Childproofing your home will create a safer environment, but nothing can replace adult supervision.
Here's some advice on making your home as safe as possible for your growing toddler.
Try to keep an eye on your child as much as possible. Know where they are and what they’re doing at all times. And remember:
- Safety latches might make it more difficult for children to open cupboards, but they don’t make it impossible.
- Some children may be able to open child resistant caps if they try long enough.
- Keep harmful products locked up, out of sight and out of reach
How to Childproof
To childproof your home, remove as many dangers to your toddler as possible. Start by getting down on the floor. Crawl around on your hands and knees. At that level, you’ll be able to see exactly what your toddler may be interested in - as well as hidden dangers. Check for small objects that your toddler could swallow or choke on, or cords your toddler could get caught in.
Are there any large, heavy or sharp items that your toddler could pull down, such as a flat screen TV? Check for any poisonous or harmful objects your toddler could reach or open. For example, purses can contain coins, small mints and medications that can harm young children. Keep purses up high and out of reach.
Here are some more tips for childproofing your home:
Use hardware mounted swing gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Do not remove them until your toddler can climb stairs independently.
Place protective covers on all electrical outlets your toddler can reach.
Move furniture away from windows to keep your toddler from climbing out.
Tape foam or sponge over counter and table corners to protect heads from bumps.
Remove all hood and neck strings from children’s clothing, including jackets and sweatshirts. Drawstrings on children’s outfits are very dangerous – they can get caught on the corner posts of a crib or on playground equipment.
Keep items such as toys, clothing and household items with strings, cords or ribbons longer than 15 cm (6 in.) out of your toddler’s reach. Longer ties can get wrapped around your toddler’s neck and cause strangulation.
Resources & Links:
For a printable list of safety tips, see the BC Children’s Hospital Home Safety Checklist.
For more safety tips, check out the online Health Canada publication “Is Your Child Safe?”
HealthLink BC: Your Toddler - Safe Ways to Explore
HealthLink BC: Your Toddler - Health and Safety, Birth to 2 Years