Baby proofing your home


  • If the layout of your kitchen allows it, erect a barrier across your kitchen’s doorway to prevent your child entering while you cook.
  • Ensure that all pot handles and cords don’t overhang the benches and stove avoiding the possibility of your child pulling something down on top of her.
  • Use a stove/hot plate guard.
  • Don’t use a table cloth with young children – one tug and the entire contents of the table can be on the floor and all over them.
  • Keep detergents and cleaning substances out of reach of your child.
  • Never store poisons in food containers.
  • Place child-proof locks on all cupboards and drawers that are in reach of your child.


  • If you use a nappy bucket, ensure that it is always closed securely as is stored out of reach of your child.
  • Store all detergents and bleaches in a locked cupboard that is out of reach of your child.
  • Make sure that all buckets are left empty.


  • The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, so never let your child ‘play’ in there and always supervise her when she is in there.
  • Young children can drown in a small amount of water.
  • Always start running a bath by turning on the cold tap first and then adding the hot water to it – you child can easily be scalded by hot water.
  • Make sure that the running water in your bathroom does not exceed 50 degrees.
  • Keep all electrical appliances out of the bathroom to avoid possible electrocution.
  • Although baby ramps and seats are designed to keep your baby safe, always supervise as it is possible that she could slide out or tip over.
  • When you are bathing your young child, ensure that you have everything you need in the bathroom with you before you start.
  • Empty the bath water immediately after bathing your child, if you mean to come back to do it you might forget.
  • Always store medications in a locked child-proof cupboard that is out of reach.

Lounge and dining room:

  • Put a safety guard around any heaters or open fireplaces you may have.
  • Cover all unused power points.
  • Make sure that all shelving and drawers are secured to a wall or are stable.
  • Ensure that any equipment – TV, DVD player, stereo – is stored in a safe and appropriate manner; all cords are tucked away, remote controls, and batteries are stored out of reach, the cabinet is stable and not top-heavy.
  • Store your child’s toys in an accessible and safe place that she can get to without needing your help.

Stairs, balconies and verandahs:

  • You must have a railing on stairs, balconies or verandahs that are higher than 600mm.
  • The balustrade on stairs must be at least 865 mm high, unless the drop is greater than 3 metres and then it needs to be 1050mm high; on a verandah or balcony they should be at least 1000 mm high.
  • If you have a high balustrade, you should also have a lower continuous handrail that your child can use.
  • The gaps between the rails below the balustrade should be no more than 100 mm.
  • Place lockable gates at the top and bottom of staircases to avoid the possibility of you child falling on the stairs unsupervised.
  • Stairs should have a non-slip surface and you could consider putting impact-absorbing mats at the foot of the stairs


  • Window restrictors should be fitted to windows with a fall height of more than 2 metres
  • It is mandatory that a window restrictors are fitted to windows where the sill is less than 760mm above the floor


This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot.

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