Childproofing Your Toddler's Room
Posted on 06 November 2016
The transition from crib to big kid bed opens up a whole new world to your toddler. After months of watching the world from behind crib bars, they're finally allowed to explore their little corner of the universe.
The phrase "Release the Kraken" comes to mind. But I digress...
Whether you are one who believes in childproofing your house, or one who believes in house proofing your child, here is a quick toddler proofing checklist to consider prior to letting your little one loose on their room.
- Furniture - Secure all dressers, changing tables, standing shelves etc to the wall. There are quite a few options here, tethers, straps, L shaped brackets ... we used these. Your toddler will likely climb any and all furniture in their room, even if said furniture seems un-climbable to the untrained eye. Tipping furniture causes many injuries and even deaths every year, so don't skip this important step. Also, drawers should have child proof locks if you don't want them opened and emptied and used as a ladder.
- Outlets - If your child is over 6 months old, you are undoubtedly familiar with their propensity to investigate all visible orifices. Openings in walls, furniture, toys, noses.... every orifice receives intense scrutiny. Hence the outlet problem. There are a couple options to keep fingers and other objects out of outlets. The traditional plastic plug covers like this one are a quick and inexpensive fix. There are also safe plates which allow you to slide a cover back and forth over the outlet as needed. Eventually, kids figure out how to remove the plastic plug covers so safe plates are a good long term option.
- Cords - Sadly, that cute ceramic lamp that sits on your child's dresser has officially become a safety hazard. If your toddler can shove their chubby little arm behind the dresser to get at that lamp cord, they will absolutely do it. Baby monitor camera cords, clock cords, humidifier cords... any and all cords now offer the opportunity for your toddler to pull something down onto their own heads. Cords can also be strangulation hazards and electrical hazards for toddlers. Secure and hide your cords,use duct tape or cord organization kits, or move furniture around to prevent access. If there is no way to secure the cord it's probably best to take the cute owl lamp out of the room until your toddler is old enough to be trusted with it.
- Windows - Thousands of children are treated for injuries related to window falls every year. Window guards, Window Wedges, Charley Bars ... there are a lot of good child proofing options depending on the type of window. Also keep the cords for your blinds up and out of reach and be sure that curtain rods are properly secured. Curtains are a favorite hiding place/cape for imaginative kiddos, so they will get pulled on if they're accessible.
- Walls - Wall shelving should be high enough that it can't be reached, even when standing on the bed/chair/nightstand. Shelves will be used as a climbing wall or chin up bar if they're accessible. Keep all wall decor out of reach and be sure it's secure enough to withstand an accidental hit with a nerf ball.
- More - Block your stairs, make sure breakables are out of reach, examine storage bins/baskets and toys for hidden hazards, look for choking hazards and remove furniture that can be moved around and used as a step stool to access all the things that you just put up and out of the way.
And remember, the less bored your child is, the less likely they are to get into trouble! Toys and books are an excellent (if temporary) distraction from climbing dresser knobs.
Here are a couple more checklists that catch things I may have missed.
Please comment with any additional tips from the trenches!
+Author Rachelle Elliott, mom & shop owner. Photo credit Brewster Home Fashions, Caden Lane & CTW Home