Short Answer-  Take it seriously! Millions of kids are injured at home every year. Step one, spend the time and effort to childproof your home. Step two, stay vigilant! Always be on the lookout for potential hazards in your living space. Here’s some common concerns to watch out for…

You’re right to worry about household accidents and children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.3 million children are accidentally injured every year and more than 2,500 are killed. This is something you want to take seriously.

When surveying your home, watch-out for the following:

Trash Cans 

Cans containing garbage, particularly in the kitchen, can be filled with potential hazards (like sharp can lids, small objects or bones that can be swallowed, rotten food, etc.). You don’t want little hands picking through the refuse, so keep trash cans inside a latched cabinet or up on a high counter, out of reach.  Look for a can that has a secure locking mechanism built in so infants can’t open it.

Pet Stuff

Guess what? Dogs and cats aren’t the only ones who might eat the kibble in their bowls, infants can get in there too if the dishes are left out on the floor within easy reach (yuck!). Move bowls to higher ground and only put them down when your pet is actually eating.  Also, keep your little one out of that area during feeding time. Infants may also pop kitty litter into their mouth (it happens) so you want to keep the cat relief area someplace where baby doesn’t have access.

Post-Party Cleanup

Here’s one you might not think of, but it’s important. If you are entertaining guests….always be sure to do a complete walk through after the party to look for potentially dangerous items left at kid-level. Things like cigarette butts, left over alcoholic beverages, cutlery, etc. can all cause havoc if your child get a hold of them before you do.


Some plants are poisonous (and how are you going to know which ones?). Plants can also fall on a curious child that grabs at their leaves, so it makes sense to keep your houseplants out of reach until the kids get older.

Small Appliances

When putting your baby in a highchair, be sure they are out of reach of any cords because they will yank on them and potentially bring down an appliance. Also, when in the bathroom, be sure to unplug and put away things like hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons, etc. You don’t want a curious child to burn themselves on the hot metal, or electrocute themselves by dropping a plugged in hair dryer or other device into the bathtub or sink.

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To prevent a baby from tumbling down the stairs, fasten a gate at the top and bottom of the staircase so they don’t have access. When you child gets to be a little bit older, attach the gate 3 or 4 steps up to allow them to practice climbing. Once they have stair climbing down, you can remove the gate entirely.  


Cook on the back burners so little ones can’t grab a pan handle and spill hot cooking liquids on themselves. Teach kids that the stove is hot and off limits to them. You can also buy knob covers to prevent kids from turning it on, and a stove guard to prevent liquids from splattering.


Ever seen the magician’s trick where he pulls a tablecloth out from under all the dishes?  Yeah, that won’t happen if your baby pulls on it.  Babies might yank the fabric and wind up with plates and glasses all over the floor (or worse, on their little heads). Avoid the temptation and stick to place mats they can’t reach.


Why are infants so fascinated with toilets? We don’t know either, but a curious peek over the edge could cause them to topple in.  Also, you don’t want baby sticking toys in there, and then sticking them in their mouth (ewww!) so invest in a toilet lock that will keep them from opening the lid when the impulse hits.


We’ve seen a lot of injuries due to little ones banging their heads on the sharp pointed edges of coffee tables, dressers, or end tables. (We’ve seen a few adults get hurt this way too). Cover any sharp edges with cushioned strips or guards to protect crawlers from nasty bumps.


Toddlers can climb on furniture and tumble out an open window (even if there is a screen in place). Move all potential climbing objects away from windows, and install window locks or guards so your windows can’t be opened more than a few inches.

Finally, keep in mind that accident prevention is not a “once and done” type of thing. You have to practice constant vigilance to keep children safe.  

Don’t leave infants alone, unless in a crib or play area, and keep surveying their surroundings to be sure no new hazards are in their way. Once you know the area is secure, then you can turn em’ loose and let them explore their surroundings. Being curious is what helps babies learn and grow! We, as parents, just want them to do it safely.