Costs, Tips and Hiring an Expert
Homes are not designed with the safety of young children in mind. You know about common safety threats such as electrical outlets and stairs, but you might be shocked at how many things you’d never think of that can be dangerous.
For many parents, particularly first-time parents, hiring a professional childproofer provides comfort and peace of mind. As babies become increasingly mobile, they get into just about everything, and it’s never safe to assume that your eyes will be on themmevery second. Childproofing also provides peace of mind that the risks will be minimized when the child is home alone with babysitters, grandparents and other caretakers who aren’t as familiar with safety risks.
What Does a Childproofer Do, Specifically?
A childproofer’s job is to do a meticulous survey of your home to identify anything that’s potentially dangerous. Then, once you give the approval, the company will order the necessary safety supplies and install them.
Common safety measures include but are not limited to:
- Anchoring down large pieces of furniture such as cabinets, TVs and console tables so they cannot be pulled over.
- Installing safety gates at the top and bottom of stairwells.
- Covering railings that pose a strangulation hazard (because the rails are too far apart) with Plexiglas or temporary netting.
- Installing safety latches on cabinets, drawers and closets – particularly those that contain hazardous items such as cleaning products.
- Installing safety guards on upper floor windows so that children cannot climb out.
- Covering electrical outlets to prevent shock or use of dangerous electrical appliances such as irons and toasters.
- Latching the toilet lid to prevent accidental drowning.
- Installing a swimming pool safety fence.
- Removing all accessible cords from children’s rooms, including electrical cords, and tying up window treatment cords so they are out of reach.
- Swapping out two-piece doorsteps, which pose a choking hazard, for one-piece doorstops.
- Installing carbon monoxide detectors.
Some people choose to tackle these jobs on their own, and that’s fine. Just make sure you’re being comprehensive. Professional childproofers are trained to spot dangers that wouldn’t occur to most people, and they have access to safety items and equipment that you can’t buy at most stores.
Cost of Childproofing
Some childproofers charge for the inspection, while others offer it for free if you hire them to buy and install the safety items. Generally, the cost of childproofing depends on the size of the your home and the amount of childproofing you want to do. Simple jobs start at about $300, while complex jobs can top $1,500. The average job falls somewhere in the middle.
Choosing a Child Proofer
Anyone can claim to be a childproofing expert. You should do your homework to make sure the company is reputable and experienced – particularly when something as important as your child’s safety is at stake. Here are some tips for finding a good company to do the job at a fair price:
- Ask other parents that you trust to recommend childproofing companies. Were they satisfied with the service? Was the price reasonable?
- Find out if the company you’re considering is certified by the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), the only organization that offers certification for childproofing businesses.
- Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion if you suspect the price you’re quoted is too high. In fact, it’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes before hiring anyone to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
- Keep in mind that price is important, but it should not be the only consideration. A company that comes up with a suspiciously low quote is likely cutting corners.
- Always look for a company that is willing to provide safety advice, not one that is focused on selling you as many products as possible. Childproofers need to make money, of course, but they should also be genuinely concerned about the safety of your child.