Bedrooms

Your child should sleep in their own baby bed. Your baby’s bed should be safe, with a firm, flat mattress in good condition, and no pillows, toys, duvets or bumper pads.

  • Make sure your child’s bed is away from:
    • blind cords
    • windows
    • mobiles with long strings
    • curtains
    • uncovered power points
    • heaters
    • pets
    • other children.
  • Put child locks on cupboards and drawers.
  • Install power point protectors/safety plugs so your child can’t push anything into unused power points.
  • Make sure your furniture is sturdy – your child shouldn't be able to pull it over. You should anchor furniture like bookshelves, cabinets, and wardrobes to the wall.
  • Keep low furniture away from windows, and install security latches or lock windows – especially upper storey windows – so they can't be opened wide. This will stop your child from climbing out and falling.
  • If you use a change table for changing your baby’s nappy, always use the safety strap and keep a hand on your baby at all times. This means you’ll need to have everything you need within easy reach.
  • Pad sharp corners of furniture with foam or corner protectors.
  • Put stickers on glass windows and doors at your child’s eye level so they don’t bang their head.
  • Strap or brace flat-screen televisions to the wall.
  • Install door stops and guards so they can’t slam shut on fingers.
  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms. The New Zealand Fire Service recommends installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom, hallway and living area.
Read more about choosing and maintaining smoke alarms

Fire and emergency

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Lounge and dining room

  • Put sturdy safety/fire guards around any heaters or open fireplaces you may have.
  • Make sure blind and curtain cords are secured up high and out of reach.
  • Put child locks on cabinets and drawers.
  • Install power point protectors/safety plugs.
  • Anchor furniture like bookshelves, TV cabinets, drawers to the wall.
  • Strap or brace flat-screen televisions to the wall.
  • Make sure any entertainment equipment, like TVs, DVD players, stereos, speakers, and game consoles, is safely stored. Tuck away all the cords, and make sure remote controls and batteries are out of reach.
  • Pad sharp corners of furniture with foam or corner protectors.
  • Put stickers on glass windows and doors at your child’s eye level so they don’t bang their head.
  • Don’t use a table cloth with young children around – one tug and everything on the table could land on them.
  • Install door stops and guards so they can’t slam shut on fingers.
  • Keep low furniture away from windows, and install security latches or lock windows – especially upper storey windows – so they can't be opened wide. This will stop your child from climbing out and falling.

Kitchen

  • Turn saucepan handles to the back of the stove, and use a back element if possible.
  • Use a stove guard to help stop a child from reaching saucepans on the stove top.
  • Make sure there aren’t chairs or steps near the bench or stove.
  • Keep detergents, dishwasher tabs, cleaning fluids and pastes and any other chemicals out of reach of your child, or in a locked cupboard.
  • Keep plastic wrap, plastic bags etc. in a child-proofed drawer and out of reach.
  • Put child-proof locks on cupboards and drawers.
  • Never store poisons in food containers or in low cupboards (under the sink, for example).
  • Keep matches, lighters and knives locked away and out of reach.
  • Young children can drown in as little as 4cm of water. Drain the sink as soon as you’ve finished, and be careful if leaving things to soak.
  • Keep all appliances and cords out of reach and unplugged when not in use.
  • Install door stops and guards so they can’t slam shut on fingers.

Bathroom

Never leave a child alone around water, not even for a second. Make sure you have everything you need to bath your child before you start.

  • Always actively supervise your child when they’re in the bathroom. Never leave an older sibling to supervise.
  • Put child locks on all cabinets and drawers.
  • Store all medications, cleaning supplies, bath and shower supplies, cosmetics, and other potentially dangerous substances out of reach in a child-proofed cabinet.
  • Be aware young children can drown in as little as 4cm of water.
  • Almost 40% of New Zealand homes have dangerously hot tap water. The water that comes from your hot tap should have a maximum temperature of around 50°c — if it feels too hot, talk to a plumber about how you can turn the temperature down.
  • When you’re running a bath for your toddler, run the cold water first, and use hot water to bring it up to the right temperature. 
  • Be careful when using baby bath aids – bath seats and bath rings for example – they don’t keep babies safe in the bath.
  • Empty the bath water as soon as you’ve finished – you might forget to come back and let it out.
  • Keep electrical appliances like hair dryers out of reach to avoid possible electrocution.
  • Install door stops and guards so they can’t slam shut on fingers.

Laundry

  • Put child locks on all cabinets and drawers.
  • Store all cleaning and laundry products out of reach in a locked cupboard.
  • If you soak nappies in a bucket, make sure it’s always closed and stored securely out of reach of children.
  • Empty buckets as soon as you’ve finished using them.
  • Install door stops and guards so they can’t slam shut on fingers.

Stairs, verandahs, balconies, decks and windows

  • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs, and across the entries to balconies, decks or verandahs.
  • You have to have a railing on stairs, balconies, decks or verandahs that are higher than 600mm.
  • Keep low furniture away from windows, and install security latches or lock windows – especially upper storey windows – so they can't be opened wide. This will stop your child from climbing out and falling.
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