Need advice: Childproofing

I'm looking to more thoroughly childproof my house, as I have a sneaky suspicion that Red Chief will soon be getting through the "childproof" doorknob covers that we have installed throughout the house. (He's already figured out or broken the rest of the child locks in the house.) How do you keep your children from your
  • Knives
  • Medicine
  • Harmful cleaners
  • Plugs
  • Anything else I should be thinking of?


  1. i'm afraid i don't have any great and wonderful new strategies. medicines we kept up high, out of reach. caustic cleaners were all kept together under the kitchen sink, which i kept closed by one of those locks similar to a large white plastic bike-lock, kwim? the best thing i did (and still do, when i am watching littles in my home) is keep them right with me at all times... i use gates a lot. one at the bottom of the stairs, one at the top. both of the kitchen doors are gated. not pretty and kind of a pain in the neck at times... but worth it:)

  2. If you get gates, get the slatted ones. I have a dd who, at 2, climbed 2 gates (the cheap ones that are criss cross) that was one on top of the other!! Up one side and down the other. Didn't even know it until she I heard her walking down the hall. YIKES!! Never used them again. I could use the door dandle things either, she figured them out in three tries!

    I agree with the giant D lock thing. I use them and they are hard to get open. Put your knives up in a kitchen cupboard. Cleaners I keep under the sink, with a lock on it, but if he can get into that and you can't use a D lock, maybe above the fridge cupboard.

    As for electrical sockets. Nothing really worked for me. I told them to stay away. That seemed to work for the younger one, but the older one had to get a bit of a shock plugging something in when she was 2. It's only a little shock and she only now plugging things in again (she's 6) sometimes.

    As for outside doors. Put a some sort of lock up high on the door so her can't get it open. Since he's small it could just be a hook and eye type. If you don't think that will work maybe a chain lock.

    I don't have too much advice. I tend to do my best to house proof my kids, instead of kid proof my house. It's a bit more work, but in the end makes my life easier. It also allows me to know my kids will be pretty safe when we go to other peoples' houses.

    Not a ton of advice, I know. But maybe it will help a little.

  3. Annalise has always figured out child proof things. I just keep that stuff up high.

  4. kniefs...don't have any. Seriously, I have cut myself so many times that all of mine are dull. I have my hubby cut large pieces of meat.
    Medicines...well we put a lock on a cabnet that was in our bathroom. You have to use a key to open it and the key is hidden very well. Sometimes I have forgotten where that key is at.
    Cleaners....are stored above our frige in the cabnets above that. My child does not climb so that has seemed to work pretty well.
    And as for the plugs, I got some covers that require you to use two hands...squeeze and push a button at the same time. I can't get them off...they are really stiff! If you would like me to send you a picture of the plugs let me know and I can try to do that. I think my email is on my blog, or leave me a comment and I will get back to you with that.
    With my son it was pretty easy to child proof; he is just not to interested in to getting into things. I can see the complete opposite in my daughter. She LOVES cords!!!! And will bee line to them.
    Good luck.

  5. The only thing I can say it keep all the knives and medicines and other stuch stuff up high.

    As for things like plugs, the covers never worked for me, the kids would always find ways to pry them off. When ever I would see one of them going for one I would firmly grab the offending hand and get right in their face and firmly (you know the "mother" voice, don't yell) say "NO TOUCH".

    When they are young if you use more than two or three words they lose the whole point of the message you are trying to get across in all the chatter.

    I have used that with all my kids in all sorts of situations and it seems to work well (it may take two or three times before they get the message). I use it for hitting, biting, throwing food..."NO BITE"...."NO HIT SISTER"..."NO THROW FOOD".

    It is simple, but effective.

  6. I did a really quick search looking for pics - no luck on everything - so try to use your imagination with me!

    For knives I had the best luck with a magnetic drawer lock. It's installed like a typical child-proof system but it won't budge even a little until you hold a powerful magnet in front to release it (comes as a kit). Bonus - the lock stores on the fridge so it won't get lost. I kept ALL sharp things in the ONE drawer and was very conscious when opening it that they not notice my method!

    Medicines, cabinet over the fridge. It's a pain to drag a stool over but worth it.

    Cleaning supplies, in the garage on the top shelves or cabinets. I would use ONE thing at a time, hopefully during nap time! Only non-toxic things under the sink!

