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SAFETY 1st: Child Proofing Your Home – a Room-to-Room Guide

As adults, we have learned to avoid hazards and in many cases have trained ourselves to be blind to them.  It can be hard to step away from that state-of-mind and take a new look at our homes to see what hazards are there that kids may not be aware of.

Keep in mind:

Children see things from a different vantage point – get down on your knees to see things from their eye level and you may find hazards you weren’t aware of.

Children also have keen imaginations and a bias for “play”. They haven’t labeled things the way adults do and so dressers may seem more like a ladder to climb on than a piece of furniture that stores clothes.

Every child is different. Your first child or your friend’s kids may never have shown interest in some hazards that your youngest one might make a bee-line for.  Watch, observe, and get a sense of each child as they grow.

Many hazards can be addressed with simple solutions that don’t require additional purchases. For others there are products sold individually or in kits from trusted brands like Safety 1st that are more effective to give you peace of mind.

Here is a guide to potential hazards in key rooms around the house and where relevant, some products that could help.  Nothing will replace adult supervision around more serious dangers but creating a safe place for children to explore independently is also important for their development.

Living Rooms:

All those audio / visual products result in cords everywhere and are visible from their height – these can be shortened and tied up together to be less tempting. Unused outlets should be covered with plugs.

TVs and TV stands can tip over if some weight gets on it – wall straps can secure both of these so they don’t fall.

Coffee and End-tables can have hard edges in a frequent traffic zone – corner guards can protect your child from hurtful bumps.

Hall entrances, stairs leading out of the room can be closed off with door knob covers or gates where relevant.  Note that gates installed at the top of stairs must be hardware mounted (not pressure mounted) and not have a bottom rail on the floor which can be a tripping hazard.


Often hazardous substances (cleaning supplies, alcohol, medicine, batteries), or breakable and sharp objects are stored in lower cabinets – these should be moved to a higher location out of reach from children and/or cabinet locks or latches installed to restrict access.

Ovens and stove tops can be hot and cause burns if touched or turned on accidentally and create a fire hazard. Use stove knob covers to restrict access to burners and oven door locks. When cooking, use the back burners and keep pot handles, lids, and utensils away from the edge and out of reach.

Refrigerators are a hazard if children crawl into them or access food they aren’t supposed to. Refrigerator door locks can restrict access.

Appliance cords (toasters, kettles, coffee makers, mixers, etc.) can hang low and off the counter within reach, tie them up and keep them out of reach to avoid children pulling these down on top of themselves.


Curtain and curtain strings can be pulled down or strangulation hazards – roll up strings and tie them out of reach. Make sure curtains and ropes are not within reach of the crib in the nursery.

Dressers and furniture may tempt children to climb the drawers and then tip over – wall anchors can secure the furniture to the wall. Drawer locks and latches can keep them out of the drawers.

Outlets can be inviting for children to explore – use outlet covers, make sure they are not reachable from the crib, and maybe use a nightlight in one for some visibility at night.

When toddlers move from their crib to a bed, bedrails are a great way to help them and you feel more secure that they won’t fall out of bed.

Rooms that are prone to multiple hazards (bathrooms, garages) and staircases should be completely off limits without active adult supervision.

For a complete assortment of baby-proofing essentials, gates, and other Safety 1st® products to keep you baby safe – check here.

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