How to Childproof Heater Vents

By Shara JJ Cooper
Wall heating grates are screwed in place so they can't be removed.
Wall heating grates are screwed in place so they can't be removed.

Heating vents in the floor are often forgotten when you childproof your home -- that is, until you find your heating grate in the middle of the room and your wee one tossing toys down the open shaft. Heating grates can also be dangerous to your little one because the metal edges are sharp and she can pinch her fingers when handling it. Then you'll be desperate to childproof that vent because once she's found something fun and new, she's not going to forget it's there.

Measure the heating vent's length and width and jot it down on a piece of paper.

Replace the heating vent grate with a new grate that comes with drilled holes on each end. This type of grate is used to mount heating vents in the walls and ceilings. Make sure you buy a grate that fits your measurements.

Find a heating vent filter that fits your measurements and tuck that in your shopping cart. This will keep coins and other random objects from being dropped into your heating system.

Fit the filter into your new grate and put the grate in the vent. The filter just fits nicely in the bottom side of the grate.

Screw the grate into the floor using the screws that came with it. You'll need one screw in either end. The grate is now nicely stuck in place and you won't find a gaping hole full of toys anymore.


You can also take your existing heating grate to the store with you to make sure you get the right fit.

If you are particularly handy, you can drill holes in each end of your existing heating grate but you'll need experience drilling through metal and the right type of bits to manage this task.

For low wall vents that are already secured with screws, buy and install filters for the inside edge to keep your toddler from losing treasures behind the grate.

About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.