Childproofing Your New Home

moving and childproofingBy Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

We all like to think that our homes are our safe spots, but if you look at your home through the eyes of a child, there’s danger at every turn. From the electrical outlets just inviting small fingers to explore them to the unforgiving edges of fireplaces, all those fixtures you never really stopped to think about have now become a hazard.

An excellent time to childproof your new home is right after the moving company arrives to unload your belongings. Then, you can set up your home and take care of safety issues in one swoop. However, while you are moving isn’t the only time you need to be aware of items that are dangerous for your children. You should regularly go through your house room by room and make sure there are no issues within reach.

Kitchen: It is crucial in the kitchen to put safety latches on any cabinet doors you don’t want kids opening and closing—especially any cabinets storing cleaners or other poisonous items. Other options include:

  • Storing all cleaning supplies up out of reach
  • Putting covers on all outlets
  • Locking any drawers that contain sharp objects
  • Keeping glass bottles and other breakables out of reach

Bathrooms: Water is very dangerous to children. Toilets may require a baby lock to keep them closed, and you’ll want to make sure to never leave water standing in your tub. In addition, consider turning your hot water heater down so that no potentially scalding water will come streaming out the taps. Also make sure to:

  • Put covers on all outlets
  • Lock cabinets with chemicals/cleansers
  • Make sure kids have no access to medications

Living Spaces: Sharp corners are a big risk factor in communal spaces. When toddlers are beginning to move around, it’s easy to smack heads and fall into edges. Safety buffers can go a long way in making these items less dangerous. Other considerations are:

  • No looped cords on blinds or curtains
  • No loose electrical cords
  • Safety covers on outlets
  • Move heavy books and other items that can be pulled off shelves out of reach
  • Secure furniture to the wall to prevent tipping
  • No climbing access from furniture to potentially dangerous high spaces (like windows)

It is also a good idea to take precautions for larger hazards. Stairways may need gates to prevent kids from going up or falling down. Rooms you don’t want kids to access can be locked with childproof handles. Swimming pools need locked gates. Remember—anything that looks like fun will probably be the target for exploration sometime in the future. So, as the moving company is unloading your items and you are unpacking at your new house, take the time to childproof each room….and keep your kids safe!