How to childproof your home

A childproof home means your little one can safely explore without getting into serious danger. Here’s how to make your home safe.

When your little one starts to crawl and walk, it’s an exciting time that shows Baby is healthy and getting stronger. But this exciting time can quickly lead to all kinds of dangers if your home is not childproof.

Pumla Mtambeka, the director of Child Safe, believes almost all child-related accidents in the home are avoidable. Based at the Red Cross Childrens’ Hospital in Cape Town, Pumla has seen the disturbing results of what can happen when a child’s home is not safe. As a mother of three, Pumla also has first-hand experience on how to create a safe environment for a curious, exploring toddler. She shares her advice:


There are dangerous poisons like drain cleaner, bleach and other detergents in the kitchen area – usually stored under the kitchen sink. Toddlers also love to watch and imitate what mom is doing, like reaching out to the stove and fiddling with pots.

  • Roll up or remove tablecloths  because little ones grab onto these to balance.
  • Store cleaning products in the top cupboards  away from your child’s reach.
  • Store sharp utensils out of reach or in a locked drawer.
  • When cooking, use the plates at the back of the stove  so Baby can’t reach out and grab hot pots.
  • Turn pot handles to face the back of the stove  and out of Baby’s reach.
  • Never leave appliance cables dangling  for Baby to pull on.


Most children love water but this bath time joy has potential to be a deadly force – a child can drown in water as little a 4cm deep.

  • Keep the toilet bowl shut  at all times.
  • Keep buckets empty or tightly shut.
  • Keep the bathtub empty.
  • Close bathroom taps  tightly.
  • Never leave your little one unattended  in a bath.


Bumps and tumbles from rolling off the bed are often brushed off as minor accidents because they don’t leave physical marks on the body. But falling can lead to serious internal injuries that can have a lasting effect on a child.

  • Install a bed rail  to keep Baby from falling off the bed. Or push the bed against the wall to secure Baby while sleeping. You can also make a temporary bed on the floor for daytime naps.
  • Keep all your cosmetics out of Baby’s reach.
  • Never leave a baby unattended with a heater. Mount heaters on the wall if possible.


  • Even though families spend a lot of time in the lounge area, it doesn’t make this a risk-free environment.
  • Mount TVs on the wall  to avoid injuries.
  • Cover electrical sockets with plug covers  to block curious little fingers and foreign objects.
  • Safeguard windows  by keeping furniture slightly away from open windows.
  • Use corner covers  to avoid nasty bumps, like on the coffee table.
  • Never leave your little one unattended in the lounge.


Read more: What to pack for an outing with baby

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