When it comes to childproofing your home, every precaution counts. Children are naturally curious and love to explore, though this could expose them to potential hazards. From your kitchen to their nursery, it’s important to grasp and apply effective safety measures.
We’ve provided a detailed guide to help you create a safe environment for your children, as well as offering valuable insights if you’re planning on choosing your next home to support your growing family.
Best practices for childproofing
Childproofing the kitchen
As a bustling hub of (often hazardous) activity, securing your kitchen is essential to ensuring the safety of your little one. Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) highlight how children under five are at most risk to thermal injuries – much of which involve contact with hot household appliances, heated water, and cooking oils1. To keep your child safe, consider precautions when using the stove, such as turning handles away, using backburners, and installing a stove guard to prevent burns.
Appliance locks could also help in securing ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators, which could help prevent incidents that may cause burns or access to sharp objects. You may also wish to invest in cabinet locks to keep your child from accessing harmful kitchen tools or cleaning supplies. Since children often pull at tablecloths, swapping these for placemats may also help prevent unexpected spills or messes.
Childproofing the bathroom and laundry room
To ensure a safe bathroom or laundry room, you could start by securing medications, cosmetics, detergents, and toilet fresheners in cabinets or drawers with safety latches. Consider doing the same with any plug-in appliances, such as hairdryers or styling tools, deterring children from using them or accidentally dropping them in water. When disposing sharp objects, such as razors, ensure that the bin has a childproof lid.
To prevent slips and falls, consider placing non-slip bathmats or bathtub stickers in the tub or shower area. For extra safety, you may also wish to install outlet covers on any electrical sockets, as well as a hot water tempering valve for taps and shower heads to prevent scalding accidents.
Ensure cords and cables are also out of your child’s reach and consider using childproof coverings for electrical outlets.
Childproofing the living room
Consider protecting your kids from falls or collisions by investing in rounded coffee tables or soft ottomans – particularly those with storage options. For furniture with sharp corners, you could implement corner guards/cushions or foam pads. If you have a fireplace, installing a fireplace gate may also effectively keep your kids at a safe distance.
Additionally, mounting your TV to the wall or securing it to the TV stand could keep it from accidentally falling or being pulled over. Ensure cords and cables are also out of your child’s reach and consider using childproof coverings for electrical outlets. You may also want to consider cordless blinds or shades to prevent easy access or falls.
For infants and toddlers, be sure to lower their crib’s mattress support to prevent escapes. Consider positioning the crib away from windows, lamps, and wall art; and ensure blinds, curtains, and long cords are out of reach. Also, keep sharp-edged objects or furniture away from their bed or crib. You could even go as far as to anchor tall furniture, such as dressers and bookshelves, to the walls to prevent tipping.
As with the cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen, you could additionally consider installing childproof locks to prevent access to potentially hazardous items. If your bedrooms are located on an upper floor, installing safety gates at the top of your stairs could help prevent accidental trips or falls. With falling being the number one injury among children aged 0-14, this may be a worthy investment2.
Before buying a new home, it’s often important to assess your current family needs – particularly from a childproofing perspective.
How to childproof on a budget
Plenty of childproofing practices come at little to no cost, such as adjusting your furniture placement, keeping dangerous items locked away, covering sharp object corners, and locking your cabinets.
However, saving money may be essential for pricier solutions such as gate installations and furniture replacements. To help meet your home needs, you could consider our various savings products to help save up for these necessary upgrades. We offer savings accounts such as our Qantas Points Saver which may help you achieve your savings with greater ease, while also providing an incentive of accumulating points towards your next family trip.
What to consider before purchasing a new home
Before buying a new home, it’s often important to assess your current family needs – particularly from a childproofing perspective. Remember that the larger the house, the more you’ll need to childproof, potentially adding to your responsibilities. Consider these additional measures and costs that may be associated with a larger property.
It could be worth contemplating the possibility of upsizing in the future. Families often start with a smaller, more manageable place and then transition to a larger home as the family expands. This approach could allow you to focus your childproofing efforts on an initially smaller space, reducing the immediate workload and expenses. As your family grows, you could then reassess your housing needs and invest in a larger home that better suits your evolving lifestyle.
Meet your growing home needs with Qudos Bank
Consider one of our many award-winning home loans or savings accounts to help accelerate your homebuyer goals and meet your growing family needs. Get in touch with us today to discover how our products could help support your financial goals and provide security for your family’s future.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2023. “Injury in Australia: Thermal causes”. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/thermal-causes
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2023. “Health of children”. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/health-of-children
The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
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Published November 2023