The leading cause of serious injury and death among young children are accidents that could have been easily prevented. Thoroughly childproofing your home, garden and pool is essential for both safety and peace of mind.

The Home

Baby/Child Gates & Wall Fasteners

  • Block off the top and bottom of stairs using gates that have been firmly attached to the walls, as opposed to pressure gates, which can easily be pushed or pulled down.
  • Block access to spaces such as the patio, kitchen and bathroom to prevent children accessing potentially dangerous areas unsupervised.
  • Secure large items (TVs, dressers, bookshelves, etc.) to the walls using screws and fasteners to prevent a child pulling them over onto themselves.

Electrical Outlets, Plugs & Cords

  • Use plastic safety plugs to block access to any electrical outlets within reach of children.
  • Tape exposed cords to baseboards, walls or behind furniture to ensure children cannot pull cords out of sockets or pull lamps, computers or other household items down onto themselves.
  • Ensure that all electrical items such as hair dryers, tools, toasters, fans and cell phone cords are well out of reach.
  • Do not allow children to play with items containing batteries, except for children’s toys that were designed to keep the batteries safely enclosed (i.e. only accessible by removing a set of screws). Accidental ingestion of batteries by children can have disastrous outcomes. Remote controls and other electronics can pose serious risks to children.

Windows & Window Treatments

  • Ensure all windows within reach of children have locks and/or window guards to prevent children from being able to open, climb through or fall out of windows.
  • Shorten or fix blind cords so that they are entirely out of possible reach. These pose a high strangulation risk.

Safety Latches

  • Install safety latches on all cupboards and drawers (bathroom, kitchen, etc.) containing sharp or harmful substances.
  • Install safety latches on your toilet lid, oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer to prevent accidental drowning, burns, suffocation or entrapment.

Child-friendly Furniture

  • Small tables and chairs for children are useful for toddlers and young kids to prevent mishaps, as are low toddler beds with bedrails to prevent falling.

The Pool

  • Always ensure that there is an adult supervising children in or near the pool. If you think you might be distracted by other tasks, designate another adult ‘water watcher’ to keep an eye on the children at all times.
  • Install a fence of at least four feet in height around the perimeter of your swimming pool.
  • Ensure that the gate for entry to the pool has childproof locks, handles and/or latches to prevent children from being able to open the gate.
  • Remove or secure any items that a child could use to climb up and over the gate/fence to gain access to the pool.
  • Install a pool alarm to notify you if anyone enters the fenced-in area. Some systems are capable of detecting underwater movement and will notify you accordingly.
  • Install an automatic pool safety cover that can only be opened and closed with a key.
  • Upgrade drain covers to be ‘VGBA compliant’ and the pump to an ‘SVRS’, which will reduce the chance of entrapment.
  • Ensure children who are playing near a pool are wearing life vests or floaties.

Make sure your children receive basic swimming lessons that teach them how to roll over in the water and swim towards and hold onto the edge.

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