by Tomiko Muhammad

In the early stages of cognitive development, children have an insatiable desire to know. Their curiosity overpowers their ability to reason, which means you can’t depend on them to rationalize with you about not running in the street or eating out of the trash can. If they have the urge to do it, they will do it.

Children will put anything in their mouths, ears and nose to learn more about the object. Precautions must be in place to safeguard children, then over time and with consistent training, they won’t go near the danger and will mature into the understanding of why they can’t go near it. Since your child is still developing an awareness of the environment around them, it is best to childproof your home.

Although small children can display different kinds of challenging behaviors it is still the parents’ responsibility to protect them from hurting themselves and others. This is done by establishing boundaries and educating the child about safety through developmentally appropriate activities. Childproofing is when one creates an environment designed to prevent children from injuring themselves or doing damage.


It also limits access to certain areas in the home. For example, you want to make sure that all the chemicals are stored and locked away. Bleach, laundry detergent and facial cleaners are only some of the products that should be out of the reach of children. 

Tomiko Muhammad

The first place you should start childproofing is your child’s bedroom because they will spend a lot of time there. If your children are five and under and do not have their own room, now is the time for you to start making plans to get each child their own room if possible.

Space is essential to the growth and development of a child. The Bible teaches us in Genesis, chapter one, how God created a learning environment for us to study. He separated the light from the dark, the water from the land and He brought forth grass, herb-yielding seeds and fruit trees yielding fruit. Then He warned us by telling us that we can eat from all the trees except the tree of Good and Evil. 

God gave us a vast space to master but He gave us boundaries for our protection. The idea of childproofing stems from a child’s natural desire to explore which should not be suppressed, however; you want to build an environment that will safely allow them to carry out activities that will extract the God-given dispositions the child naturally possesses.

Childproofing your home does not mean you can’t buy what you want for your home. But it encourages us to be intentional about what we purchase for our home and the rooms of our children. The way we display things in our home becomes the learning environment for our children, and we are responsible for teaching them the value of space and what occupies that space. We also teach them what they can and cannot touch.

Your child will inevitably have an accident but you can tremendously decrease the chance of a life-threatening accident. The parents of my generation reared us with the idea of, “They gone be ight.” Although we made it through by God’s Grace, it wasn’t without a list of adverse childhood effects.


A mother has many tasks that she must be present for, including taking care of herself. We are not perfect at parenting, but when we accept the role of motherhood, we must educate ourselves on what is developmentally appropriate for children. When it comes to keeping children out of harm’s way, there is a difference between being mindful of your children while multitasking and blatant neglect. This is when childproofing meets with proper supervision.

Children learn through exploration so it is up to the parents to make sure they can explore safely. From ages zero to five, your level of supervision must be where you can see, hear and touch the child. Watching TV and being on the phone is not supervision.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death and permanent disability among children under age 14. These injuries are very costly in time, energy, suffering and medical expenses. Knowing that children are prone to life-threatening injuries warrants that mom and dad understand how to organize environments, provide the appropriate activities and supervise their children. 

We want to provide our children with the opportunity to freely explore, investigate, and test out the environment that they are born to master. It is up to us to create a safe learning environment that is filled with various materials that have interesting textures, colors, sounds, tastes and smells.

When you take the time to furnish your home and your child’s room with safety and supervision in mind, you can have more confidence in the comfort and stability of your home. It is better that we put safety parameters in place to be prepared for unexpected events and set new parenting trends that favor emergency preparedness. Childproofing gives you peace of mind.

When you are in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, or working from home, knowing you have removed all of the possible dangers in your space helps settle your nerves. You should still check on your children periodically to make sure everything is ok. Knowing exactly what you put in your home and how you have secured it makes a difference.

Childproofing your home is a top priority. Here are a few tips to start the process:

  • If you have carpet, keep it clean and in the best condition. Scan the carpet for nails, screws, pins or anything that can be hidden in the fibers. 
  • Make sure the windows have screens and make sure the strings of the blinds are out of reach.
  • Make sure the room is well-lit and has good ventilation.
  • Walls and floors should be clean and swept daily.
  • All the furniture in the room including the bed should be child-size and sturdy.
  • Electrical outlets should be covered with safety caps.
  • Smoke detectors should be easy to locate and in working order.
  • Make sure the pathway of the door is clear and no clutter behind the door.
  • Play equipment should be age-appropriate.
  • You should make a “home” or a designated storage area for toys and play items. You can purchase a shelf with storage bins to organize toys.
  • No chipped paint around the home.
  • If you have stairs, make sure that you have handrails at children’s height, they are free of toys and clutter, they are well lit and they are covered with a non-slip surface.
  • Have a potty chair and a step stool to use for a child who is potty training. 
  • The water temperature should be no higher than 120 Fahrenheit (48.9 Celsius). 
  • Parents should know CPR and have basic first-aid training. 
  • All medications and chemicals should be stored away in a locked cabinet.
  • The closet in your child’s room should be free of clutter.
  • To get an idea of what you should childproof, get down on your knees and maneuver around the house. This puts you at the eye level of your children. If you see something dangerous that will attract their attention, you should secure it right away. You can use also child-proof locks to eliminate the source of danger.

Sister Tomiko Muhammad is an early childhood educator, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, and attends Mosque No. 55. She has worked with children ages five and under for 14 years and has an Associate of Science in Teaching Pre-K through 3rd grade. She is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. She can be contacted at [email protected]