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The Ultimate Childproofing Checklist

September 2nd, 2022

childproof your home

Regardless of whether you have a baby on the way or a newborn that sleeps, that sweet little cooing baby will one day roll, crawl and run highlighting every single little hazard in your home.

When it comes to childproofing the home for your toddlers, the most important step is to make a list of everything you need to do so that you can relax while the baby plays (who are we kidding!!).. At least you might be able to watch comfortably knowing your bundle of joy isn’t turning your plasma into a construction zone.

At Nimble, we value child safety so we have created the ultimate checklist for you to have your home in tip-top shape for your little ones.

We understand that there will be ongoing costs when children are involved so if you have suddenly looked around your humble abode and realised it is more like a mouse trap for children, don’t stress. A Nimble AnyTime Virtual Mastercard can assist you in purchasing all the little bits and pieces we forget about when it comes to childproofing.

Lock up your Living Room

Start with the room that you spend the most amount of time in.

The best thing to do is get down to eye level with your child and take a look around from their perspective.

You might be surprised by some of the things you see..

Mount the TV

Once you have kids, you soon realise that TVs are a little more dangerous than you once thought.

If your TV stand can be climbed on, it is possible that the TV could fall over. It may be time to mount your TV if you own your own and it’s structurally possible. If you can’t, you can buy child proof mounting devices from your local hardware store to secure the television to the wall or the tv unit.

When it comes to TVs, also ensure that the remote is in mint condition and stored away from wandering eyes. If you are missing the battery cover, it is time for a replacement.

Photo Frames and Mirrors

Photo frames and mirrors may be decor in the average child-free home but now that you have little rascals around, you will need to make sure they are out of reach.

If a frame drops, even on carpet, the glass can shatter creating a potential hazard in your home.

Mount your frames higher on the wall or replace them with plastic (no one will even notice).

Indoor Heating Hazards

Keeping your kids warm is good, exposing them to potential burn hazards is dangerous. There is a fine line to warming your home safely in the presence of little hands. Here are some pointers when it comes to heating:

Fireplaces

If you are using your fireplace, ensure you have heat resistant gates installed to ensure that the kids cannot get anywhere near it.

Kids can fall and injure themselves against a sharp or stoney hearth, so be sure to buy and install pads for all the edges.

Artificial Fireplaces

Although they look great, make sure you remove any small rocks that may be a potential choking hazard.

Gas Heaters

A gas heater can be just as dangerous as a fireplace. Whilst they keep you nice and toasty through the winter, ensure that your loved ones can’t get anywhere near it.

Also use it under supervision and never leave it on through the night. When it isn’t in use, ensure that the kids can’t play with the buttons or dials and the gas connection is secure.

Column/Bar Heaters

Whilst these heaters are portable and great for heating different parts of your house, they are also a safety concern when it comes to children. These heaters don’t look like they are on when in fact they are scalding hot. Always take precautionary measures similar to fireplaces and gas heaters to ensure no emergency trips to the ED.

Keep Curtains in Check

Have a look at your curtains and assess if they are the safest option for your home.

If you have blinds with looped cords, ensure they are wound and secured out of reach of children or perhaps consider replacing them for something a bit safer.

Kids love playing hide’n’seek behind things so ensure there is nothing loose or hanging that can be pulled, tugged or get caught around body parts.

Protect your Powerpoints

There is nothing more intriguing to a child than an open powerpoint. Why? Because they see us sticking things in it and they instantly want to do the same.

Try to hide all powerpoints behind furniture or larger objects. If it can’t be hidden, ensure you insert child proof covers into the holes. If you leave them open, your little ‘sparky’ might be tempted to stick things into it which could lead to electrocution.

Careful with Corners

You may have once had an eye for fancy furniture but now is the time to watch out for sharp corners and head-height hazards.

When your baby is starting to pull herself up on things and taking their first steps, you will find that your furniture doesn’t look so friendly anymore.

Check the type of glass in your coffee table as you will want something sturdy and shatter-proof. If not, keep it in a room which is unexplored by little people.

