Discovery Point Blog
5 Tasks to Toddler-Proof Your Home
Does it feel like only yesterday your child was taking their very first steps, and now they’re moving at the speed of light? If you have a toddler who’s recently mobile and ready to discover unexplored areas of your home, it’s time to make sure you’ve covered the basics of toddler-proofing.
Last month, we discussed some baby-proofing essentials for young crawlers, which also apply to toddlers. However, now that your child is able to run, jump, and climb, you’ll need to take some extra steps to ensure their safety in and around the home.
Here are some areas that require special attention before your young explorer can be let loose:
Keep windows latched at all times, and keep furniture away from windows, balconies, and railings. Note that a window screen won’t be enough to prevent a fall.
If you haven’t already installed child-safe window treatments, be sure to take care of that now with a free retrofit kit from the Window Covering Safety Council.
Make sure doors to the outside are locked at all times to prevent a sneaky escape. Check that doors to cellars and garages, where more hazardous objects may be stored, are secured.
For areas you wish you could seal off with a door but there isn’t one installed, try a wall-mounted baby gate. These are great for blocking off staircases, fireplaces, and the kitchen.
The kitchen contains a variety of both hazards and delights for toddlers. To prevent curious fingers from being burned, get in the habit of only using the back burners on the stovetop.
The same idea goes for hot foods and liquids – these should never be placed near the edges of tables or countertops, nor should they sit on tablecloths or towels that could be pulled down.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to ensure all lower cabinets and drawers have safety latches on them. Some parents opt for a lower level drawer or cabinet to hold sippy cups and toddler sized dishes, bowles and utensils.
This is a great way to encourage independence as you ask them to find a bowl or spoon for dinner. It also helps to engage children in clean up tasks like unloading the dishwasher. If this area is easily accessible, you can hand your child items to put in the cabinet or drawer.
If you happen to have a pond or pool, a child safety pool cover is essential.
You may be surprised to hear that certain plants could also pose a danger due to their toxicity. Do a quick review of the plants in your garden for peace of mind.
If you have a shed or similar structure on your property, make certain its entrance is secured.
- Expensive Items
In addition to ensuring your home is a safe space for your toddler, you’ll also need to consider whether certain precious items of yours are safe from your toddler. One tip is to keep your smartphone and other costly electronics charging in an out-of-reach area; otherwise, you shouldn’t be surprised to find them in the toilet one day.
Anything else that would be a shame to see stained or ruined should be covered or placed in storage for the time being. Once you’ve taken that step, commit to an intentional mindset that things may get a little messy for a while, and that’s okay.
As children grow and develop at different speeds, childproofing tasks should be taken care of well in advance of when they may be needed. By the time your little one is toddling around, you may be too busy chasing after them to think about these details!
It’s also important to note that toddler-proofing your home doesn’t in any way eliminate the need for supervision. However, it can minimize the risk that something serious could happen in the blink of an eye.