5 Tips for Childproofing Your Home

How to safeguard toddlers in the most serious problem areas

When childproofing a home, areas of particular concern should be cabinets, appliances, electrical outlets and bookshelves. Here's what to do about those potential trouble spots:

1. Cabinets are the most important areas to secure, as they are often used to store cleaning products and other hazardous materials. Secure these by attaching latches to the doors and frames.

2. A bookcase can tip over, so use an anchor harness to secure it to the wall. Attach one end of the harness to a wall stud with a screw, and then cinch up the adjustable strap to snug the bookcase to the wall.

3. Secure refrigerator doors shut with an appliance latch. The latch mounts to the fridge with adhesive tabs. Clean the area where it will attach before sticking it in place.

4. Insert plastic protectors into all sockets that are within reach of young ones.

5. For keeping toddlers away from anything they shouldn't be exposed to, a baby gate is a must. To install, hold the gate in place where you want it and mark points on wall for mounting. The gate should be mounted to studs. If you can't find studs, use plastic anchors.

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