A Guide to Child-Proofing Your Home

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What is “child-proofing” in comparison to fire-proofing, shock-proofing, and the like? Though this term may seem new, child-proofing one’s home has been a longstanding concern for Australian parents. As per the statistics of the Homesafe group, approximately 320,000 Australian children under the age of 15 are admitted to the hospital every year, and this is largely because of accidents that occurred in their own homes. The most vulnerable age group is that of children from 0 to 5 years old.

A home that is perfectly safe and fit for the preferences of adults will change drastically when children come into the picture. And that’s why some effort has to go into child-proofing that said home: identifying the sources of risk, limiting and/or removing them entirely, and lessening the worry that young children will get hurt.

Necessary Precedents to Home Safety

Before we begin discussing tips on child-proofing your home, we’ll emphasise how necessary it is for you to fulfil certain conditions to home safety.

First, you must prepare to employ round-the-clock supervision for children who have not reached their teenage years. You can take care of supervision yourself, or you can enlist the help of professionals in day care centres, home care service providers, or a trusted relative or neighbour. The important thing is to make sure an adult can oversee the child’s safety even when dangerous obstacles are removed from them.

Second, it would serve your interests both now and in the future to refresh your knowledge of first aid. You can take a course in first aid training in Hoppers Crossing or your respective locality to brush up on the basics, as well as advanced topics such as anaphylaxis and asthma management. That way, you can be your child’s first responder in the event that they do get hurt.

Third, you should determine the areas in your house that will be absolutely off-limits to children. Some examples are the garage and the driveway, but if you have a home office you can declare that as off-limits too. That will make it much easier for you, your spouse, and anyone in charge of supervising your child to stay within safe boundaries.

Tips on Child-Proofing Your Home

Below are common concerns on child safety in your home, as well as tips on how to address them. Here are six sets of issues and points of action for child-proofing your home.

  1. Prevent your children from falling. According to the Australian parenting website Raising Children Network (which is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services), falls and tumbles are the most common cause of injury and hospital visits in all age groups. Falls are definitely more precarious on small children, as their bones are not as well-developed as their older counterparts. Moreover, falls could lead to fractures, wounds that require stitches, or in severe cases, concussions.

    Thus, one of the primary measures you should take in child-proofing your home is to provide ample support architecture in the riskier zones. That may include installing additional safety guards on the stairs, adding bath mats and rugs in the bathrooms to prevent slippage, and firmly locking all windows so that none of your children fall out. It may also involve installing high-quality light bulbs and/or sensor lights to keep things easily visible to your children.

  2. Keep your children away from hot surfaces and items that have a chance of burning/scalding them. Equally dangerous to children are the hot surfaces in your house, such as stove tops and heating appliances. Household items that could also serve as threats are exposed hot drinks and hot tap water above 50° C. If a child comes in contact with direct heat or a very hot liquid, they could risk severe burns or scalding.

    Keep your children well away from the kitchen surfaces that you use when you’re cooking. Don’t leave mugs of hot coffee or tea in the same vicinity that a child will play in. When it’s bath time, mix both cold water and hot water into your basin so that it’s just the right temperature for your small child’s sensitive skin.

  3. Stock all sharp things and “breakables” away from very young children. It’s very important that children up to 5 years old are kept away from what could pierce or cut them, such as knives, scissors, edged cutlery, pencils, barbecue sticks, and the like. Having them break dishes, cups, vases, figurines, or thin glass panes also puts them at risk of stepping on or being hit by broken glass shards.

    Store and lock up all such items in question, or at least make sure that they are displayed at a height that your small children won’t be able to reach. Keep them entertained with durable, clean, and age-appropriate toys that pose little risk of hurting when handled.

  4. Don’t leave any ropes, cords, boxes, or plastic bags lying around for your children to pick up. The rationale behind this list of “don’ts” is a child’s propensity to pick them up, play with them, get tangled up or trapped—and at worst, be strangled, constricted, or suffocated by the item. Unfortunately, it’s about as frightening as it sounds.

The solution? Tuck away the cords attached to your curtains, organise any exposed wire cables, store boxes in their proper cabinets, and securely tie or roll up your plastic bags. Caution your children from coming too near, and direct their attention elsewhere.

  1. Prevent choking and food poisoning. On the subject of risky things that children can bring in contact with their mouths, the following things could pose definite risks to them: adult medicines, foods that are difficult to digest, foods that are spoiled and contaminated with bacteria, and foods that are difficult to break apart. Children’s stomachs are more sensitive than those of adults, and in addition, their teeth may not be developed enough to chew and swallow thoroughly. Attempting to ingest any of these consumables could result in indigestion, symptoms of food poisoning, and choking.

All vitamins and medication should be properly stored in the medicine cabinet and locked away with safety latches. The same care should be afforded to food and drink items; parents must store them appropriately to prevent mess and spoilage. When they are old enough, enjoin your children to ask you whenever they want a snack or need a dosage of medicine. That way, obedience and carefulness will become a habit on their part.

  1. Keep them safe near bodies of water. If you have a pool in your home garden, be extra wary of how your children behave near the water. Babies and toddlers can drown even in shallow water; moreover, they can also display symptoms of dry drowning that are harder to pinpoint, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and dizziness.

    It’s an absolute non-negotiable to supervise children below 12 years old in their swimming areas. Very young children should have adults in the pool with them. It wouldn’t hurt to enrol your children in swimming lessons so that they can navigate the water easily and to equip them with flotation devices while they are swimming.


Curiosity, creativity, and a sense of adventure are all innate in young children. Truly, we have a lot to learn from the joys our children derive from the ordinary. Our commitment to child-proofing our homes should stem from our desire to make the environment safe yet free for them.


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