Child Safety Using Things You Have at Home

Keep your kids safe.

Bathtub Appliqués

Avoid nasty falls caused by slippery plastic dance slippers — and even new shoes. Cut small pieces of bathtub appliqués and apply them to the sole of each slipper or shoe. You can also sew cut pieces of an appliqué on the soles of your children’s “feet” pajamas to prevent slips (and tears).

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Chicken Wire

Your garage or shed is full of dangerous tools and toxic substances. Keep kids away from these hazardous items by enclosing them in a childproof corral. Make it by first attaching standard-width chicken wire to the walls in a corner. Then staple 1 x 2s to the cut ends of the wire and install screw eyes in the wood to accommodate two padlocks.

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Cotton Balls

Pad the ends of drawer runners with a cotton ball. This will prevent the drawer from closing completely and keep children from catching their fingers as the drawer slides shut.

Curtain Rings

It’s a natural stage of development, but not always one you want to encourage. Curious toddlers can’t help poking around in your kitchen cup-boards. If you’ve got a toddler visiting, lock up your accessible cupboards by clicking shower curtain rings over the latches. Then when baby leaves, it’s easy to remove the rings.

Garden Hoses

No parent wants to see his or her child hurt on the backyard swing set. Put a length of old hose over each chain to protect little hands from getting pinched or twisted. If you have access to one end of the chains, just slip the chain through the hose. Otherwise, slit the hose down the middle, and slip it over the swing set chains. Close the slit hose with a few wraps of duct tape.

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Rubber Bands

The grandkids are coming! Time to get out the rubber bands and temporarily childproof the bathroom and kitchen cabinets you don’t want them to get into. Just wrap the bands tightly around pairs of handles.

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  • Stop bits of food from getting under a child’s bib by taping the edges of the bib to her clothes.
  • If you bring a baby or small child with you when visiting a home that isn’t childproofed, bring a roll of transparent tape along too. Use it to cover electrical outlets as a temporary safety measure. Although it will not confer a lot of protection, it could give you the extra time you need to remove a child from a potentially hazardous situation.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest