching stove

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Household injuries are the leading cause of ER visits for children under age three. Things that seem completely harmless to adults, like uncovered outlets or table corners, can be pretty dangerous for curious (and clumsy) little ones.

Childproofing your home can be a daunting and expensive task, but there are a few easy things you can do to make your home safer without breaking the bank. From smart storage solutions to affordable furniture padding, here's are some tips on how to childproof your home.

Keep Cabinets Closed

If your baby is just big enough to start pulling on cupboard doors, you can use thick rubber bands to keep them securely closed. Once your kiddo gets a little bigger, you may want to upgrade to interior latches, but this is a quick, cheap, easy fix for curious crawlers.

Quick Fix for Outlets

Use duck tape to cover outlets if you haven’t had a chance to buy plug covers yet. Install it snugly to make sure it’s not easy for nimble fingers to pull off.

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Anti-Slip Solution

Have a rug on your tile floor that needs to be held in place? Use rubber matting, often used to line kitchen cabinet cupboards! It’s cheap and is as effective as anti-slip rug treatments.

Baby Gate Alternative

Pet gates can get the job done just as well as a baby gate but are often cheaper. If you need multiple gates to block off rooms, this can be an affordable way to get your hands on some.

Secure Window Treatment Cords

Blind cords are tempting for curious minds and hands. Use a twist tie to secure them up high. It will keep them out of reach but will make it easy for you to let them down when you want to adjust the window covering.

Soften Sharp Corners

Have sharp corner tables that your little one will inevitably bonk their head on? Slice into a pool noodle or buy affordable foam pipe insulation at your local home improvement store. Install the foam snugly on your table to make it owie free for cheap as can be. Tennis balls also work great to protect against sharp corners.

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Temporarily Cover Your Fireplace

Curious toddler? Cover the front of your fireplace with a chalkboard, magnet board, or whiteboard. Not only will your kiddo not be able to investigate what’s inside, but they’ll also have a fun toy to play with that will keep them occupied for hours!

Easily Sanitize Toys

Yep – you read that right! You can safely wash most plastic toys that don’t contain batteries on the top shelf of your dishwasher. It will save you time and will ensure that your kiddos toys are fully sanitized. Just be careful not to wash toys with an opening that allow water to get stuck inside, as trapped water can cause mold.

Child safety in your home starts with appropriate childproofing solutions. You want to cover sharp corners and limit access to cabinets. By keeping items away from young children and softening the corners or sharp edges of your furniture, you reduce the risk of children getting hurt in the home.

Pick the Right Paint

If your home was built before 1978, there is a chance that the paint on the walls contains lead. If you have a curious child and chipping or flaking paint, that can be a big problem. The Environmental Protection Agencyrecommends having your home tested for lead and having a professional come in to safely remove the lead paint if needed.

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If your home is newer and lead paint isn’t a concern, you still want to choose the paint you put on the walls carefully. Go for a brand that has low VOCs and a paint variety that has a semi-gloss finish. Semi-gloss paints are easier to clean up if your kid decides to create a masterpiece on a big, tempting canvas.

Go Round and Soft

The corners of your coffee table and other pieces of furniture can be particularly painful if a toddler who’s learning to walk falls into them. Although you can get protective bumpers, they aren’t exactly chic-looking.

Another option is to pick round furniture, which has no corners, or to pick softer items. For example, you can replace your hard coffee table with a stuffed ottoman or opt for side cushioned stools instead of side tables.

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Keep Things Out of Reach

Cleaners, medicines knives, matches — every home has a number of items that can be hazardous if little ones get their hands on them. The great thing about kids is that they are small and it’s easy to put things out of their reach.

Put the dangerous items in your home on the highest shelves possible or in the tallest cabinets. You can also use a kid-proof latch or lock to keep those items securely out of reach to be on the extra-safe side.

Cover Up

For curious kids, the three holes found on an electrical outlet can be a great source of mystery. What happens if they put a finger, fork, or a pencil in there?

Keep your kids from finding out by getting socket covers for every unused outlets in your home. Also, take a look at the cords and plugs in your home. If you have cords running across the floor, find a way to push and secure them to the walls to reduce the risk of tripping.

When child-proofing your home, it pays to think like a kid. If there’s anything you would have explored when you were five, it’s a good idea to make sure you put it out of your kid’s reach or replace it entirely.

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Posted in Home Improvement, Homeowner Hacks