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Patti Laird

Patti Norton – Florida

Safer Kids and Homes, Florida

Patti Norton is the owner of Safer Kids and Homes, a professional childproofing company from the Miami area. A mother of two, she started the business over twenty years ago and holds the Advanced Certified Professional Childproofer certification from the IAFCS. She is also a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and Early Childhood Play Inspector, which is a national program for playground safety. Safer Kids and Homes offers a full range of safety services in addition to childproofing, such as educational classes, CPR training, and car seat installation and cleaning. Meeting and talking with new parents is a key part of the job for Patti, and she enjoys hearing how her work has made their lives easier.

Describe a typical childproofing job.

Usually clients contact us and schedule an appointment for a safety consultation. I go to the home and spend about an hour evaluating. After the consultation, I email an estimate and personalized action plan, which includes all of our recommendations. I let the clients know what products they need, and also give referrals to others who do work that we do not handle, such as a locksmith to install a deadbolt lock.

The process usually takes about two weeks, from the time of the consultation until we complete our installations. My years of experience have given me the ability to come up with safe and practical solutions. I am also aware that parents prefer child safety products that look good. I use top-quality products and install them in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible.

What is one of your most challenging childproofing situations?

I was childproofing for a couple who were both in wheelchairs. Typical baby safety gates would not have worked for this family due to accessibility issues, and we were able to use retracting gates as ideal solutions in these situations. Babyproofing door latches, however, are not as accommodating to wheelchair-bound people and very few exist within reach. I had to get very creative in order to make everything work for this specific family, but they were amazed at how easily they became accustomed to using all the safety devices we installed in their home.I was so amazed at how easily they managed having an active baby in the house.

Why should people work with a professional childproofer, rather than do it themselves?

The knowledge that the job will be done right is the main reason. A professional childproofer has the experience to problem solve effectively and can install the right products for the job.