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Toddlers are mobile and inquisitive in nature, resulting in the need for parents to childproof and secure all rooms in the house. While most baby proofing products would work for crawling infants, toddlers who can walk around and reach for objects need to be kept safe by childproofing the home using some basic items like child safety gates, childproof locks, and latches and by making a few lifestyle changes.
Child Proofing the Kitchen and Bath
Since the kitchen and bath hold the most potential for accidents, it is vital that both the rooms be childproofed and made safe for curious toddlers. Parents can begin by rearranging cabinets so that heavier and dangerous items are stored in overhead cabinets that are out of reach for a toddler while safer and lighter items can be stored in cabinets that a toddler may access. In addition, cabinets and drawers that hold dangerous items should have child safety latches installed.
Make the bath safe for toddlers by investing in a protective spout cover, a grab rail low enough for a toddler to hold and a safety latch for the toilet lid.
Keep the floors in the kitchen and bath dry to avoid falls and ensure that the bath bottom has a skid-proof surface or mat. Install child safety latches on all appliances that open and close and knob covers to prevent toddlers from turning on appliances or the stove. Never place a toddler on the countertop while cooking, eating or drinking and always keep pot handles turned inwards while cooking.
How to Childproof the Garage and Laundry Room
Parents should install childproof locks on doors leading to the garage and laundry room and keep them off-limits for toddlers. In addition, it will be a good idea to transfer all poisonous and hazardous items in these rooms to securely locked, out of reach cabinets.
Using Child Safety Locks and Latches in Other Rooms
In all the rooms, cabinets and drawers that store objects not meant for a toddler must be fitted with child safety locks and latches. The Safety 1st Magnetic Tot Lok is a good product for cabinet doors and drawers. Install these locks on drawers that close sharply as well and prevent tiny fingers from getting hurt. Also, install window safety guards and locks to prevent toddlers from falling out of windows.
More Tips for Ensuring a Safe Home for Toddlers
In addition to using child safety locks, gates, and latches, parents can childproof the home for toddlers in the following ways:
- Remove plants that may be poisonous or plants with thorns that may prick or hurt a child.
- Soften sharp edges of tables by using rubber edges or table cushions.
- Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all the stairs in the house and keep steps free of toys and other clutter to prevent falls and accidents.
- Remove or change the placement of decorative items that could break, fall on a toddler or have small parts that may lead to choking accidents.
- Ensure additional home safety by installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.
- Keep electrical outlets covered and cords bundled and secured.
Keeping the home safe for toddlers requires some amount of planning and a great deal of vigilance. Use these tips to childproof the house and keep a toddler safe and out of harm’s way. While child safety gates and childproof locks do help in securing the home, they cannot take the place of a parent’s watchful eye and a constant lookout for potential hazards.
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