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Checklist: Childproofing Your Home and Yard

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your children’s safety. Coupled with your own awareness and vigilance, these procedures may help your children safely survive childhood without any heart-wringing emergency room visits. The specialized hardware described can be purchased at building supply dealers or children’s specialty stores.


Lock up all poisons and dangerous objects.

Eliminate clutter and store prized possessions.

Keep all tools organized and out of children’s reach.

Turn down the temperature on your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put sleeves on doorknobs to keep toddlers from dangerous areas.

Use door and window locks, but be sure older children can open them in an emergency.

Discuss emergency escape routes and procedures with all family members.

Put emergency numbers on or next to the phone, where family members and babysitters can find them.

Install a smoke detector on each floor of your house, adjacent to bedrooms, in any stairwell and in the living/dining area.

Cover unused outlets with small plastic outlet plugs that protect children from accidental shock.

Measure crib bar spacing. It should be no greater than 2 3/8″.

Be sure all baby gear meets the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Put childproof latches on cabinet doors and drawers—particularly those containing dangerous or fragile objects.

Secure curtain cords to tie-down or cleat high on the wall.

Cut any blind cords that are too long and cut apart blind cords that form a loop.

Move all cleaning products, chemicals and medicines to cabinets children can’t reach.

Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairways and anywhere else you want to prevent children from entering.

Pad sharp furniture or counter edges with foam tape. Put corner protectors on sharp edges.

Eliminate or tape down loose rugs or electrical cords that might trip children.

Keep escape ladders near second-story emergency exits.


Enclose open deck railings with welded wire mesh. Cut it with tin snips and nail or staple in place. Be sure to file off sharp ends.

Put acrylic sheets on interior railings.

Fence-in swimming pool and other dangerous areas. When enclosing a pool, fence height should be at least 4 feet high, but 5 feet is better.

Be sure to provide a self-closing, self-latching gate around the pool.

Check outdoor play equipment.

Cut off protruding bolts, tighten loose nuts, put non-slip coating on slippery steps, and replace hard swing seats with soft material.

Provide soft ground cover around play equipment and anchor the equipment support legs.

It is important to note that no list can contain all the items parents need to address, when it comes to safety. Look around your home and try to identify problem areas not on this list. There are home safety experts who can provide consultation.

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