Kids are such a joy. Many couples move into a bigger home as they start to expand their family so they can enjoy more spacious living. A bigger house also gives the child more room to crawl, explore, run around and play. More space will allow you to have a nursery for your child and areas for toys, cribs and learning corners.
When the children are just babies and mostly confined to your bed or back, there doesn’t seem to be much safety concern.When they hit toddler age though, they are a bundle of energy and ready to display their mobility skills! This is where things get a little scary as their curiosity might also harm them. Babyproofing or childproofing your house simply means putting measures in place to ensure it is safe for little children. Here are some ways you can go about it.
Babyproofing your house is a two-fold process – covering the home safety basics and then working through each room to ensure whatever the child might try to open, pull, or play with won’t hurt him/her.
As soon as you find a home to rent or buy, examine to see if it has the following and if not, purchase and have them installed right away.
If you like plants in the house, get the non-toxic type as the little one will be sure to try a bite. All stairs should have baby-gates put in at the top and bottom or any room that you want to be off-limits to the baby.
You excitedly set up a room with all the right colours and cute wall designs, but is it safe? Usually, the things that can hurt your child are quite simple like loose crib bedsheets, pillows and teddy bears that can all suffocate him/her, especially if they are under six months.
To start your childproofing in this room, go for a thick carpet to soften the blow from falls because there will be many of those. Baby’s crib should have enough sidebars and be high enough so he/she can’t slip between them or climb them in attempts to escape. Have a tall open-top plastic container for toys, nothing that is too light and can be pulled down and also avoid heavy lids that can fall on the child.
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, your little one is likely to be right behind you. When you are busy cooking and cleaning, your child might be getting naughty. Make sure lower level cabinets and drawers do not have sharp utensils, cleaning supplies or medications that the toddler can easily reach.
Re-organise all items so that pots and pans are on the bottom (these are safe) and other things like paper bags which can suffocate a child and choking hazards like magnets are higher up. Check that cords for unplugged appliances like the blender, coffee maker or rice cooker, are not hanging down because you-know-who will be sure to get hit when he/she pulls it.
Have latches installed on all lower cabinets and drawers so they cannot be opened easily and look for stove knob covers so the gas won’t be turned on when you are looking away.
THE LIVING ROOM
You came into the living room to put your feet up and relax but someone has other ideas. The large room with furniture and décor is as good as an amusement park to your baby who can easily get hurt tugging on everything. The scariest thing is sharp edges.
Buy cushioned corner guards for all sharp-edged surfaces like your coffee table and side tables. New climbing skills mean the baby is likely to want to see what’s on the shelves and that extra weight could topple it over him/her.
Move bookshelves against the wall. Your TV should be securely attached to the wall, ideally, versus sitting on a stand where it can be pulled down. Every little thing is fair game to go into your child’s mouth, so décor like marbles and shells are discouraged. Move anything that may be harmful away. Electrical outlets should be covered and cords from blinds should be kept far from the floor.
The smartest accident proofing is to never leave your young child in the bathroom alone; definitely not in the tub or sink alone even for a quick minute. It would be a tragedy to have your baby drown in the bathroom. As a basic childproofing tip, move anything harmful to top shelves and install latches for cabinets and medicine chests. Install a toilet seat lock so babies cannot easily get into the toilet.
Even with all precautions, young children are mind-blowing with their resolve to touch everything and go where they do not belong, so be very watchful and ensure there is always an adult supervising their play time. With these childproofing tips, your home should be a safe haven for an amazing childhood.