Security and Safety

How to Toddler-Proof Your Home

By Haley Shapley 8.29.16

Anyone with a toddler knows the drill — once they become mobile, they can (and will) get into anything. As a parent, you want to encourage their exploration without sacrificing safety.

“It’s all about giving a child an environment they can explore safely,” says Jennifer Murray, owner of Austin Babyproofing Company. “You want their home to be a place where you don’t have to tell them ‘no’ all the time.”

If you’re worried about your child’s safety or unexpected dangers in your home, one good rule of thumb is to stoop to their level — literally.

“Get on your hands and knees and crawl around and look at the home from a child’s perspective,” Murray suggests. “That way you can see cords that may be dangling, choking hazards on the floor, and sharp corners.”

The same goes for guests: If you don’t have kids yourself, there are probably things in your home that pose a threat to young visitors that you’ve never considered. If you’re having friends with small children over, take a few minutes to think like a kid again.

What Are Potential Dangers?

Here are a few things to watch out for when you childproof your home:

  • The swimming pool. This one’s an obvious one. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the home for children ages 1 to 4, so be especially vigilant and never leave kids alone near water. 
  • The TV. A child visits the emergency room because of toppling a TV every 45 minutes. Because flat-screens are top-heavy, they can come down if the base is bumped, so anchor your TV to the wall whenever possible. 
  • Batteries. Small, round button batteries, often used in remote controls and toys, are easy to swallow. Keep them out of reach and dispose of them properly.
  • Detergent pods. “A lot of times they’re brightly colored; kids find them and think they’re some kind of candy,” Murray says.
  • Blinds cords. Keep these wrapped snug and up high. Same goes for electrical cords.
  • Overlooks and balconies. If you have a two-story house with an overlook or a balcony, make sure the railing can’t be reached by your kids. 

What Can Help? 

Luckily, there are a lot of good products to help you childproof your home:

  • Plastic drawer latches and doorknob locks. These are often included in childproofing kits.
  • Sliding outlet covers. These are kid-friendly because they keep fingers away while leaving the sockets active.
  • Corner guards. These come in a variety of colors that can match coffee tables or other furniture.
  • Locking plastic medicine safes. This is a great way to keep all medications out of a child’s grasp.
  • Outside services. That’s right, you can outsource childproofing help. This is a good option if you’re anxious about doing it yourself. 

Once you’ve addressed the security of your children inside your house, it’s worth thinking about their financial security, too. Talk with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent about life insurance options to fit your situation. In addition to everyday safety around the house, you’ll be providing them with long-term financial security and peace of mind as they grow up.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualification and policy terms and may vary by situation. Life insurance products are offered through Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. © 2016 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance