Home Safety Tips: Ensure Your Home is Childproof and Pet-Proof

Many common household items can endanger pets and children. Read on for 10 tips to keep your little ones safe from home hazards.

Published on
June 12, 2024
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Home Safety Tips: Ensure Your Home is Childproof and Pet-Proof


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All parents and pet owners will know that ensuring the safety and well-being of their little ones is of the highest importance, especially in your home. However, many household items such as laundry detergent, house plants, cosmetics, medications, and more can pose a danger to children and pets. Factor in the untamable curiosity of pets and kids, and you’ve got a plethora of potential hazards on your hands.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to pet-proof and childproof your home. We’ve prepared 10 tips to help you keep your little ones out of trouble and in perfect health despite their desire to explore. Keep reading to learn how to keep your loved ones happy and out of harm’s way with just a few easy steps!

  1. Cover your trash can and stow away. 

Kids and pets are curious by nature, meaning they love to explore every inch of their home — including the trash can. Empty cleaning supply bottles, plastic packaging, spoiled food, glass, and other garbage can be hazardous for children and pets if touched or ingested. Thus, make sure your trash can has a lid, or even better, store it away in a drawer or cabinet with a childproof lock. This goes for indoor and outdoor trash cans (Adkins, 2024; American Humane, n.d.).

  1. Store medications, cleaning supplies, and cosmetics on high shelves.

Keep potentially hazardous household supplies away from children and pets by storing them out of reach on elevated surfaces. This includes medications, makeup, lotions, floss and string, razors, household cleaners, chemicals, tools, and any sharp or toxic objects. Handling or ingesting many of these items could seriously harm children or pets, so it’s best to keep these hidden (Adkins, 2024; American Humane, n.d.; Russ, 2023).

Prevention is key to keeping your loved ones safe, but sometimes accidents happen. If you ever suspect that your child or pet has been poisoned, don’t hesitate to contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222. Check out more resources here.

  1. Keep small knick-knacks off accessible surfaces. 

Just as much as pets like to eat things they shouldn’t, little kids like to put everything in their mouths. Therefore, you should keep small knick-knacks off surfaces that kids and pets can easily reach, knock over, or climb onto. Even food items could be harmful because of their packaging. 

If you have cats, be extra wary of where you put small items such as buttons, decorations, and jewelry; cats’ agility means they can easily climb on top of tall furniture. Thus, it’s best to keep any items that could present a choking hazard in a childproof drawer, container, or cabinet (Adkins, 2024; American Humane, n.d.; Russ, 2023).

  1. Choose non-poisonous house plants

While house plants are a great way to spruce your home, not all plants are safe for kids and pets. Do your research before bringing any greenery into your home, and whether they’re poisonous or not, make sure to keep these plants out of reach of your little ones and furry friends. This also applies to any plants in your front and backyards that your children or pets can access (American Humane, n.d.; Russ, 2023).

For extra caution, fake plants are a great alternative! Fake plants can make your home look fresher and more lively without compromising your family’s safety.

  1. Place hanging wires out of reach. 

Electrical wires are another potential household risk. While electrical cords are typically well insulated to protect users from getting shocked, children and pets could still be electrocuted if they chew on these wires. Plus, if wires connected to heavy items on top of high surfaces like dressers or tables hang down, children could grab onto these wires and pull the object down on their heads, leading to serious injuries. Hence, you should always wrap up dangling electrical cords to keep them out of reach (Adkins, 2024; American Humane, n.d.; Russ, 2023).

  1. Cover electrical outlets. 

Similarly to electrical cords, electrical outlets also present a risk of electrocution to children and pets. In particular, children are known to stick their fingers into electrical sockets, which could give them a dangerous shock. Luckily, childproof outlet covers are affordable and easy to find. They come in various models, from simple plastic inserts that cover empty plugs to more complex plug protectors that lock in place, making it more difficult for children to pry them out of the socket. You can try out different types to find one that works best for you, just don’t forget to cover the outlet every time you unplug something (Russ, 2023).

  1. Put up safety gates. 

Stairs are a huge hazard for small children, young pets still learning to use the stairs, and older pets experiencing mobility issues. Thus, safety gates are a necessity to prevent accidents. You can also use safety gates to prevent children and pets from accessing certain rooms in your home, such as the laundry room or bathroom, that might contain dangerous items. Make sure the safety gate you choose is tall enough that your children and pets can’t climb over it, and if your children are older, check the gate’s latch is difficult enough to open so they can’t do so on their own (Russ, 2023).

  1. Secure furniture to the wall. 

Large furniture items not secured to the wall can be hazardous for children and pets. If your child or pet tried to climb on an unsecured dresser, for example, it could tip over and fall, pinning them underneath it. Bookshelves, TVs, cabinets, and any other unstable pieces of furniture should be anchored to the wall to prevent them from falling onto your kids or pets and causing injury (Russ, 2023).

  1. Cover sharp corners. 

Sharp edges can present a serious risk, especially for children learning to walk. To childproof sharp corners in your home, apply foam or corner protectors to any dangerous edges on your furniture or countertops. Some children’s furniture brands even make bed frames, dressers, nightstands, and other items without any sharp edges so that you can rest assured that your clumsy little ones won’t hurt themselves if they fall (Dragons of Walton Street, 2022).

  1.  Use childproof locks. 

Childproof locks are an essential item for any parent or pet owner. There are multiple childproof lock options, allowing you to prevent your curious kids and pets from opening medicine cabinets, food pantries, doors, windows, and kitchen appliances. You can also use childproof locks outdoors if you have a storm cellar or pool area you don’t want your child wandering into. These locks help to keep your loved ones safe by preventing them from accessing dangerous items or areas in your home. If your child or pet somehow figures out how to open one of these locks, there are plenty of different models to try (American Humane, n.d.; Russ, 2023).

Your home should be a safe space for every family member, especially your children and pets. However, the curious nature of our little ones and furry friends doesn’t always make this easy. Fortunately, these essential tips and tricks will help you eliminate potential hazards in your home. Follow these simple steps to make your home into the haven it’s meant to be, and breathe easier knowing that your pets and children are safe!

For more information on home maintenance, check out our blog


8 Ways to Keep Kids and Pets Safe in Your Home 

How to Protect Kids from Sharp Corners on Furniture 

Keeping Pets Safe and Secure at Home 

Pet-Proofing Your Home