Childproofing basics checklist

Providing a safe environment for your children is just as important as providing the right child caregiver for them. Please be very aware of the hazards in your home and go over this checklist carefully, even if you only have children as visitors in your home. It takes only a moment for an accident to happen and most of them can be prevented.

For more information about Go Au Pair and a cultural child care experience for your family, visit or contact LAR Joan Lowell in the Providence, RI and surrounding areas at or 401.309.1925.

To be an effective childproofer, you have to look at things from a child’s perspective. So get down on all fours and look up at the world. Tabletops, shelves, and drawers are all potential places to explore. And to some little climbers, that high-up cupboard is the equivalent of Mount Everest, and your child might try to reach it just because it’s there. (source:

Never, ever leave child in tub unsupervised, not even for a few seconds.
Put a non-slip mat in bathtub.
Nice to have:
Soft cover for bathtub spout
Covers for bathtub knobs
Use a detachable rail to prevent falls from bed and/or put padding on the floor next to the bed.
Preventing burns
Don’t carry hot food or drink and your child at the same time.
Keep hot food and drink away from edges of tables and counters.
Don’t hold child while cooking at stove.
Turn pot handles toward back of stove.
Secure oven door with an appliance latch.
Install a stove guard and knob covers.
Install car seat properly, preferably in the middle of the back seat.
When driving, engage door and window locks if your car is equipped with them.
Don’t use clothing with drawstrings.
Use doorstops and door holders to protect child’s fingers.
Electrical outlets, cords, and appliances
Put safety plugs or outlet covers in unused outlets or block with furniture.
Hide electrical cords behind furniture or use hide-a-cord device.
Keep blow dryers, toasters, and other appliances unplugged and out of reach.
Preventing falls
Never leave child alone in high chair or let him climb on furniture from which he can fall.
Use window guards and safety netting on windows, decks, and landings.
If railings have openings wider than 4 inches, block with plastic garden fencing, Plexiglas, or other material.
At the store, use safety belts on shopping carts (or bring one of your own).
Install a fireplace grill and keep it in place when a fire is burning.
Move gas fireplace keys out of reach.
Stow logs, matches, and fireplace tools out of reach.
Fire prevention
Check batteries on smoke detectors monthly.
Review fire escape route and start talking to your child about it.
First aid
Take a CPR class.
Forbidden territory
Keep knives, breakables, heavy pots, and other dangerous items locked up or out of reach.
Control access to unsafe areas with safety gates, door locks, and knob covers.
Put locks or latches on accessible cabinets and drawers that house unsafe items.
Keep trash cans in inaccessible cupboards or use ones with child-resistant covers.
Cover or block access to hot radiators and floor heaters.
Secure refrigerator with appliance latch.
Keep small fingers out of VCRs with a VCR lock.
Don’t use tablecloths or placemats — your child may pull them and what’s on them down.
Distract child from forbidden places by keeping one cupboard unlocked and filled with lightweight, safe items.
Remove clutter and move protruding furniture that child could trip on.
Attach corner and edge guards to furniture that will become a hazard as child walks, climbs, and grows taller.
Secure furniture that can topple (bookcases, chests of drawers) to the walls.
Keep televisions on low, stable cabinets, pushed back as far as possible.
Secure tall, tippy lamps behind furniture.
Don’t keep them in the house — they’re not safe around children.
If you must have guns, store them, unloaded, in a locked and inaccessible spot.
Store the ammunition in a separate locked and inaccessible spot.
Use additional gun safety devices such as trigger locks.
Start teaching your child that guns are weapons, not toys.
Make sure surface under equipment is rubber, fiber, wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel — not asphalt, concrete, or grass.
Survey your house and move cleaning agents, medicines, vitamins, toiletries, mothballs, and other potentially toxic items out of reach or lock them up.
Remember that your purse or a visitor’s purse can hold medicines, toiletries, and other toxic substances — keep them out of reach.
Get rid of toxic houseplants such as philodendron or move them out of reach.
Post the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ national emergency hotline number, (800) 222-1222, near phone.
Keep child out of the sun as much as possible.
When child is outside, protect skin with hats, light-colored clothing with long sleeves, and sunscreen.
Install a lock on the toilets (tots can fall in and drown).
The safest toys:
Are securely put together and in good condition.
Have no buttons, eyes, beads, ribbons, or other pieces a child could pull off and choke on.
Are not too heavy (if a toy would harm child if it fell on her, it’s too heavy).
Have no strings or cords longer than 12 inches.
Are appropriate for your child’s age and physical skills.
Can’t be hung around a child’s neck.
Teach child to be wary of cars and to hold grownup’s hand in street or parking lot.
Don’t leave child unattended even for a moment in or near a pool or other water.
Around your pool, erect fencing at least 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
Don’t leave even small amounts of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids in buckets or other containers.
Cut off or tie up dangling cords on drapes and blinds.
Mark sliding doors and other expanses of glass with colorful stickers.
Install window locks so windows can be opened for air but not far enough for child to climb out.
Don’t depend on screens to prevent falls.
Avoid putting furniture that child could climb on near windows. 

One thought on “Childproofing basics checklist

  1. Pingback: Newborn basics for every parent and caregiver, part three « goaupairprovidence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s