Childproofing Tips and How to Hire a Pro - Angieslist
Industry experts say children younger than 15 years old have more than 3 million non-fatal, unintentional home injuries on average per year. Falls lead off the list of injuries.
No safety device outweighs the importance of adult supervision, but if you have kids, you should think about childproofing your home. A great place to start is to take a loko at your home from a child's perspective: get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. You'll be surprised at the dangers you see from that angle. After that, review your safety measures every six months to make sure your child has not outgrown or outsmarted any of the measures.
Angie's List asked its highly rated childproofing companies for advice on how to make homes safe for kids.
Childproofing products and measures:
- Outlet covers
- Safety gates
- Cabinet latches and locks
- Furniture straps/anchors
- Mesh pool fencing
- Door locks/door knob covers
- Toilet lid locks
- Table/window guards
- Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
- Fire escape ladders
How a childproofing pro can help:
The amount of safety information, products and options for childproofing a home can seem overwhelming. Consulting a professional can help because they are trained to identify potential safety risks, offer solutions and research the best products.
Some childproofing solutions, such as outlet covers, are fairly easy to install. But products such as safety gates, pool fencing, and furniture anchors are a bit more complicated and may require the help of a professional childproofing company.
Angie’s List hiring tips: Be sure to ask these questions.
- Does the company specialize in child safety? Any contractor can say they can childproof your home. But if not installed properly, these items can actually pose an increased risk to your child.
- Ask about credentials: How many homes have they childproofed? Are they a member of The International Association for Child Safety? Do they use products that have received the stamp of approval from the Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association? Don’t forget to ask about insurance and licensing, if required.
- What about costs? The cost of hiring a professional is often determined by the amount of childproofing you want and the size of your home – so be sure you get an estimate in writing. First, they will come in and conduct a room-by-room walk through of the house. Many companies offer free in-home evaluations, others charge $50 or less. Then you will receive an itemized estimate detailing charges for materials and labor
- Is there a guarantee? Do they offer a warranty on their installations? What about a guarantee on the products?
- Don’t feel pressured: Be cautious of any company that uses scare tactics to pressure you into buying unnecessary products.