Child-Proof Your Home for the Holidays:

Holiday Home 1

As every parent knows the holidays are the most hectic season around and with all the distractions of guests, gifts, and family, it's a good time to take a moment or two and do a quick safety check of your home - we've got a list of the most overlooked dangers.

We all know that there’s no substitute for vigilant supervision when it comes to keeping children safe in and around the home. But it’s a good idea to take a regular tour of your home (or anywhere your kids spend a lot of time) with a special focus on safety in each room or area. To get started, click below for room-by-room lists of safety tips and reminders.

Living/Family Room
Throughout the House

TIP: Pass this page on (via email or print tools at bottom of page) to friends and family that you will be visiting this holday season.


• Use flame resistant clothing and bedding.
• Don’t put pillows or large, floppy toys in crib.
• Crib slats should be more than 2-3/8 inches apart.
• All windows should have window guards.
• Make sure your changing table is safe and sturdy.

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Bathrooms and kitchens are the most dangerous rooms in the house.
• Keep medicines secure and out of children’s reach. Teach kids that medicine is not candy.
• Keep soaps, razors, shampoos, astringents, perfumes, nail polish and nail-polish remover out of young children’s reach. Throw away soap bars when they become small enough to become a choking hazard.
• Install toilet-lid locks to prevent drowning.
• Never leave a young child unattended in or near a bathtub with water.
• Set water temperature to no more than 120° to avoid unintentional scalding.
• Use tub knob covers.
• When possible install single control, anti-scald faucets.
• Install non-slip flooring in tub or shower.
• Make sure electrical outlets are far away from water sources; and keep electrical appliances away from water.
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• Install latches on all lower cabinets and drawers to safeguard contents and to prevent children from using them as “stairs” to climb onto the counter.
• Beware of choking hazards, such as refrigerator magnets and pen caps, as well as foods such as hot dogs, grapes, hard candy, popcorn, raisins and peanuts. Children can choke on items smaller than 1 inch in diameter.
• Store common kitchen hazards – dish-washing liquid and cleaning products, matches, sharp knives, plastic wrap and bags and the serrated edges of foil and plastic wrap boxes – in high shelves or in locked cabinets.
• Turn the handles of pots and pans inward so children can’t reach or bump them and spill the contents. Cook on the back burners and keep hot liquids out of children’s reach. Use a stove guard and stove knob covers.
• Disconnect countertop appliances when not in use.
• Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
• Never eat, drink or carry anything hot while holding a child in your arms.
• Don’t leave a child unstrapped or unattended in a high chair. He or she can climb out and fall, or slide under the tray and be strangled.
• Remember, crawling babies and toddlers can pull a dangling tablecloth and cause whatever is on top to fall onto themselves.

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Living or Family Room

• Cap or cover unused electrical outlets and secure wires so children cannot pull on them.
• Keep matches or lighters out of children’s reach.
• Keep plants out of baby’s reach.
• Place corner covers on furniture corners.
• Cover hard fireplaces with edge guards.
• Secure sliding glass doors with a door stop.
• Protect your VCR and your child with a VCR lock.
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• Keep gas, oil, pesticides, fertilizer and any other toxic chemicals locked away out of child’s reach.
• Keep sharp or heavy tools out of child’s reach.
• Keep automatic garage door activator well out of child’s reach
• Never leave car running in closed garage, or garage attached to or under house.
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All Over the House

• Clean up spills immediately to prevent falls.
• Secure rugs to the floor with carpet tape.
• Place smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home (including the basement and attic). Check the batteries every six months. Make sure that all family members know the sound of the alarm and know what to do.
• Use nightlights.
• Keep electrical cords out of children’s reach.
• Use outlet caps to prevent children from sticking fingers or metal objects into a socket.
• If you have an older home, make sure you are aware of any lead poisoning risks.

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• Place secure gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Use wall mounted (not pressure mounted) gates at the top of stairs.
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About 70 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries occur annually from window falls, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
• Open windows from the top, not the bottom.
• Lock all unopened windows.
• Install window guards and locks to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Do not install guards on a window that is a fire exit.
• Don’t rely on screens to protect children from falls.
• Keep furniture away from windows so small children are not tempted to climb up to the sill.
Also, the Window Covering Safety Council warns parents on the potential strangulation hazards of looped window cords. They advise parents to eliminate loops on two-corded horizontal blinds.
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