Kid-proof your house for less than $250
Home is where the heart is. But when you have pint-sized explorers intent on making new discoveries every minute, it's also where the top-heavy furniture, power outlets, stairs, and cabinets are. Possessing inquiring minds and bottomless energy reserves, little ones often find the most imaginative ways to put home safety to the test. While life with children is often full of hair-raising moments, time spent at home doesn't have to be a gasp a minute. Creating a safe home environment for your child isn't as difficult or as expensive as you might think. It's possible to kid-proof your house for less than $250 (prices accurate as of 9/18). Here's how:
Safety gates are a kid-proofing must-have in any home, especially if you have stairs. Fearless and determined, mobile babies and toddlers won't hesitate when it comes to making their own way down (or up) stairs. Safety gates are also great for keeping roaming kids from slipping off to the kitchen when you're not looking.
The Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate is robust, easy to install, and priced reasonably enough for parents to be able to install two: one in the doorway of an off-limits room and another at the top of the stairs.
Two safety gates: $36.99 x 2 = $73.98
Cabinet Safety Locks
Most kids can't resist a good rifle through cabinets. And they're not picky, either. As long as it contains something they probably shouldn't be touching, children will thoroughly examine - and perhaps even taste - the contents of both kitchen and bathroom cabinets with equal enthusiasm. To keep sticky fingers away from dangerous items, secure your cabinet doors with child-proof safety locks.
Our top pick, an eight-pack of Purple Safety Magnetic Safety Locks with two keys, offers tool-free installation as well as a sleek look and secure hold.
Eight magnetic cabinet safety locks and two keys: $19.97
Door Knob Covers
Regardless of how many times you've told them to stay away from the front door or not to go into the bathroom/office/pantry alone, sometimes the urge to explore can be overwhelming. And, of course, sometimes kids just don't listen. Either way, you can easily rein in young wayward wanderers with a door knob cover. While kids might eventually manage to find a way around door knob covers, they should at least buy you enough time to make it past the toddler years.
If, like many, your child has a few "favorite" doors, this set of four hard-to-grasp Jool Baby Products Door Knob Covers should do the trick.
Four door knob covers: $12.95
Sliding Door and Window Locks
Sliding doors can be ridiculously easy for little escape artists to open, and with a bit of fiddling, it won't be long before they figure out how to open windows too. Sliding door and window locks will give you the freedom to leave a gap for fresh air to get in without allowing kids the leverage they need to place themselves in a perilous position.
We love the reliability and versatility of the Secure Home by Jessa Leona Sliding Door and Window Locks. Use them on patio doors, sliding windows, and sliding closet doors.
Set of four sliding door and window locks: $12.99
Opening and closing doors is great fun. Until the inevitable happens and a finger or a toe gets jammed, that is. Depending on the force, squished fingers can be rather nasty accidents. Keep tiny digits safe by outfitting doors with pinch guards.
Our top pick, a six pack of Jool Baby Products Door Pinch Guards, are easy to install and do a great job of keeping fingers out of harm's way and won't cost an arm and a leg, either.
Six door pinch guards: $9.95
Toilet Seat Lock
Keeping toilet lids tightly shut is more important than you might think. Innocent games like Hide Mommy's Phone In The Toilet can be extremely dangerous for unsteady toddlers and babies who might tip over while reaching into the bowl. Accidents like having the seat fall onto your child's fingers are another possibility. To keep toilet bowls off limits, secure the lid with a toilet seat lock.
One of our favorites both for cabinets and toilets are the versatile Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi-use Latches. For bathroom use, this set of two is ideal.
Two toilet seat locks: $7.99
Edge and Corner Guards
Whether they're just learning to walk or racing along at breakneck speed, bumps, knocks, and bangs are an unavoidable part of growing up. However, even minor slips can become serious when taken on sharp corners or edges. Breathe easier and minimize growing pains with corner guards.
These Roving Cove Baby Proofing Edge and Corner Guards provide 18 ft of edge cushioning and 8 corner guards for a complete living room solution.
Eight corner guards + 18 feet of edge protection: $21.99
Since most outlets are right at toddler eye-level and have openings that are seemingly modeled on chunky toddler fingers, you really can't expect them not to try to fit a digit into one of them. Factor in the irresistible outlet switch, and it's easy to understand why kids seem to be drawn to what is easily one of the most dangerous places in any home. For this reason, it's best to close off every reachable electric outlet with a child-safe outlet cover.
We love the low-profile look of the Jambini Self Closing Outlet Covers. With three covers per pack, purchasing two is a good idea.
Six outlet covers: $10.99 x 2 = $21.98
Anti-Tip TV and Furniture Straps
The lights! The sounds! The colors! Nope - littles don't stand a chance against the magnetic draw of your TV. Toddlers and babies can't help reaching for the screen, but fingerprints are the least of your worries. Heavy furniture, including your TV, can be toppled in a flash, trapping your child underneath. Even bookshelves and drawers can pose a risk for kids of all ages who might be tempted to practice their climbing skills on what appears to be an immovable object. Anchoring your furniture with heavy-duty, anti-tip straps will keep your child safe and your valuables intact at the same time.
The Bebe Earth Anti-Tip Anchors for Any Furniture has everything you need to secure both heavy and lightweight furniture with confidence and even comes with a complimentary door pinch guard.
Eight heavy-duty anti-tip furniture straps + pinch guard: $20.97
Stove Knob Covers
Once tots learn to stand, those shiny gas stove and oven knobs they've been admiring from afar simply must be touched, potentially spelling disaster for your entire family. Covers will stop stove knob turning in its tracks.
With a clear design this set of 5 Safety 1st Clear View Stove Knob Covers blends into the background, while making it impossible for little fingers to fiddle with settings.
Five clear stove knob covers: $8.09
There you have it - a kid-proof home for under $250. And with change to spare, you can even add a couple of extras, if needed.
Erica van Blommesteinis a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.