Every day, 60 kids in Canada go to the hospital because of injuries in the home – falls, burns and accidental poisonings are the three biggest culprits. You could rely on your cunning little toddler to point out the hazards in your home, or you could read our handy guide to childproofing like a pro instead.

Open the images on the right to reveal some of the most common hazards in and around your home.

Safety all around the house

childproofInstall safety covers on all electrical outlets to keep curious fingers out. Make sure the outlet protectors can’t be easily removed and are large enough that your child can’t choke on them. Online, check out kiddieproofers.com and other specialty safety stores for outlet caps that fit into any standard outlet and have curved edges, making them difficult for little fingers to remove.

Consider using sliding outlet plates for outlets that are frequently in use. These replace existing plates and have a “door” that slides closed to cover the outlet as soon as an item is unplugged.

Don’t put a pressure safety gate at the top of stairs. Gates that screw to the wall are more secure for this dangerous area. Mounting kits are available at safety supply stores that let you install a fixed gate without drilling holes in your railing.

Install smoke detectors near bedrooms and on every floor of the house. Put a carbon monoxide detector near sleeping areas. Check batteries once a month and change them every time you change your clocks.

Safety tips and tools

Baby Proofers
Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program
Canada Safety Council
Health Canada
International Association for Child Safety
Safe Kids Canada

Where to buy

Kiddie Proofers
Safety Superstore

Help us keep kids safe

Childproofing your home is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your children out of harm’s way. Sign our petition and join us in demanding a national injury prevention program from the federal government.

Originally published in Today’s Parent, March 2009