7 Child Proofing Ideas for Your Home Daycare Play Room

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500,000 children under the age of 4 are injured in the home every year (according to a 2016 report by Child Alert). This is a shocking statistic that we as child care providers need to take seriously.

Nothing is more powerful for keeping children safe as proper supervision from an attentive adult. Home child care providers have multiple children to supervise at the same time so we need the extra help baby proofing equipment can provide for us.

Even though we are always watching, our hands are often occupied and that is when child proofing equipment is helpful. A safety gate will stop a toddler from climbing up the stairs while we put down the baby and reach for the toddler.

Start child proofing your playroom by sitting in the room and imagining the objects from a child’’s point of view.  What would look good for a baby to explore?

If you can’t child-proof it or bolt it down then you need to remove it. Let’s go through the top five common objects that will need to be child proofed in your home daycare play room.

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1. Stairs

Make sure all of your stairs have a child proof safety gate in place. Safety gates need to be securely attached to the wall (bolted rather than pressure mounted) so that toddlers can’t push or pull them out of place. Gates need to be secured at the bottom as well as the top of stairs.

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There are a variety of safety gates on the market if you have a non-standard sized area you need to section off. Remember to make sure your fireplace has a safety gate in front of it.

I would recommend getting safety gates that you can easily open with one hand. It’s amazing how many times you open and close the gates in a day with a baby on your hip.

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If it’s not easy to open and close you might be tempted to step over it if you are solo and in a hurry. I’ve tried this, it’s not fun or safe.

Test them in the store for ease of use. Another point to keep in mind when you purchase a safety gate is to make sure the gate can not be climbed by a toddler. I have seen safety gates that have diamond shaped or oval holes in them. Both designs would make them easy to climb for a little monkey toddler.

2. Climbing

Examine your home daycare for climbing hazards. Low cabinets and shelves look like ladders to toddlers.

Chairs, benches and stools are all very inviting to a child who likes to climb. Remove any piece of furniture that could fall on top of a child if they tried to climb it.

Remove potential furniture hazards. Take out any piece of furniture that could tip over onto a child. Bookcases, lamps, chairs and side tables are all possible hazards that need to be removed or bolted to the wall.

3. Windows

Examine your windows. Could a child climb out of them? Do you have a chair or piece of furniture that could be pushed up below the window to access it?

Lock windows shut or get safety bars if the window is within a child’s reach and you want to have it open for fresh air. Remember to also look closely at your window coverings.

Cords can be a strangulation hazard and drapes can be pulled down. Cordless blinds or roller shades are a good option for your playroom.

4. Corners

Pool noodles and soft gel bumper covers are great for sharp corners in high frequency areas. Get down low and see what corners in your house could be a problem for a pint sized child.

 

5. Vents

Some curious children enjoy pulling the air register cover off the vent and throwing toys down the vent. Screw/nail/velcro your register covers into the floor to prevent this from happening.

Before you secure the register you can fit a thin screen on the underside of the register cover so a child can’t poke a small toy down the register slat.

 

6. Electrical Outlets

Every single outlet needs to have a child proof cover on it. I would suggest you pick one or two outlets that you always use and buy the quick child safety sliding door ones.

The sliding type is the most convenient to use. You can purchase a pack of simple outlet plugs for the rest of your electrical outlets that you rarely use.

 

If you have an outlet that is always in use make sure you get a child proof cover for it to prevent a child from pulling the cord out. Cover and secure the cord to the wall so it can’t be accessed.

Remove any standing or table lamps that a child could reach. Overhead lighting or hanging lamps (with safety cord covers) are a better choice for your playroom.

7. Door and Drawer Locks

It is important to keep in mind that as a home daycare provider we only have one pair of hands/eyes and multiple children to supervise. In my experience, curious children tend to want to explore off limit areas whenever I’m busy changing the baby’s diaper.

I have used door knob locks and covers in the past with great success. Some styles of covers are a bit tricky to get used to for the adults in the house but they have given me a little extra piece of mind.

 

Drawers and cabinet doors need to have locks on them. Cabinet locks are a fantastic solution to keep toddlers safe while having a daycare in your home.

I had one little boy who was fascinated with the toilet one year. Potty training multiple children can keep a caregiver busy and flushing a toy only takes a moment!

A toilet seat lock was the perfect solution that year. However, the weekend would come and I’d forget it was still on. Adult guests would need help unlocking the toilet before they used the facilities! Hee hee. Home Daycare problems…..

 

The more you child proof your home, the happier you and your daycare children will be. You won’’t have to be constantly redirecting them because their environment will be set up to allow them to explore and play freely.

If a toddler was exploring your play room and you never had to speak up and say, ““No, be careful””, then you have created a wonderful, safe environment.

Today I focused on child proofing the major areas in your playroom. You will also need to consider child proofing your kitchen (dishwasher, knives, stoves, detergents), your washroom (hot water tap, toilet, cleaning products) and any object that could be a chokeable item or poisonous (house plants) in your daycare space.

Child proofing will make a huge impact on your stress level on a daily basis. Invest the time and the money. It will be worth the effort.

Jana 

Comments

  1. Hello,,Thank u so much for your sharings! i love your website, and it is too helpful.have good days.

  2. This information has been very helpful! Now I’m ready to start my home daycare! I will be saving this website to my favorites and use it as a reference.

  3. Hi, Thank you for detailed post. Nice to see an interesting list of baby proofing tips. I’d say that the one i consider the most important is keeping everything that could be a choking hazard away from the hands of the tiny tots.

  4. Jon Marsiglia says:

    Thank you for sharing these helpful childproofing tips for people who have small children in their home. I also appreciate the images. In addition to the things you mentioned, I would love to add that all parents should become certified in First Aid and CPR. As safe as we think our homes are, accidents happen. And knowing what to do in the case of an emergency can make a big difference. Thanks for sharing these ideas, especially the ones that not everyone always mentions. Your parent readers are sure to benefit.

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