How to Childproof Your Garage

Keep all hazardous items locked and out of reach

old insecticide or pesticide containers

‘Tis the season to clean out the garage. Not the most joyous of tidings, but it’s got to be done.

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While you’re at it, it’s also an opportunity to make sure the space is safe for your kids or any others who may be visiting.

Key to securing your garage’s hazardous material

Pediatrician Kim Giuliano, MD, says all dangerous garage chemicals, cleaners and equipment must be out a child’s reach.

“The key is putting it up high and/or having a lock on it,” says Dr. Giuliano. “Having it just out of sight but still within reach isn’t enough. Kids are going to open cabinet doors and explore and be curious.”

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Make sure these are locked up

Dr. Giuliano says all chemicals and flammable liquids should be kept in cabinets under lock and key. These include:

  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Plant food
  • Pesticides
  • Lighter fluid
  • Anti-freeze
  • Lamp fuel

Make sure these are out of reach

Gasoline, oil and paint cans should be sealed tightly and placed on a shelf that’s out of reach. Other equipment that should stored high up:

  • Long-handled tools, which should be stored high above the floor and securely so they can’t fall on children
  • Lawn tools with sharp edges or points
  • All power tools and equipment, preferably in a locked cabinet

Even buckets can be a danger

Dr. Giuliano says you should even avoid leaving 5-gallon buckets around: “Whether you’re using these buckets to clean screens, wash off the patio or wash the car, it only takes a very small amount of liquid for drowning accidents to happen.”

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She suggests you store buckets upside down to keep liquids from accumulating and causing a drowning hazard.

Find more childproofing tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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