Welcoming a brand-new little family member into your home is one of the greatest joys in life. Our Marin builders and team members at Annadel Builders Inc. understand that home is all about who you share it with. Making a safe and comfortable home for small children is an involved process. Careful foresight and planning is required to make a home completely childproof. Evaluate each of these common potential household dangers before making a plan of action.

  1. Safety latches – The perfect method to keep little hands from where they shouldn’t be, safety latches are inexpensive and easy to install. Take a lap around the house to identify hazards from a toddler’s eye level, and install latches on all lower drawers and cupboards that contain choking hazards or toxins like cleaning supplies. Be sure to also install a toilet lock, or find a method to childproof the bathroom door.
  2. Door locks – Two options for keeping your child from opening doors are mechanical locks or doorknob covers. A mechanical lock can be as simple as a chain or hook installed above your child’s reach. Doorknob covers, on the other hand,  are devises that are released by squeezing tabs that small hands can’t operate.
  3. Windows – If you have any windows within the reach of your toddler, consider installing a window guard that prevents it from opening more than three inches. You can also achieve a similar result by installing a window-stopping device that attaches to the inside of the window frame. Make sure you remove all corded window shades as well as these are a strangling hazard. Opt for installing cordless window coverings, or cut the continuous-loop cords and use the ends as tassels.
  4. Water temperature – Scalding water temperatures can be very dangerous for young children, who may inadvertently turn on a shower or facet. Of course you should never leave your child unsupervised near water, but make sure to set the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees in case of an accident.
  5. Electricity safety – Install outlet protectors or safety caps on every outlet within child-reach in your home—and the same goes for power strips. Consider updating your outlets to shut off when something plugged into it falls into water with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
  6. Furniture and fixtures – All heavy furniture, bookshelves, TVs, and dressers should be securely fastened to the wall. A wide variety of anti-tip strap kits are available online and can range from around $6-$30 per item.
  7. Burn safety – Install heat-resistant gates onto your wood- or gas-burning fireplace. In the kitchen, install a stove guard that prevents your child from reaching or turning on the burners.
  8. Stair gate – A simple stair gate can prevent your stairs from becoming a hazard. Look for gates that screw into the wall, rather than ones that use tension to stay upright, and test to make sure that the latch could not be raised by a child. Installing a carpet runner on the stairs may also be a good idea if your stairs are tile or hardwood.
  9. Edge protection – Add a strip of carpeting or another soft material around sharp edges including coffee tables and raised fireplaces.
  10. Choking hazards – The final precaution is against choking hazards. Check that the backs are securely fated to all battery-operated objects such as flashlights or remote controls. Scour rooms for change, buttons, or anything small enough for a child to put in their mouth.