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How to child proof your home

Most injuries to children under the age of 5 happen at home. Nearly 9 out of 10 injuries can be prevented by thinking and acting safely.

It's important to make your home inside and outside as safe as possible. This is called child-proofing. Put these safety measures in place before your child reaches their next developmental stage and age.

Watch your child at all times

Young children:

  • do not understand danger
  • are not ready to manage their own safety

Teach them about safety and lead by example.

If your child is looked after in another person's home, make sure that place is also child-proofed. Share the information on this page with the people who look after your child.

Get down to child level

You might not always notice risks at child level. Go down on your hands and knees and work your way around the home. Go from room to room to see what areas look both dangerous and inviting to a small child.

In each area, ask yourself if there is anything that might be a danger to a child at this level. Make sure you include all rooms such as the hallway, stairs and landing. 

Do the same outside the home. Check the driveway, balcony, garden, avenue, shed or garage.

When you spot a potential danger, take action to sort it out.

Download the child safety checklist (PDF, 5.1 MB, 2 pages)

Keep personal items out of reach

Keep handbags out of reach. Children are curious and often take items out them. Handbags can contain items such as medicine and cosmetics that could poison your child.

Keep car keys and keys for your home out of sight and reach of children. Children sometimes let themselves into a car without anyone noticing.

Child-proofing equipment

Child-proofing equipment you can use to make your home safer includes:

  • stairgates
  • cupboard locks and latches
  • corner protectors
  • sparkguards
  • fireguards
  • window restrictors that do not need tools to open (in event of a fire)

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing and using any safety equipment.

Child-resistant bottles and containers can still be opened by children. It's just more difficult for them. Always keep medicines and chemicals out of sight and reach of children. Place in a high and locked cupboard.

Page last reviewed: 10 November 2022
Next review due: 10 November 2025