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ALTER: Room by Room


Children are naturally curious and they are always exploring their environment. This means parents need to consider all the safety issues in all the rooms in their home. It is important to recognize and accommodate different strategies for children for each room. We have developed a list of ideas and suggestions that other parents have provided to help other parents with in-home safety, room-by-room.

  • Use safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs.
  • Use hardware mounted gates and top and pressure mounted at bottom of stairs. Remove once child tries to climb over or according to age recommended by manufacturer (usually age 2).
  • Have handrails on both sides of stairs and steps.
  • Teach children to use hand rails.
  • Have lights at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Keep the stairs clear. For example, be careful with throw rugs at the top of stairs as children can trip.
  • Paint the bottom basement step white to make it more visible.
  • Always monitor your child around stairs.
  • Lock doors that lead to stairs and use door knob covers.
Child’s Room
  • Remove bumper pads from crib.
  • Check that bars on cribs are no more than 6cm apart.
  • Keep side rails on the crib locked in place when the child is in the crib.
  • Move child from crib to larger bed before they are tall enough to climb over the rails.
  • Keep one hand on child while they’re on change table.
  • As soon as child can push up on hands and knees, the mattress should be placed at the lowest level.
  • Use low lying beds or futons, bed rails can lead to falls if the child climbs on them.
  • Move furniture away from windows
  • Bolt furniture to the wall.
  • Keep dresser drawers closed to prevent climbing, open drawers can encourage climbing.
  • Keep large toys or stuffed animals out of cribs/playpen so child can’t use them to climb over the side.
Living Room
  • Tape foam over sharp edges on furniture or remove them from the room. (Be careful, foam can be a choke hazard.)
  • Make sure floor lamps are sturdy. If possible, use wall or ceiling lamps instead.
  • Place non-slip mats under carpets.
  • Check that televisions and other heavy furniture are secure.
  • Keep the bathroom floor clean and dry.
  • Sometimes parents might install a grab bar by the bathtub, shower and toilet.
  • Put non-slip strips in your bathtub or shower.
  • Have a bath mat with a non-skid bottom next to the tub and shower.
  • Use nightlights in bathrooms.
  • Use a padded cover over the bathtub spout.
  • Set clear limits in the kitchen.
  • Use safety straps on high chairs and kitchen booster seats.
  • Make sure your high chair has a wide base.
  • Never leave a child alone in a high chair.
  • Stay within sight and reach of your child.
  • Wipe up spills when they happen.
  •  Store ladders horizontally and off the floor.
  • Keep the garage floor, steps, and entries clear of clutter.
  • Clean up grease and other spills when they happen.
  • Use bright lights at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Make sure your garage is well lit.
  • Keep tools out of reach at all times and not in view; children may try to climb to reach a tool in view.
General Tips, Not Related to Specific Rooms 
  • Use safety straps on change tables.
  • While on changing tables have one hand on child at all times.
  • Have window guards or window stops on upper windows.
  • Have window locks, screens or mechanisms to prevent opening them more than 6 inches for all windows.
  • Use nightlights in hallways.
  • Tape small rugs to the floor or do not use them at all.
  • Never leave young children alone near open windows.
  • Don’t permit children to climb on any furniture.
  • Always have children use a ladder or step-stool to climb.
  • Do not place furniture in front of windows.
  • Keep hallways free of clutter.
  • Keep balcony doors locked at all times.
  • Baby walkers with wheels are banned in Canada. Instead use an activity centre that stays in one place.
  • Alter furniture by securing drawers or attaching bookcases to the wall.
  • Never place child carrier on high surface.
  • Keep all cables secure and out of the way.
  • Cover hard floors with rugs or carpeting to soften a fall.
  • Be nearby when your child is on playground equipment.
  • Do not let low furniture be placed where it can be climbed on to get onto higher furniture or counter tops.
  • Use barriers or gates around fireplaces or woodstoves.