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Child Proof Your Home in 10 Easy Steps

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Child proofing is essential to protect babies and children up to five years of age from the many risks and dangers that are found in every home. Prevent accidents and keep your child safe with our 10 easy steps to child proof your home.

1. Child Proof Electronics

Children love to explore with their hands and this can mean danger around electrical sockets. It is easy for a young child to mistake the plastic holes of a socket for a toy and to stick a finger or toy in, which poses a risk of electrocution. It is important to either install safety covers on sockets, or to block access to them with furniture or other obstacles.

2. Kid Friendly Kitchen

The kitchen is a risky place for your little adventurer. Your child proofing in this room should begin with attaching safety latches to your appliances and low-level cupboards; this includes the fridge, dishwasher and oven. Always keep cleaning products in high, out-of-reach cupboards. You should also check counter tops for sharp corners and fit safety bumpers where necessary. Finally, you should consider fitting a guard rail around your cooker hobs to prevent falls and spills.

3. Fire Safety

A large and sturdy fireguard is essential for safety around stoves and open fires. As well as preventing burns and falls, they will prevent sparks that can start fires. Always keep a functioning fire extinguisher, smoke alarm and fire blanket in your home too.

4. Baby Proof Stairs

A stair gate is invaluable for the peace of mind and safety it provides. As your little one gets more mobile, this simple device becomes increasingly important. Used to stop your child from accessing dangerous staircases, it can also be used in doorways to keep children from venturing outside or into rooms they shouldn’t. 

5. Blind Cords

Pull cords or chains on blinds are extremely hazardous for children. They should be removed completely or drastically shortened.

6. Window Safety

Fit windows with a window restrictor or window stop. They allow you to open windows just enough for ventilation but not enough for a child to fit through. They are particularly important for upstairs windows.

7. Keep Car Keys Out of Reach

Always keep car keys out of reach and sight of young children. You may not think your young child could start the car, but don’t take the chance. Stranger things have happened!

8. Hazardous Household Products

Home cleaning products, cosmetics and medication are potentially poisonous if consumed. They should be carefully stored out of reach of children or in a locked cupboard.

9. Child Friendly Plants

Some house plants can also be poisonous if ingested. Examples include Calla Lillies, English Ivy, Daffodils and Fishtail Palm. These plants should be avoided when you have young children in the home. There are safe house plants available, and your local garden centre will be able to advise you on this. Examples of child-friendly house plants include: African Violet, Bamboo, Bird of Paradise, Christmas Cactus, Orchids, and Spider Plant.

10. Start Crawling!

Now the fun begins! The HSE recommends getting down on your hands and knees and having a crawl around your home, inside and out. This will help you spot any further dangers within reach of your child. Bear in mind that toddlers tend to pull themselves up with the aid of furniture, so make sure there’s nothing that could topple over onto them. Large furniture should be anchored down, cupboard doors and drawers kept closed with safety latches, and other risky items kept out of reach.

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