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Childproofing your house

Childproofing you House

Experts say that children between the ages of 1 and 4 are more likely to be killed by fire, burns, drowning, choking, poisoning, or falls than by a stranger's violence.

About 2.5 million children are injured or killed each year by dangers right in their own home, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That's why it's so important to carefully childproof your home

Toddlers are at an exciting age. They're learning so many new skills. Suddenly (it seems), they are mobile: crawling, walking and running around your home, exploring their environment, discovering something new all the time. They seem to have boundless energy. Some days, it might seem hard to keep up!

Making your home safe, though, requires you not only to keep up, but to stay one step ahead of your child. With her discoveries come many new dangers. Children ages 1 to 4 can reach and do many things they don't yet have the judgment or skills to handle safely.

Tips on Childproofing your House:

  • Use covers on electrical outlets and latches on cabinets.
  • Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees F to prevent scalding burns.
  • Prevent poisoning by keeping household cleaners, chemicals and medicines completely out of reach and always store them in their original container and know your local Poison Control Center number (1-800-222-1222). Also, buy and use products with child resistant caps.
  • Make sure that used or hand-me-down equipment, such as car seats, strollers, toys and cribs, etc., haven't been recalled for safety reasons. Call the manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission for an up-to-date list of recalled products (800-638-2772 or www.cpsc.gov).

  • Use stair gates and window guards.
  • Maintain smoke free environments for your children.
  • Remove mobiles from the crib and playpen once your child can stand.
  • Remove furniture with sharp edges or use soft guards.
  • Use nonskid backing on rugs and make sure carpets are securely tacked down.
  • Remove breakables from low tables and shelves.
  • Remove small toys and other choking hazards from around your child.
  • Tie cords of blinds, curtains and appliances up out of reach or use a blind cord wind-up device. Remove loops from blinds.
  • Do not carry hot liquids or food near your child and do not allow your child near stoves, heaters or other hot appliances (especially curling irons). When cooking, use the back burners and turn pot handles inward.
  • To prevent drowning, empty all water from bathtubs and pails, keep the door to the bathroom closed and never leave your child alone near any container of water.
  • In the bathroom, use a lid lock on the toilet, a non-slip mat on the tub floor and consider a cushion for the tub faucet.
  • Child proof the swimming pool by enclosing it in a fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate and never leave your child alone in a swimming area, even if he is a good swimmer.
  • If using bunk beds, remember that kids under age 6 years of age should not be allowed to sleep in the upper bunk.
  • Be cautious of certain dog breeds (Rottweiler, pit bull, German shepherd) that account for over fifty percent of fatal dog bites and closely supervise children when in the presence of animals.
  • If you must have a gun in the home keep it and the bullets in a separate locked place.
  • Lock rooms (with a childproof lock or door knob cover) that are not childproof and the exterior doors of your house so that your child can't get out the front door or into the garage, attic, or backyard without help.


Contact us

 Call (574) 272-2144
Fax (574) 272-4043
Write: 18355 Auten Rd
 South Bend, IN 46637
Police-Fire-EMS-Dial 911


David Cherrone
Fire Marshal
Ron Melser Jr.
Lieutenant, Fire Prevention Specialist

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

 Evening Information

For all Non-emergency information during evening and weekend hours please leave a message with duty shift.  Your call will be answered on the next day's regular business hours.

Hidden Dangers

  • Consider using a wall anchor or safety strap for the stove and large pieces of furniture that can tip over.
  • Do not place your TV on a cart that could easily tip over onto your child.
  • Consider a lock for the dish washer (so he can't reach unsafe items, like steak knives, that you might be washing) and refrigerator.
  • Secure (keep out of reach of your child) your car keys and lock your car so that your children can't get locked in the car or the trunk.
  • Consider getting a trunk release mechanism so that your child can't get trapped in the trunk.
  • Remove the rubber knob or tip from door stops, as younger children can choke on them, or just use a one piece door stop.
  • To prevent finger injuries, use a finger pinch gaurd on doors.
  • Secure the key for a gas fireplace or consider using a valve cover.
  • Use a guard on banisters and railings, especially if your younger child can fit through the rails.
  • Remove the hood and neck drawstrings from your child's jackets and other clothing, as they can get caught in school bus doors, handrails and playground equipment, etc. Also warn your child about using dangling key rings and hanging things from their backpacks, as they too can get caught and injure your child.



 Date Last Modified: Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Mailing Address:  18355 Auten Road, South Bend, IN 46637
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