Childproofing Checklist


Childproofing is a must for all homes and the time to start is now. I have read some "experts" that stated it should be completed by the time the baby is six months old, but who has time to do anything once the baby arrives? Our advice is to childproof before baby arrives. Please print this page and take it with you on your assessment.

Successful childproofing starts with two elements. 1) Constant adult supervision and 2) Viewing your home and surroundings from the view point of your child, which means on your knees and under the couch etc. If it even crosses your mind that a particular something may be a hazard it probably is. REMEMBER: No amount of childproofing can prevent 100% of mishaps, but you can surely decrease the opportunity for injury. All of the safety items mentioned can be found at most home improvement centers. If you need further assistance in locating a device contact Safety 1st on the web at www.safety1st.com

  

UNIVERSAL
Apply to all areas of your home

Know CPR and First Aid. If outside of central Florida contact the American Safety and Health Institute at 1-800-246-5101 (www.ashinstitute.com) or your local American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org) or see our selection of home learning systems or videos above.
  
Have one CORDED emergency phone with emergency numbers (including Poison control) AND your address (with specific directions if needed). Use this phone when practicing with all of the family members. There is no greater sense of panic than not being able to find a cordless phone to call for help or because of the nature of the emergency (finding your child floating in the pool) or not recalling your address or directions.
 
Hot water heater should be set at a maximum of 120 degrees.
 
Are medications/vitamins out of reach?
  
Cleaning supplies kept in high, locked areas (put your Tupperware on the bottom so they can play in a safe cabinet).
 
Use safety latches on all cabinets that you don’t want children in although none are foolproof. Our favorite is the Tot Lock by Safety 1st. It requires a magnetic key to open the latch. Available at any home improvement store or Wal-Mart.
   
Any doors that lead to danger (BATHROOMS, outdoors, garage etc.) should have a slide lock, hook and eye latch. Your child can operate lever handles as soon as they can pull up, long before they can walk.
   
Secure all windows to avoid falls.
   
Use night-lights to provide safe passage in the dark.
  
Evaluate all sources of heat. Fireplaces or spaceheaters must be in working order and barriers must be in place to avoid contact.
   
All electrical outlets should have self-closing covers. Any outlets that must have a plug in should have a cover that can include the plug. Power strip covers are available.
    
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets should be installed around any source of water such as kitchen, bath and all outdoor receptacles.
 
Electrical cords should be in good condition, replace immediately if not. Secure cords to table legs to avoid the tipping of lamps or other items.
 
Use baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Avoid accordion style gates. Make sure balcony railings are in good condition.
 
Vertical blind cords should never have loops. Cut the loop and tie off the individual ends and install cord shortners.
 
Have more than one working ABC rated fire extinguisher available. Be careful not to place it too close to a potential source of fire. The kitchen is a great place for an extinguisher but under the stove is not a good place to store it!
 
Smoke detectors should be located in every room in the house. You’ve probably not heard this anywhere else but think about this: Your families’ chance of injury or death is DECREASED by 90% with smoke detectors. They cost less than $6 each. Do it!!
 
Have a fire escape plan. Practice it. Teach your children Stop, Drop and roll.
 
Carbon monoxide detectors should be in use if you have any potential source such as garage, fireplace or gas appliances. Ours has saved us once already!

KITCHEN

Stove: Use stove top shield to prevent reaching. Turn all handles away from edge. If you have a freestanding oven/range, install anti-tip locks. These install on the floor and the foot of the range slides into it or use appliance straps. Use oven lock to prevent opening and knob covers.
 
Refrigerator/freezer: Use appliance locks and install appliance straps.
  
Keep countertop knife holders away form edge.

BATH

The bathtub is the number one site of drowning in the first year of life.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD ALONE! EVER!
Install toilet locks.
 
Install doorknob covers to deter access.
 
Always fill the bath tub first prior to placing the child in to avoid scalding
 
Use an anti-slip mat or adhesive slip mats.
 
Install spout cover.
 
Avoid reliance on tub seats. They can tip. Use this opportunity to hold your baby one more time.
 
Avoid leaving razors around tub/bath area.
 
Move regular soaps out of reach.

CHILD’S ROOM

Use products that carry the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal.
Distance between crib rails should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches wide.
     
Mattress must fit snugly against crib rails and be firm.
 
Avoid sleeping with infants and NEVER PLACE IN WATERBED!
Never take your hand off a child on a changing table. Use a safety strap.
 
Remove mobiles once child can reach them.
Once mobile, use baby gate to avoid wandering when think your toddler is sleeping.
 
Use cordless monitor. TV monitors are now available as well.
Use bed rails for toddlers.
Install light switch extender.
Diaper pails must have locking lids.
Toy boxes should have no lid or lightweight safety lids.
 
Older siblings can be hazardous! They often have more complex toys, are able to defeat safety measures and more than anything become an idol for your smaller child. Teach your older children to be a good, safe example and to notify you if their sibling needs help.

GARAGE

Garage door openers should be in good working order and reverse easily. Test by placing a lightweight cardboard box under the door and close. It should reverse after minimal contact.
 
Store and lock chemicals up and away. Be careful not to store chemicals together that could be hazardous if a leak occurs.
Use doorknob covers and latches to avoid unsupervised entry.
 
Always walk behind your vehicle to make sure no children are "hiding" or playing.
 
Ladders should be flat on the ground or hanging.

AUTOMOBILE

CHILDREN UNDER 12 MUST NEVER RIDE IN THE FRONT SEAT! The safest place for al children and small adults is the back seat.
 
AIRBAGS KILL! Airbags have saved thousands of lives and will continue to do so but they can be deadly to infants, children and small adults! If you must put an older child or adult in the front seat, move the seat as far back as possible.
 
Newborns through age 1 AND 20 pounds must face backward. Seat at 45º angle. Use firm towel roll if necessary. Harness at or below shoulder level.
 
Forward face after one year of age AND 20 pounds. Harness at or above shoulder level.
 
Kids between 40 and 80lbs should be in booster seats. Use high back boosters if you do not have headrests.
 
Children qualify for regular belts when 58" tall AND 29" sitting height AND 80 lbs., which typically occurs at age 10! (American Academy of Pediatrics )
 
Read and follow all instructions from the vehicle owner’s manual and car seat instructions.
 
BACK SEAT IS BEST!
 
NEVER PLACE A CHILD IN FRONT OF AN AIRBAG, EVEN IN PARKING LOTS OR DRIVEWAYS!
 
Seat must fit the car!
 
Retainer clip at arm level.
 
Harness straps must be snug.
 
Know which type of seat belt you are using. Some cars have retracting belts and do not require the use of belt clips. Refer to your car manual for guidance. Use belt clip (locking clip) when in doubt!
 
Never use a car seat that has been involved in an accident.
 
A booster seat with no shield should be used with lap/shoulder belts and is preferable over a seat with a shield. Use a shield only if you must (cars with lap belt only) but they are not certified for children over 40lbs (American Academy of Pediatrics).
 
All 1998 and newer cars have driver and passenger side air bags.
 
Car seats manufactured prior to 1981 should not be used.
 
Always register your car seat with manufacturer in case of recalls.
 
Bring a seat when traveling (bus/rental car) and on airplanes.

 

For more information:

Call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Auto safety hotline at 1-800-424-9393.

American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org.

National Safe Kids Buckle Up at www.safekids.org.

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