There are very many products available that claim to help make a home safer for baby.

I'd like a list, based on some kind of evidence, for which of these products are more important.

For example, in the UK, many children are hurt when a flat-screen TV topples onto them. Thus a wall-mounting bracket is a useful bit of equipment. But you see (almost everywhere!) electrical socket covers. The UK has a mandatory inbuilt safety feature - there's a sliding cover that prevents anything going in the live holes until an earth pin is inserted. I'm not aware of any children being hurt by electrocution, thus socket covers would be lower on my list.

  • I've tried to fit this question to the Stack Exchange style, but it feels a like a bit of a kludge. Answers I'm looking for would include maybe statistics about injury rates, with suggestions to prevent that. Thus, "In $COUNTRY there are approx $CHILDREN admitted to hospital after poisoning, so make sure that your meds are locked away, but also the meds of any grandparents which is a common source of medication poisoning."
    – DanBeale
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 10:30
  • Dan, you're asking for a list of ideas rather than one specific solution. Move your examples from the question to one or more answers of your own - take a look at this question for an example of big-list questions. (I also edited the title.) Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 11:47
  • 3
    I think a list could be good, but it should then be community wiki. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 10:26

4 Answers 4


Here are some things that you should think of:

  1. Child-safe sockets. As you mention the UK and many other countries have mandatory safety sockets, but you may have old sockets in your house or live in a country where this isn't a requirement. So check your sockets, buy covers for any socket that isn't in use.

  2. Safety gates. Any stairs should have a safety gate at the top and if possible at the bottom.

  3. Drawer cabinet catches. All drawers or cabinets which have something dangerous in them, such as chemicals, sharp objects (or things that easily break into sharp objects, like glass) or power tools, must have a safety catch which means kids can't open them. Beware that they still can and will squeeze their fingers, but that's probably just a good lesson. Put safety catches on cupboards that have fragile and valuable things as well.

  4. Window catches. Many modern windows can be locked in an open position with a hole small enough so kids can't get through. For older windows, a windows catch is an absolute must, so that you can lock the window open with just a small opening. Even better is the type of catch which means even once the kid has figured out to open the Window, you can't open it fully unless you have figured out to open the more complicated Window catch.

  5. Door stops. The doors between rooms are heavy enough to do much more damage than squeezing the fingers. Door stops are a good idea.

  6. Corner bumpers. While your child is learning to walk, put corner bumpers on all the sharp corners. Kids love to take them off though, so beware that they are where they should be.

  7. Bookshelf fastenings. Tall furniture, and especially narrow and tall furniture like bookshelfs, should be attached to the wall so the can't topple over a toddler who decided that climbing higher up would be fun.

  8. Your idea for some sort of fastening (like a wall mount) for flat-screen TV's is a good idea I hadn't thought about.

In addition to this, any home, kids or not, should have:

  1. Smoke detectors.

  2. Fire extinguisher.

  3. A first aid kit.

  4. And why not a fire blanket in the kitchen?

  • @BBM: Good ones, add them as an answer. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 16:40
  • Good list but some items could use some extra research: Friend of mine is brain surgeon at Boston Children's hospital. No #1 issue he deals with are kids climbing over the gate at the top of the stairs. Some safety measures have unintended side effects and risks.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 12:16
  • @Hilmar Things may be fool-proof, but they can never be kid-proof. They can only buy you extra time to react. Door stops will not prevent kids from removing the stops. Plugs in your non-safe sockets will not prevent the kid from removing the plugs. And a child barrier will not prevent the child from climbing over or opening it. It just means it takes longer, so you have an extra chance to prevent the accident. Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 12:58

You have a couple good answers for protecting your child from danger. Even though it's not exactly what you asked, I just wanted to point out something a lot of new parents overlook while they're doing this sort of planning: protecting your stuff from your child. Your book collection, paper files, DVDs, CDs, electronic gadgets, etc. don't pose much of a danger to your child, but he can do a lot of damage to them in a very short amount of time. Look around your house and put anything you wouldn't want torn up, chewed up, or banged up away and out of reach. Otherwise, you'll end up constantly hovering over him and taking what he considers "toys" away from him.

  • good point! That reminds me: Recently, our (3.5 years old) son wanted to attach one of his magnets to the enclosure of my backup hard disk.... A very good moment to talk about how to handle electronic devices. :-)
    – BBM
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 21:59
  • @BBM harddisks aren't that sensitive anymore - try it. Our folk wisdom on disks and magnets stem from earlier times. Still, a very good answer! Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 5:50
  • @Torben - good to know, I still hesitate trying - how should I verify that it really did no harm?
    – BBM
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 13:39
  • @BBM that's a question for superuser.com :-) but I would fill a test disk with large files of which I know their checksum, then do the magnetic abracadabra, then test their checksums again. If the checksums match, then no bytes were changed. Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 13:59

Lennart has already collected a lot of useful and important things to consider for a safe environment for young children

I'd add the following points:

  1. install barriers e g. like a U-shaped fence for the hotplates (example image to avoid touching the hot plates or hot pots or pans being tore down from the plate)
  2. There are also safety (rotary) knobs for the hotplates,
    but our son (about 2 years old, if I remember correctly) had managed to turn a plate on in less than 24 hours after the installation of the knobs.
  3. in general storing all dangerous things like detergents, chemicals, etc. only in the highest cupboards were children will hardly reach them. We had to learn that our son very quickly learned to open most safety locks - so talking to the child about the dangers is also important.
  4. Ribbed radiators (like example) can cause injury in case of collision, our son once slipped off in the kitchen and got a laceration on the front from such a radiator (afterwards we installed wooden fences in front of them)
  5. Further critical objects which could/should be stored in safe locations are:
    1. Knives ans scissors
    2. Tools (screwdrivers, pincers, saws, drills, etc.) and glue
    3. plastic bags or foils
    4. electrical devices in the bathroom
    5. Weapons (if there should be some in the house)
  6. I also read in an article, that toilet bowl fresheners can be dangerous for little children, as they are colored and look interesting (and can be easily reached and tasted).

Other places which may need safety measures are e. g.

  1. balcony
  2. pool or garden pond
  3. windows

An easy (but not 100% safe!!) trick to avoid little children access rooms with dangerous things like a workshop or store room unobserved is to turn the door handle about 90°, so that it points upwards. It will take some time until a child can reach it and open the door, however with a stool this can be avoided by the child if it starts mounting on things...

  • 2
    Turn the door handle 90° is neat. Some door mechanisms can be removed and replaced upside down so you'd have to lift the handle to open the door. A friend of mine had that on his garage door; he never had to lock it because nobody expected this. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 9:36

Smoke detector is a indispensable security system since you have babies in your home.

  • 1
    Smoke detectors should be in any home, regardless of whether there are babies.
    – Krease
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 7:32

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