You can get a range of baby proofing devices for your edges and corners these days, so find out which ones you could use on your furniture to keep them bump friendly.

Beat the Bedroom Bruises

The next place to consider child safety is the bedroom. Another room of the house that is often inhabited by your cheeky cherub.

The bedroom has lots of fun things to climb and touch so follow these tips to help minimise the risks.

Set the Cot up Safely

  • Whilst you have a Newborn, you can keep the cot on the highest setting however once they can sit up, you will need to lower the base immediately.
  • Remove any bumpers or stuffed toys while they are sleeping as they can be a potential suffocation hazard (as well as a boost out of bed for a climber).
  • If your cot has any damage, you may need to replace it to ensure it meets Australian standards.
  • Make sure the cot is away from windows, heaters, lamps, wall decorations and cords.
  • Remove any mobiles – they might be a nice addition to the decor but they can become a distraction when it comes to sleep (no-one wants that) and can also be a temptation to standing toddlers (which is likely to be dangerous).

Be sure the Window has a Guard

If your window is low to the ground, make sure that there is safety glass installed to prevent dangerous shards of glass in the home if it were to break.

Ensure your windows have a guard on them so that they cannot open more than an adult fist especially if the window is above ground level (even if you have flyscreens).

Rugs

Make sure you install some non-skid rug liners on the underside of your rugs to help prevent your little ones from bowling themselves over during their indoor exercise.

Secure any Furniture

They may be heavy to carry for us adults, but they are also easy to climb for your little explorer.

  • Secure furniture to walls to prevent a trip to the ED.
  • Make sure any drawers have child safe locks or devices on them, the more drawers that get pulled out, the more unsturdy the chest of drawers becomes.
  • Make sure your change table has nothing interesting in sight – think nappies, wipes or Sudocrem (and trust us, a child covered in Sudocrem is NOT ideal!).

Careful in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a place where we all want to be!

It’s the hub of the home, where families cook and eat together. But for kids, it can also be dangerous territory if you’re not careful.

Your sous chef may have a culinary dream of their own so start from the bottom and work your way up to ensure your kitchen is in tip top shape for your miniature intern.

Remove Temptations

Things that are hanging like curtains, table cloths and tea towels are perfect for tugging which is not so ideal for safety. You can:

  • Remove table cloths – now that you have kids you might want to change up the way you serve dinner at the table. A table cloth can lead to your entire arrangement being pulled down to the floor. Take our word for it!
  • Make sure there are no curtain cords hanging – these can be a suffocation hazard.
  • Ensure fridges have a child lock and no small magnets that are of a choking size.

Clean out your Chemicals

Chemicals are often stored under the sink or in cupboards that are easily accessible. So follow these tips to ensure your curious explorers can’t get to them:

  • Install locks on the cupboard that are actually childproof. A device with a magnetic lock and key will keep the cupboard secure and cannot easily be unlatched.
  • If you can’t install a locking device, store your products in a locked box in a secure cupboard.
  • Remove any temptations at all by moving the products to a different room in the house or high up in the garage.
  • Never leave dishwashing tablets sitting in the dishwasher unless you intend on turning it on – they are extremely hazardous and look fun to play with!

Keep Dishware and Glasses out of Reach

This may sound like a no-brainer but keep those mugs, glasses, pints and flutes, way up high to prevent your toddler reenacting My Big Fat Greek Wedding in your kitchen.

Make sure you:

  • Keep dinnerware in a secure cupboard or high out of reach.
  • Empty the dishwasher after the cycle so that your toddler doesn’t have to – there may be ceramic plates or sharp knives.
  • Have a designated drawer for kids stuff that is down low and easy to access – this can help deter them from the not so sturdy kitchenwares.

Check your Appliances

Anything with a cord in the kitchen, should be kept unplugged or out of reach.

  • Microwaves always seem particularly fun but also pose a potential risk to wandering hands so ensure they have a child lock or are kept up high.
  • Heated appliances like the kettle or air fryer, should be kept right away from edges until they have completely cooled so that they can’t be pulled down on top of a child. If you cannot safely store it, empty it and place it outside until cool.
  • When it comes to the oven, don’t leave tea towels hanging on the handle, they may look great for climbing but can also allow little ones to open the door by accident.

