Teen and ‘Tween-Proof Your Home: Teen Proofing Checklist

| July 10, 2013
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When they were little you covered outlets, locked cabinets, and taught them the importance of seatbelts.

They need that helping hand now, more than ever. It’s not about trust; it’s about keeping teens and ‘tweens safe!


  • Keep track of any alcoholic beverages in your refrigerator.
  • Keep other alcohol in a locked cabinet or use bottle locks.
  • Talk to friends and relatives about doing the same.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) and Prescription Medications

  • Only buy the medicines you need (preferably in limited amounts) and keep track of what you use.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinets regularly and take unused and/or outdated medicine to a drop box near you.
  • Lock up medications when possible.
  • Talk to friends and relatives about doing the same.


  • Make sure all firearms are stored unloaded in a locked safe and/or with trigger locks, separate from ammunition, in a secure location.
  • Keep keys and combinations with you.
  • Talk to friends and relatives about doing the same.

Common Household Cleaners, Poisons, and Sharp Objects

  • Monitor the contents of your kitchen cabinets, garage, office, or anywhere in the house where cleaners, solvents and aerosols are stored. Keep track of the amounts.
  • Keep track of “sharps” such as razors, exacto-knives, pocketknives, and syringes and dispose of them safely.

Internet Use

  • Teens can order prescription medications online, meet adults posing as teens, and get information about dangerous misuse of over the counter medications as well as other “legal” substances.
  • Check your teen’s social networking accounts (Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), to make sure there is no identifying information that could endanger them (even things like the name of the school they attend).
  • Monitor your teen’s cell phone use, including texting, pictures, and applications (WhatsApp, Snapchat, Kik etc.).
  • Insist on their passwords for their cell phones, social networking pages, and applications (not just being “friends” or “followers”), so you’re able to really monitor use.
  • Ensure online use is in open areas of your home, if possible, so internet use can be better monitored.

Teen Parties

  • Set clear rules ahead of time, such as no alcohol, tobacco,other drugs or gambling.
  • Keep the party in an easily monitored area of the house and make regular unobtrusive checks.
  • If your teen is attending a party, don’t hesitate to call/and or to stop by and check in with the parents.

This information adapted from “Teen Proof Your Home” from the Southern Rockingham Coalition for Healthy Youth.

Category: Parents/Caregivers, Young Adults - Alcohol, Young Adults - Other Drugs

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