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Little Kaitlyn should NEVER stand on the dishwasher!!

The “2 women of baby proofing,” serving Seattle and the surrounding area!

By necessity, this is an abbreviated list of potential problem areas found in most homes. Our intent here is to get you to ask yourself questions about your home as your toddler sees it. Starting with this list of questions is good, but a trained professional will still find many more trouble spots. When in doubt, call in the experts.

Click on the area of the house you would like to read about.




Master Bedrooms

Living room/Other Room Areas


Poisonous Plants 


Cabinets: Where are your cleaning supplies, cooking ingredients, other chemicals, utensils, tools, implements, etc.?

Stove/Range: Can your child reach either of the front burners? How about the stove controls?

Liquor: Is it well out of reach?

Refrigerator/Freezer: Is a properly designed latch installed?

Dishwasher: Does it have built-in child lockouts to prevent a toddler from opening or operating it?

Counter tops: Are any electrical appliance cords dangling over the edge, or even near the edge? What will happen when your child pulls a chair over to the counter?

Fire: Where’s your fire extinguisher? Is it a type ‘ABC’, recommended for kitchens? Are your smoke alarms working properly? Batteries recently replaced?

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Medicines: Are they locked away in a high cabinet or closet?

Cabinets: Are dexterity latches installed?

Outlets: Are they protected by a special GFCI circuit breaker? Are they protected with sliding outlet covers, and not individual “plugs” that can be very easily removed by a toddler?

Hot Water: Is your hot water heater set to no more than 120 degrees F?

Toilet: Is it locked so that your toddler can’t fall in, or deposit toys, etc. in the bowl?

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Crib: Can your infant slide down between the mattress support and the side rails? Are any toys/blankets/pillows kept in the crib that can be used for a makeshift ladder to climb over the side? Is the crib positioned over a heat vent or over a baseboard heater?

Drapes: Are the cords for drapes or blinds tied up on a cleat well above the toddler’s highest reach? Even if he or she climbs up on a chair?

Toys: Are they soft enough so that your enterprising child can’t use them to climb over the crib/playpen railings.

Windows: Are properly designed, and properly mounted, window gates installed to prevent outward falls? Are you depending on a window screen meant for bugs to contain your active toddler? Can you arrange your furniture so that your toddler can’t climb up to the window?

Medicines: Are they locked away in a high cabinet or closet?

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Master Bedroom

Emergency Lighting: Can you safely go to your child in the nursery when the power goes out? Are spare flashlight batteries on hand? Where are they?

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Living Room (and other rooms)

Furniture: Can your toddler get bruised or cut by sharp edges or corners when he or she falls?

Plants: Do you know which houseplants are toxic to people?

Outlets: Are they protected with sliding outlet covers, and not individual “plugs” that can be very easily removed by a toddler?

Electrical cords: Are they protected from easy access by your child?

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Stairways and Banisters

Railings: Are the openings between the spindles greater than 4 inches?

Gates: Are both the top and bottom of each stairway protected from access by your toddler with properly mounted safety gates, and not pressure gates? Do your gates have vertical slats, or are they the crosshatch design that makes it easy for a toddler to climb over them?

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Poisonous Plants

Learn the names of your plants and label them. Below is a list of some of the more common indoor and outdoor plants that you may have in you home. This list is definitely not a complete list. If you have a plant around your home that is not on the list, you may call the Poison Center to find out how poisonous it may be. You must know either the common name or the botanical name in order for the Poison Center to determine if it is poisonous. It is not possible to do plant or berry identifications over the phone, so check with a nursery for identification of all unknown plants. Carefully supervise children playing near poisonous plants. Call immediately if a child samples a mushroom or possibly poisonous plant.

Common NameBotanical Name
Azalea, rhododendronRhododendron
Castor beanRicinis communis
Deadly nightshadeAtropa belladonna
Elephant EarColocasia esculenta
FoxgloveDigitalis purpurea
Fruit pits and seedscontain: cyanogenic glycosides
Jerusalem cherrySolanum pseudocapsicum
Jimson weedDatura stramonium
LantanaLantana camara
Lily-of-the-valleyConvalleria majalis
MayapplePodophyllum peltatum
MistletoeViscum album
Morning gloryIpomoea
Mountain laurelKalmia iatifolia
NightshadeSalanum spp.
OleanderNerium oleander
Peace lilySpathiphyllum
PokeweedPhytolacca americana
PothosEpipremnum aureum

To view a partial list of poisonous plants Cornell University has compiled an online database that shows pictures. Click on the Cornell University Logo this will open a new window.

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