Childproofing your home: 7 top tips

Once your baby starts crawling, there’s no end to the scrapes they can get themselves into. Childproofing your home can help prevent accidents – and help you relax. Here are a few childproofing tips.

Children are bound to get a few bumps and bruises from time to time, but taking steps to childproof your home can help protect them from serious injury. Here’s how to keep them safe, all around the house.

1. Protect them on the stairs

Babies may start being able to crawl upstairs at between 9 and 12 months old – but going downstairs is more difficult and they probably won’t master the skill until they’re about two years old. Accidents are common and can be very serious. Every year, more than 4,200 children1 have falls on the stairs, according to the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). To help keep your child safe, fit stairgates at the top and bottom of every flight.

2. Be careful around heat

Children’s skin is thinner than that of adults, which makes them especially at risk of burns and scalds. As well as basic safety precautions like switching off appliances after you use them, you can fit a door guard on your oven to reduce the heat that comes from it. You can also fit covers on the bath taps and spout to prevent scalds. Keep hot drinks and anything dangerous away from the edges of tables.

3. Childproof doors and sockets

Little fingers are vulnerable. Doorstops can be helpful, and hinge protectors can stop children’s fingers from getting trapped as the door closes. Fit socket protectors to stop your child exploring plug sockets. 

4. Make exploring safe

As well as protecting your baby from falls, stairgates are useful for shutting off areas that you don’t want your child to go in. You might not want them in the kitchen when you’re cooking, for example.

5. Keep objects secure

Accidents can be caused by children pulling objects down on themselves. Fixing your TV to the wall will help keep them safe – and prevent damage to your home. Use cordless kettles and keep pans on the back of the cooker so children can’t reach the handles. Avoid using tablecloths as a curious baby could easily pull at a cloth and bring the contents of the table down on themselves. 

6. Smooth all sharp edges

Sharp edges can be dangerous and painful if lively toddlers bump into them. You can fit edge and corner guards to cushion the impact if your child collides with your coffee table. 

7. Be careful with blinds

Cords on blinds have proved fatal to young children who’ve become entangled in them, so make absolutely certain that you keep them well out of their reach. Tie up blind and curtain cords using a clip, cleat or cord tidy and position cots, beds and highchairs away from cords. Drawstring bags can also present risks, so hang them well of reach of children.

Did you know...? A hot drink can scald a child even 15 minutes after being made

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