Child Safety Tips to Make Indoor Activities for Kids Safe & Worry-Free
Indoor activities for kids, no matter what age, can lead to injury. That’s why childproofing is an essential part of child safety for your home.
Whether your children are playing at a child care centre or in the living room, there are numerous ways to childproof the area without losing functionality.
Along with following this childproofing checklist, you can rest easy knowing your child is out of harm’s way at a child-safe daycare with tips for finding a quality daycare below.
When Should You Start Baby-Proofing Your Home?
You should start baby-proofing your home the moment your baby starts crawling. It is only a matter of time before your baby will explore the house and move around quickly.
Why Child Proofing Is Important
A home is full of hazards that could harm your child. While some bumps and bruises are an inevitable part of growing up, you should try to minimize the risk of injury as much as possible.
Children love to explore and play. And sometimes indoor activities can cause serious injuries for little ones if safety precautions aren’t in place.
To help prevent injuries altogether and take these necessary steps to baby- and child-proof your home.
Test Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This regular safety check not only makes your home safe for your kids, but it also makes your home safe for you, your guests, and your pets.
Regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change their batteries at least once a year, or every month if you want to be extra cautious. You should also replace the detectors at least once every ten years. Most detectors come with a replacement date printed on them.
You should have these detectors installed on each floor of your home, including in the basement. And you should also keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and in your basement.
Gate Off Pets
Use child safety gates to keep pets away from your child when necessary, such as after a messy walk, or when your dog is hyper.
You should also do this if you just gave your pet a topical flea treatment. Consider administering the treatment at night so it dries thoroughly while your child is sleeping.
Secure Windows and Use Guards
Keep furniture away from windows and use guards that don’t allow windows to open fully. And if you are in the market for new windows, consider those that open at the top, out of reach from young children.
Also avoid using blinds with cords that pose a choking hazard. Instead, consider using child-friendly window covers without cords.
Set Your Hot Water Tank to A Child-Friendly Temperature
If your water gets steaming hot, turn down the temperature on your hot water tank. Hot water tanks are usually set at a higher-than-necessary temperature that can cause burns.
A child-friendly temperature to set your hot water tank to is between 48 and 54 degrees Celsius. And if you’re still worried, install anti-scald devices on your faucets and showerheads. These will shut off the water if it gets hotter than a pre-set temperature maximum.
Baby-proof doorstoppers can prevent your doors from slamming on your child’s fingers, toes, and faces.
Cover Outlets & Hide Wires & Cords
Use plastic child-resistant outlet covers on all outlets that are within reach of your child. For outlets that are in use, cover with furniture so your child cannot pull at and touch the metal prongs of the cord.
Make sure all wires and cords out of reach and put away. This is especially important for small kitchen appliance cords. Instead of having the cords in reach, make space in your cupboards to store these appliances when not in use.
Use child safety locks or magnetic locking systems to lock the doors on your kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantries, fridge and freezer, storage rooms, laundry rooms, and cupboards. And always keep the dishwasher door firmly shut.
To give in to your child’s curiosity, you can leave one lower cupboard unlocked and filled with plastic items for your child to play with.
Lock Toilet Seat
Use a slow-closing toilet seat that won’t crush your baby’s fingers. And consider adding a toilet seat lock to prevent your child from playing in the toilet, getting stuck head-first in the toilet, and flushing objects down the toilet.
Lock Away Hazardous Products
Keep all cleaning agents, toxic solvents, medicine, and other dangers out of reach and locked away.
This also includes vitamins, salt, vanilla extract, and other foods that can be poisonous for a small child to consume.
For your child’s safety, your pet’s health, and the safety of the environment, consider using safe, plant-based cleaners instead of toxic chemicals.
Do Not Keep Toxic Houseplants in Your Home
If you’re unsure about the safety of your plants, do some research online. Some plants are toxic if eaten. And potted plants with gravel, rocks, marbles, and mulch are choking hazards for young children.
Watch Out for Where You Keep Your Purse or Briefcase
Curious hands can get in your purse. And the next moment, your car keys are lost. So keep your purse and your guests’ purses out of reach. Purses may also have choking hazards, like small candies, so it’s best if small children can’t play with them.
Attach Corner Guards to All Furniture Corners
Edge and corner guards will make furniture less harmful and painful for children if and when they bump their heads on the furniture. If you’re concerned about certain furniture that has hard, sharp edges, such as your coffee table, consider switching to a round and soft coffee table or ottoman
Secure Heavy & Unsteady Furniture
Anchor any furniture to walls that could otherwise fall over and hurt your child.
- Shelving units,
- TVs, and
- All other heavy or unsteady items.
Keep Garbage Cans and Recycling Bins Securely Put Away
Garbage cans and recycling bins can pose health risks for curious children. So hide your trash cans and use those with sliding locks to keep kids and pets out.
Also practice responsible recycling and garbage removal, such as disposing of sharp and hazardous materials promptly and safely, putting can lids inside of cans, placing broken glass in a secure bag, and removing garbage bags before the garbage reaches the top of the can.
If you happen to have a garburator, install a safety guard as well.
Cover or Block Radiators & Floor Heaters
Radiators and floor heaters can burn your child’s skin, so keep these out of reach. Block your radiators and heaters with furniture so your little one can’t touch the hot surface.
Keep Child Safety Gates Around Stairs
You should have child safety gates at both the top and bottom of staircases to prevent small children from going up and down the stairs unsupervised. Also, consider using bannister guards to block the openings in bannisters that small body parts can get stuck in.
10 Signs of A Safe Daycare
Like child-proofing your home, it’s important to send your child to a daycare that puts child safety first. So when looking for a safe daycare to send your child, look for signs of a quality daycare.
Make sure the child care centre:
- Meets licensing standards.
- Has a child health care consultant on-site or on-call.
- Has staff members trained in First Aid and CPR.
- Is childproofed.
- Has an acceptable caregiver-to-child ratio.
- Has low staff turnover.
- Has health and safety policies clearly posted.
- Follows health and safety protocols, such as handwashing before and after meals.
- Does not use negative discipline techniques.
- Has an open-door policy for parents.
A bit of work and diligence can go a long way when it comes to the safety of your child. So follow this childproofing checklist to ensure your child is safe. Childproofing your home properly will reduce risk of injury and give you peace of mind when your child starts exploring.