Place Locks on Bins

If you have bins in the kitchen make sure you empty them regularly and install a locking mechanism where possible so that your kids can’t get their hands and clothes covered with disgusting mess.

Think Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch vibes.

If you can’t lock them, store them in a cupboard that can be secured.

Install Stove Knob Covers

Buttons, knobs and switches are all fun to play with when it comes to cooking up a feast, but they aren’t so safe when it comes to you crawlers.

Pull them off or cover them when they are not in use. Or even better, you can use a stove guard to make it harder for little fingers to reach

Beat Bathroom Bumps

Your bathroom is home to all the fun things like water, bubbles and make-up but it can also be home to a whole heap of dangers that you might have forgotten about.

Fit a Lock on the Toilet Seat

The toilet is just the right height for a toddler to bend over and take a look, and whilst it may sound funny, they could fall over and just so happen to get stuck (they are top heavy after all).

Drowning is a leading cause of death in infants and children so make sure that anything with water is secured and not left unsupervised.

When it comes to the Bathtub

All kids love bath time but it’s also one of the more dangerous places in the house. Here are some tips to keep it child friendly:

  • Install a suction grip mat or those cute little animal grip stickers to avoid little slips and tumbles.
  • Consider a rubber spout cover to prevent bumps and bruises. Because even when you say ‘sit up the other end’ they always wiggle back down.
  • If you can’t set a maximum temp for your water, consider installing an anti-scald device on your tap to minimise risk of burns.
  • Dry out and store any bath toys after use, to prevent any hidden mould.
  • Clean up any spills around the bathtub straight away, not only does it mean you will get wet knee’s, but they can also be extremely slippery.

Lock your Cupboards

I think most of you will know why but if you need convincing:

  • Toddlers love to do their makeup (including their surroundings), think lipstick murals and foundation finger painting.
  • Toddlers love to open tubes and bottles (your toothpaste, expensive shampoo and face serums will all fall victim).
  • They also love sprays (Mummy wears them, so why can’t I?).
  • Pills are not fun to play with and should be kept out of reach, or better yet, it a medicine cabinet

If we haven’t convinced you, just remember how long it takes to roll back up that spare roll of toilet paper (and that’s probably not something you should be wasting these days!!)

Watch your Appliances

We have all seen the warning on the blow dryer, to keep it away from water but our kids probably haven’t. Ensure you store any hot tools away after use or keep them out of reach.

A few Handy Tips to Remember

Never feel like you are going overboard with the child proofing when it comes to your home. You would rather be over-safe than under-cautious when it comes to your child or baby’s safety.

A scary percentage of trips to the ED for babies and toddlers are due to accidents so take the first step in preventing little mishaps.

Invest in some Baby Gates

Baby gates can be a handy and temporary solution to child proofing area’s of your house. You can use them:

  • At the top and bottom of stairs
  • To block off a room which is dangerous – such as a laundry, bathroom or kitchen
  • To isolate sections of the house
  • To create a baby safe area/playroom

Safety Covers on Electrical Outlets

Make a habit of walking around the house and filling any empty electric outlet with a childproof cover/plug. They are hard to get out when you need to, but they will also keep things that shouldn’t be in them, out of them. You can get enough for the whole house for a pretty affordable price down at your local hardware store.

Crawl around at their Level

Spend a few minutes at their height and you may be introduced to a whole new world.

If you crawl around the house, you may notice more things that need to be moved or changed.

You may also find a few spots that you missed with the vacuum. But since you’re down on the floor with the baby, get the other half to fix that!!

So What Next?

If you have crawled around, written a list and researched the latest childproofing devices, it’s time to make a trip to your nearest hardware store (or do a little online retail therapy) to stock up on the baby safety essentials.

A Nimble AnyTime Virtual Mastercard can help you with the upfront costs and get you on the way to a safe and happy home.

As for sleep, well that’s another story.

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