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Tuesday 21 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# parents panel
Parents share their best tips for toddler-proofing the house - and the products that made the job easier
Our panel share how they made their home safer for mini explorers.


AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way.

As little ones start crawling, pulling themselves up, walking, opening doors and generally exploring, the whole house becomes a playground. And for a worried parent, it can also become a minefield of potential hazards for bumps, bruises and burns.

This week we asked our panel how they keep their home safe for curious kids, and which products were worth the money too.

What’s your best tip for toddler-proofing the house?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 - Copy - Copy - Copy Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly

If you see a cord, tie it up: Tying up blind ropes is super important, and ensuring table lamps and other things with cables are not available for pulling. When they pull, the item falls on top of them. You’ve got to have common sense to keep the little puller and grabber safe, but give them enough stuff to explore with. We never left them alone, but there are of course times when your eyes are not on them, and you need to ensure they are safe.

- Alan Dooley 

Don’t forget the corners of tables: Sharp edges on furniture at eye level are always our biggest fear. We use corner protectors on things like the corners of tables, just in case.

- Ross Boxshall

image2 Ross Boxshall A casualty in the Boxshall household. Ross Boxshall

 We bought a fire guard early on: We have two fireplaces, so the big fire guard was definitely a must for having a small human in the house! We also put a lock on the microwave as he could reach that pretty easily. We’ll see how well it works with our newest arrival, especially as he has a big brother to help him get into all the things he can’t reach!

- Olly Keegan

Clear out the cupboards: For me, baby-proofing was more about specific actions (putting things out of reach, moving things out of the way) than about specific products. The main thing we had to do here with Ellie Mae was to clear all the bottom presses in the kitchen units… she used to go along them and empty each press one by one.

- Denise Cumiskey

14095812_1202870769777928_71693297548575831_n Denise Cumiskey One of Ellie Mae's earlier performances. Denise Cumiskey

We child-proofed the doors: First, we installed a childproof lock on the press in the kitchen where the cleaning products were, and second, we used specially made finger protectors on our doors to stop them closing on little hands.

I actually found the worst time of concern was a few years later when they were tall enough that they were exactly eye level height with door handles. I was always worried that they would run head first into the handle and poke their eye out.

- Ken Hyland

More Parents Panel: Toys that under-threes won’t get tired of – as recommended by real mums and dads>

Plus, want to win a getaway to Kilkenny’s luxurious Lyrath Estate? Enter right here – and don’t forget to subscribe to our Family Newsletter in the box below!

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