This is for the nanny who sometimes has kids in their house, but doesn’t want to live in a permanently childproofed home. The checklist below includes quick and easy fixes whether these kids come over every weekday, or you get a last-minute call and need to childproof your home ASAP.
Age group: This is meant for kids ages 2-4 who are walking and talking and interested in getting into things and places they probably shouldn’t.
Around the House
Depending on their age and maturity, you can explain the areas of your home that are off-limits. But it’s likely these kids are used to living in childproof houses 24/7, so it may be too tempting to get into places they aren’t able to at home.
1. Lock the windows — especially above the ground floor.
2. Lock the doors to areas you don’t want the children entering (e.g. your bedroom or garage).
3. Put a sturdy barrier up against the fireplace if it doesn’t already have a cover.
4. Cover all the outlets in your home. Tip: Don’t worry if you don’t have plug covers, you can use painters tape.
5. Cover the inside of floor vents with any spare bits of breathable fabric you have. This prevents anything from falling down the slits (mainly goldfish and cheerios). Tip: Paper towels could work as a temporary solution if you don’t have spare fabric.
Eating / In the Kitchen
Make sure you’re always with them any time they’re eating. And you should have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen before inviting children into your home.
6. Store your knives in a drawer, not on the countertop.
7. If you don’t have child safety locks, try twisty ties or pipe cleaners.
8. Tape your oven knobs shut with painters tape in an ‘X’ shape.
9. Tape the refrigerator door shut with painters tape.
In the Bathroom
10. Hide medications in a high and hard-to-reach cabinet.
11. Wrap a rubber band around the toilet paper roll. Tip: Toilet paper probably won’t harm them, but this will save you from cleaning it up later!
12. Keep the toilet lid shut with painters tape.
13. Hide hot tools (e.g. straighteners, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.) and anything with a cord.
In the Yard
Don’t let them into the backyard unattended, ever. Especially if they’re not used to the space.
14. Make sure the grass is mowed, to prevent them from tripping over anything unseen.
15. Lock up tools and chemicals in a shed or garage.
It’s understandable that you may not own all of the latest, expensive childproofing gadgets if you don’t have children of your own. But you should at the very least make sure your home is safe from common dangers. No matter what, children should be closely watched the entire time they’re in your home. These quick and easy childproofing fixes help, but as the nanny you’re their number one defense.