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Childproofing Your Home
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Is your home a safe haven for snooping children? Most homeowners would agree that their house is far from being a safe place for toddlers. The best way to ensure your child's safety is to get into the mind of your child.

It sounds silly, but you'd be surprised how many dangerous areas you will observe by simply crawling around on your toddler's level. Look for conditions that can lead to burns, electric shock, falls, poisoning, and entrapment.

Here are some suggestions to child proof your home:

1. Cover all electrical outlets that are at the height of a small child. You can purchase child-resistant covers at any local hardware store.

2. Keep all poisons at high levels and out of reach from small children. Consider installed child proof locks on cabinets that contain dangerous chemicals.

3. Keep all sharp objects like knives, scissors, and safety pins out of reach.

4. Make sure that there is nothing smaller than 1 1/2 inches in diameter around on the floor that they could get a hold of.

5. Install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in doorways of any room you don't want your baby to get into.

6. When cooking, make sure handles are turned inward to avoid children pulling on them. Failure to do so could result in serious burns.

7. Store tools, garden, and lawn-care equipment and supplies in a locked closet or shed.

8. Shorten curtain and blind cords so that small children cannot pull on them.

9. Keep cigarettes, matches, and lighters out of children's reach. You may also want to keep screens up to guard against fireplace entry.

10. Make sure your furnishings are all secure and plugs are out of reach.

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