Your home is the place you should feel most safe – but unfortunately there are plenty of hazards for the littlest members of our family that we might not notice as adults.
According to RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), more than 1 million children under the age of 15 have accidents in and around the home every year 1.
To help keep your kids as safe as possible, here’s our room-by-room guide to childproofing your home and keeping hazards from the hands of little ones.
Some of the dangers in your kitchen are obvious, like the cooker hob and sharp knives, but there are plenty of everyday items that can cause problems for the kids.
- If the oven controls are within your child’s reach, getting covers for them can help ensure they can’t accidentally turn anything on
- When cooking, make sure pan handles are turned away from the surface edge (for adults and kids alike!)
- Keep your electrical appliances in cupboards, or at the back of kitchen worktops and switch them off at the wall if you’re not using them
- Move all your cleaning supplies (including dishwasher tablets) to high cupboards (rather than under the sink) if you can
- Buy and install latches for cupboard doors – particularly any that contain hazardous substances like bleach or cleaning products
It’s always advised to supervise young children in the bathroom during bath time in case of accidents – but there are other practical things you can do to keep them safe.
- Use a non-slip mat in the bath during bath time to avoid falls and slides
- Keep your toilet lid closed with a toilet lock if possible
- Lock any medicines away in a cabinet (same applies to any cleaning products) and keep medicines in their original packaging (child-resistant if possible)
From their first days to their first words, you’ll want to make sure your child’s room is as safe as possible. Here are a few tips to help.
- If you’re investing in a new cot, make sure it meets BS EN 716: 2005 safety standards (especially if you bought it second-hand) – you’ll find this information on the packaging
- Always keep drawers for cabinets or chests closed and secure them with childproof locks if possible
- Fitting safety guards on door hinges around your home (and especially in this room) can stop little fingers getting caught or trapped
It’s likely that this is where you spend most of your time – so it’s important to make sure it’s safe and secure.
- Attach corner guards on tables and furniture edges to prevent bumps and knocks
- If you have a fireplace, always use a fireguard that’s secure enough that it won’t topple over
- Fix any free-standing furniture such as bookshelves (or even TVS) to walls so that they can't be pulled over
- Plug in socket covers to any unused electrical sockets to stop tiny fingers investigating the electrics and tape-up any electrical cords to walls if you can
All around the house
Finally, here are our top tips for general childproofing of your home.
- Move any furniture that your child could climb onto and reach windows – and keep windows locked if you’re not using them
- Placing doorstops around the house and prevent slamming doors from trapping tiny fingers
- Laying slip-proof mats underneath rugs and loose carpets can help prevent slips and trips
- Apply shatter-resistant film to any glass panels in doors
And try not to worry. All children will suffer bumps and scrapes at some point – but taking a few of these steps while they’re small (and curious) can help avoid some of the common accidents at home.