The list author says: "There are so many childproofing products in the market it's hard to know which ones really work. These are the best do-it-yourself products recommended by pros we hired and consulted (a professional childproofer, several car seat techs, a locksmith and a child safety expert).
Check with your local hospital for child safety classes and consider hiring a professional childproofer - they buy products at wholesale and can install everything quickly (like latches), which may save more time and cost less than doing it yourself. If you're on a budget, at least consider using a professional childproofer for securing bookcases and heavy furniture to the walls - they use "L" brackets and earthquake kits which are far stronger than anything of the nylon/ velcro variety available in the market. Don't clean up before they come - it's better for them to see how you live and advise about changes you need to make.
Start childproofing by getting down on your hands and knees, think like a child. Childproof in layers - put all dangerous items high up (cleaners, cosmetics, glass, knives, etc.), then put locks on cabinets.
Never let your child play with anything that could be dangerous - medicine bottles or pots, which he may later see on a stove and try to grab. Leave one cabinet unlocked with safe kitchen stuff - tupperware and bowls, for example.
Also look out for one item that's dangerous and often overlooked: purses- poisonous prescription drugs carried by grandma, pens and pencils (leading cause of ER visits), coins and candy that are choking hazards, poisonous hand sanitizer, perfume and makeup that can be swallowed.
Childproofing is a constant process - the older they get, the more creative they will be. They'll start climbing and the dangers change.
Allow your child to explore, but safely. I tried to include products for all areas of the house but, as always, the best advice is to never leave your child unattended."
"Children can be seriously injured with table edges and corners at head and eye level. This product is better than stick-on edge protectors which they can peel off. 2 adults to install - clear the tabletop and stretch it around the table. Comes with corner bumpers for added protection. Does not work on cube shape tables. Also comes in medium and large, in two colors, beige or black. Measure first!"
"Replace your outlet covers with this simple but effective plate. Just slide to use. Safer than plug-in outlet protectors which are choking hazards. These plates are very modern and clean looking and will give your rooms a nice mini-makeover."
"The best car seat is the one that fits your child, your car and your budget, and can be installed easily every time. This is one of the best all around car seats, easy to install in almost any car and great for travel."
"The childproofer recommended this gate for high traffic areas and hallways. Easy to install. Just step on pedal to open, leaves your hands free to carry baby and other things. Very hard for a child to open as it needs a lot of weight on the pedal."
"A great gate for the stairs. Make sure any gate you buy is screw mounted to the wall. Pressure gates cannot be used in this location and may fail if a child pushes with his weight against the void of the staircase."
"The most effective locks and key for cabinets and drawers, recommended by 2 safet experts. Has a "disable" feature when child is not around. Use screws included for most secure install (or adhesive mount when not possible). Use 2 locks (and two keys) in cabinets with dangerous items - additional keys sold separately. Note: Can only be mounted on top of cabinets or drawers, not on the side."
"Great superyard will keep infants and toddlers safe (up to 24 m). Place padded mats on the bottom and toys on each corner to encourage crawling. Put shoes on older ones to keep them from climbing out. Extensions available - 8 sides are best. Note: The sides donít open easily, you have climb over. So if you are pregnant look for a different model with a gate that opens and closes."
"Soft, thick mats can be placed in play areas and trimmed to size. Great for when baby starts crawling and walking. Some stores carry them in primary colors - pass on any that are on the thin side or with pop out letters or shapes that can be chewed on (choking hazards)."
"Never use a blanket with a baby to avoid the danger of tangling or suffocation. This sleepsack replaces the blanket and will keep baby warm during spring and summer. Also available in fleece and in larger sizes."
"Forget baby diaper pails - the refills are expensive, they don't hold much, toddlers can put stuff in them (or worse take out what's inside), and they don't block smells well. This easy to clean, heavy-duty pail with child-proof lock can be used with regular tall kitchen bags. Also available in black. For safety, do not place in nursery, but in a nearby bathroom."
"Your toddler will figure out how to use them sooner or later but in the meantime they're effective at keeping them from opening doors and locking themselves in accidentally. You'll need a pair for each door. If installing new doorknobs, get round (globe-shape) ones which are harder to open for little hands."
"Small and inobstrusive. Place on top to keep doors from closing completely, or on the sides to provide added protection and keep little fingers from being pinched. A free (but not as good) alternative is a folded washcloth thrown over the top of the door but this may fall."
"This latch allows adults to control access. Automatically locks when in the "on" position. Switch lock to "off" and doors can be opened freely. Great for when kids are away, or for grandparent's house! Make sure you clean the appliance with alcohol before applying. It's adhesive so sooner or later yor tot will pull it off, but it's better than nothing."
"DVD guard - a removable acrylic shield that protects DVD/ VHS system controls and disc drawer. Transparent so the remote still works. Easy install with stick-on velcro. Place on your DVD early on before they start crawling so they don't know how fun it is to press the buttons."
"Clear acrylic shield that keeps your child from fiddling with the buttons. The remote still works. Place on your TV early on before they start crawling so they don't know how fun it is to press the buttons."
"Place this lock on a sliding glass door to keep children from opening them. It withstands up to 350 lbs. A Charley bar is more secure and this might not be 100% effective in keeping out a burglar, but if you don't want to drill, this is a good option to keep your toddler inside. Use with a sliding glass door lock placed up high as well - this model can be lifted out easily once they figure it out."
"Instead of this - the childproofer says save your money, cut the blind cord to about 1 ft from the top, attach a bit of velcro to the plastic end and stick it to the top right side of the window (easier to remember to stick the end there). No knots in the blind cord or triangular plastic ends (now illegal), which can cause strangulation newer blinds come with breakaway plastic ends on cords."
"Use to attach plastic ends of blind cords (once cut to 1 ft. length) to top of windows. For attaching remote control to your bedside, out of the way. Window alarms too. Or pretty much anything you can think of - it's very strong."
"Install a fire and carbon monoxide alarm inside your child's room and in the hall. There are models that record the parents voice which have been found to be more effective in waking up kids, but make sure you have a Carbon Monoxide alarm too."