Article discusses tips to childproof your home and create a safe, child-friendly environment.
Childproofing your home is as simple as learning to identify potential hazards and then taking immediate and permanent steps to remove them. Childproofing protects you child from danger and/or serious injury. While there’s nothing better than good parenting and supervision, following these tips will help you create a safe, child-friendly environment for your baby or toddler.
- Look at the environment from your child’s perspective and get down on your hands and knees. Crawl around your house and you’ll get an idea of all the areas and items that need childproofing at this lower height. You’ll also get an idea of how high your child could reach and what they could pull down onto themselves. Make a list of everything that needs adjusting.
- Place plastic socket plugs in all electrical outlets.
- Install baby gates at the top and bottom of all staircases. Gates can also be used to keep children out of rooms that could pose hazards, i.e. the bathroom for example.
- Install childproof latches on all lower cupboard doors and drawers. Where you are unable to fit latches, install small slide locks above your child’s reach.
- Remove all toxins, poisons, cleaning supplies, laundry products, etc. and store them out of your child’s reach.
- Shorten cords on all blinds and curtains.
- Your child should be out of the kitchen when you are cooking, but it’s good practice to ensure that pot handles are always turned away from the edges of counters and the stove top. Similarly, never carry hot liquid around or near your child.
- Lower the temperature on the water heater to prevent scalding. Bathroom and sink taps can be fitted with plastic covers that prevent the child from burning themselves.
- Keep garbage out of the reach of your child. Make sure you’ve empty the garbage daily and more often if necessary.
- Unplug all kitchen and bathroom small appliances. Use bread ties to keep the cords wrapped short and out of reach of your child.
- Place padded bumpers on the corners of hard furniture such as coffee tables and make certain that tall pieces of furniture such as bookshelves or entertainment units are anchored to the wall.
- While houseplants are a decorative addition to any room, some are toxic if eaten. Move all houseplants out of reach of your child.
- Place window guards on all windows that open to prevent accidental falls.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in every room. Keep fire extinguishers readily available.
- Check your child’s toys on a regular basis. Broken or loose parts present a choking hazard.
- Always keep your local emergency numbers next to your phones.
- Always take extra care when your child is around animals.
Childproofing can seem like an overwhelming task when you first begin, but implementing these tips, before your child begins to crawl, ensures a safe environment that both you and your baby or toddler will be comfortable with.
Published in: Family