    Outlets, this is a bit of an investment but if you plan on being there for a while with small children - worth it! The entire outlet cover is replaced with one that has a "swivel" cover. (Here's a link to a picture: http://www.securityworld.com/pc-1424-151-swivel-outlet-cover.aspx)
    The one in the link is $5, I know I've gotten them for better money. Basically, you have to insert the plug part way, use the prongs to swivel the plate into position and then you can fully plug your appliance/lamp/vacuum in. If a child pulls the plug, the plate swivels automatically, blocking access to the outlet. At least change out the most visible outlet covers if cost prohibitive!

    For doors, the key is to keep it high. If you use the eye-hook method get an eye-hook with a clasp closure; too hard for little fingers that have pushed a chair up to the door (kinda like this...http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100647880) Or, there's an lock (can't find a link) that's basically just a brass rectangle on hinges that's screwed into the frame and requires you to lift the piece and THEN swivel it, otherwise it remains locked into place; hard for little hands to master. (Hope you can picture it, they are very inexpensive).

    Extra lotions, shampoo bottles etc. Up high in the garage and then current bottle stored up high in the bathroom. I had an entire bottle of lotion emptied into my sister's purse by my youngest and my sister drank 1/4 of a bottle of shampoo as a baby. No fun.

    Pantry items - a good sealing lid is key and keep lighter weight items up high. They're a BIG temptation to dump out.

    Also, don't forget to lock up your make-up, jewelry (flushable and expensive/hard to replace) and feminine hygiene products. Those are just the kind of thing you can count on being drug out while you have guests (lol). Don't ask me how I know.

    Hope this helps you!

  7. When I was a young mother with my first baby, I had my visiting teachers tell me that all my decorations(things from my Grandmother,ect.) would have to go up. I said,"Why?" I never put away anything that I decorated my home with. I have to say that I was blessed with six wonderful children that have grown up into wonderful adults. But I did do the basic stuff as put harmful things up high, put drawer locks on the sliverware(knife) drawers,a gate on the stairway and said no when it was needed. I also gave them a kitchen drawer of their own filled with thing for them to play with. That kept them from going into any other cupboard or drawer. None of my children were climbers either. But I did have one son who was about 3rd. grade ask me if he could jump off the porch roof with his umbrella open. That was a definite no! My best advice is to enjoy them becauses it goes by so, so fast. Good luck!

  8. We keep medications in a locked document box that I bought through Amazon.com

  9. Oh goodness. I just watched your clip of Red Chief figuring out the cupboard locks.

    We have the knives all in a rubbermaid bin for all sharp items: Knives, paring knives, knives with covers and without, pizza cutter, cheese knife, etc. Right next to the bin is a woodblock that holds six steak knives. These are all contained in a cupboard higher than the countertop. A child big enough to get on to that countertop knows not to touch them.

    The Medicines are two shelves above the knives.

    Cleaners are in the coat closet several feet above the head of even our seven year old. Never under any sinks.

    Plugs are the trickiest. We found some plug covers at Target. They completely cover the outlet and allow two cords to be plugged in underneath. You have to remove the cover to remove unplug the cords. There's no way he can do that. I have a hard time doing it.

    There are also some cupboard locks that I purchased from WalMart or Target that are for cupboards with knobs. It keeps two doors shut together. We found that good for keeping the kids out of the cupboard under the entertainment center with the playdough and puzzles.

    But as far as teaching your kids "danger" and "no" and "don't touch." Well, that worked better on my daughter than it has on my sons. I think you have to double up on the safety. Teach them, but also prevent the possibility.

    Oh yeah, and keep sweet smelling shampoo way up high and out of reach. I recommend keeping some things in places that the kids do not know about- so they don't even try to climb and get it. I hide the shampoo behind out-of-season clothing in my closet on a shelf.

  10. No, I don't have children, but I have a very smart, curious dog who also wasn't fooled by child-proof devices and another who laughs at baby gates. I just put everything up high - I have a massive 12 ft armoire in the living area that does the job nicely. Chemicals go in a smalled locked room in the basement. Pharmaceuticals go into a box on a bookcase. Sharp kitchen items go into a higher kitchen cabinet.


  11. We never used any safety locks for our children. We used "this--not this" method. Of course the very dangerous items went out of reach such as knives, but we always had an alternative. I made one cabinet in the kitchen the children's cabinet. It housed all the kitchen items I didn't mind getting beaten up a bit. It included wooden spoons and pie pans. We also purchased a nice toy kitchen for their use. But most often, I had them right along side me helping with all the preparations. If I kept them busy in this way, they never wandered off to discover dangerous things on their own. (It's also how we taught math the first few years. When it came time for fractions, they already knew) I liked my little nice things around the house and didn't want to put them out of reach. I was just always on hand to say "this---not this" and they quickly learned.