The Regional Municipality Of York


Home Safety

As a parent, you can prevent injuries by creating a safe environment for your children. Injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children aged one to 14 years. Take the time to survey your home for things that may pose a danger to children. Although you can take steps to make your home safer, actively supervising your children is the most effective way to prevent an injury.

Some dangers to children are:

  • Falls
  • Scalds and burns
  • Choking
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning
  • Strangulation and suffocation

To help prevent injuries:

  • Get down on your hands and knees to look at your home from a child's point of view
  • Always plan ahead and learn about your child's developmental stages; often an injury occurs when a child has learned a new developmental skill
  • Supervise your child closely when you are visiting other’s homes or in new places; injuries are more likely to happen when children are in a place they're not familiar with

Here are some ideas to make your home a safer environment for your children.

General Areas

  • Post emergency numbers (e.g. poison control) by the phone
  • Make sure there are working smoke detectors, checked and cleaned regularly (batteries changed fall and spring) on each floor
  • It is recommended to install one carbon monoxide (CO) detector on every floor (at minimum, one CO detector outside the sleeping areas)
  • Plan and review fire escape routes with your family
  • Cover electrical outlets with safety devices
  • Place safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairways. These must be anchored to the wall, not pressure mounted
  • Don’t use space heaters or hot humidifiers around children
  • Window guards are installed
  • All cords are out of reach (blinds, curtains, electronics, appliances)
  • Bookcases and heavy furniture are secured to the wall
  • Poisonous plants are out of reach or not kept in the house
  • Loose coins are kept out of reach
  • Children are always supervised around pets
  • Screens or safety rails are placed in front of fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and heaters
  • Children are closely supervised when visiting other homes


  • All sharp objects are kept out of reach and locked up
  • All hot foods and drinks are kept out of reach
  • Pot handles are turned inward on the stove and back burners are used
  • Electric appliances are out of reach, unplugged and away from water
  • Food temperature should always be checked before serving to your children
  • Microwaved foods and drinks should always be mixed well after heating
  • Avoid foods that can cause choking (e.g. popcorn, hard candies)
  • Cut food into small pieces
  • Garbage and plastic bags are kept out of reach or disposed of
  • A working fire extinguisher is available and accessible
  • Children are not left unattended in a high chair and safety straps are used


  • Children are always supervised in the bathroom
  • A non-skid mat is used in the bathtub
  • The temperature of water is always checked with your wrist or elbow before giving your child a bath
  • Medications, mouthwash, soap, cosmetics and perfumes are out of reach and locked up
  • Do not use a baby bath seat

Bedrooms and Playrooms

  • Crib meets current safety standards
  • Infants are put to sleep on their back
  • Crib or bed is not placed near windows, curtains, or blind cords
  • Never leave a baby unattended on a raised surface (change table, couch, bed etc.)
  • Bedroom doors should not have locks
  • Children under 6 years should not sleep on the top of a bunk bed
  • Toy chests should have a lightweight lid, safe closing mechanism or no lid at all
  • Choose age-appropriate toys and play equipment that also meet recommended guidelines
  • Pad sharp furniture corners and edges, or remove them from the room
  • Store batteries safely

Basements and Garages

  • Never leave children unattended in the garage
  • Flammable liquids (including cleaning solvents) are stored outside of the house and are away from the furnace, hot water heater and other ignition sources
  • Dangerous tools are always kept out of reach

Related Resources

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