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Childproofing Your Home

Childproofing Your Home

​Before or as soon as children begin crawling or walking, parents and caregivers need to take extra steps to make sure harmful items are out of reach, out of sight, and locked up if possible.

Check each room in your home to ensure the items below are stored out of reach of children and/or stored in a locked cabinet with a safety latch.

Cleaning products:
  • All-purpose cleaners

  • Bleach

  • Dishwashing detergent (liquid, powdered, or single-use packets or tablets)

  • Drain openers and toilet bowl cleaners

  • Furniture polish

  • Laundry detergent (liquid, powdered, or single-use packets or tablets)

Personal and hygiene products:
  • Nail polish removers

  • Cosmetics

  • Mouthwash

  • Perfume and aftershave

Items that may be stored in your basement or garage:
  • Antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid

  • Gasoline, kerosene, and lamp oil

  • Insecticides

  • Prescription medicines

  • Over-the-counter medicines

  • Vitamins and supplements


Certain houseplants may be harmful. Call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 for a list or description of plants to avoid. You may want to do without houseplants for a while or, at the very least, keep all houseplants out of reach.

Small objects:
  • Beads, buttons, coins

  • Button batteries

  • Pins

  • Refrigerator magnets or products and toys with small or loose magnets

  • Screws


Alcohol can be very poisonous to a young child. Remember to empty any unfinished drinks right away.


Keep in mind that children may get into trash containers. Trash containers that contain spoiled food, sharp objects (like discarded razor blades), or batteries should have a child-resistant cover or be kept out of a child’s reach. Purses and other bags that hold potential hazards, including medicines, should be kept out of a child’s reach too.

Important Reminders:

Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are home but not paying attention.
  • Keep products in original packaging.

  • Store in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.

  • Install a safety latch—that locks when you close the door—on child accessible cabinets.

Detergent in single-use laundry packets is very concentrated and can be toxic. Even a small amount of the detergent can cause serious breathing or stomach problems or eye irritation.
  • Never let your children handle or play with the packets. The packets dissolve quickly when in contact with water, wet hands, or saliva.

  • Remember to seal the container and store it in a locked cabinet after each use. Make sure the container is out of sight and reach of children.

  • Adults should follow the instructions on the product label.

Medicines can be harmful if not taken as directed.
  • Purchase and keep medicines in original containers with safety caps.

  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.

Small objects can be choking hazards or harmful if swallowed.
  • Check your floors regularly for small objects. This is particularly important if someone in the household has a hobby that involves small items or if there are older children who have small items.

  • Make sure battery covers are secure on remote controls, key fobs, musical books, and greeting cards. Store devices that contain small button-cell batteries out of reach and sight of children. Button batteries can cause severe injury or death if ingested.

Last Updated 11/21/2015

Adapted from Childproofing Your Home (Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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