Small children are pretty accident prone and aren’t as careful as older people might be. This means that it’s a parent’s job to ensure that the home is a safe place for young ones. It can seem like an overwhelming and impossible task to child proof your entire house, but it’s very important since household accidents are one of the leading causes of death among children.
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As babies become mobile they can move pretty quickly, so knowing that your house is safe everywhere gives them a bit of freedom to roam and explore and allows you peace of mind if your little one happens to leave your line of vision. At the same time, it creates a welcoming home that your child will be happy and secure living in.
1. In The Kitchen
The kitchen is the hub of many homes, so it makes sense that your child is going to be spending plenty of time in there. At the same time, the kitchen is one place where there are lots of dangers, both obvious and hidden. This includes things like burns, cuts, drowning and head bumps.
You can’t expect to keep your child out of the kitchen, especially when you’re cooking and eating, so making it safe is your best bet. Experts suggest making food prep a family affair so that your child becomes comfortable in the kitchen and learns a healthy respect for the potential for injury.
Let your child scoop, pour and stir your meals as you prepare them, but save chopping and dicing for grown-ups. Little kids are also capable of measuring ingredients and cutting out cookies.
During your time in the kitchen, make sure you keep pot handles turned inward so that a child doesn’t mistakenly grab one and pull it off the stove, which can result in devastating burns.
It’s fine to allow your child to play in the kitchen, but it’s a good idea to keep only items in the lower cupboards that are safe, like your pots and pans or Tupperware, which won’t hurt your little one if they decide to clear out the cupboards.
Any cleaning supplies, vitamins and supplements you keep in the kitchen should be kept out of reach of your children. Use latches on the cupboards and knobs on the stove to prevent any kinds of pinch or burn.
2. In The Living Room
Chances are that you’ll spend the majority of your time in the common living areas of your home. This might be where you watch television together, play games, play with toys or spend time doing art projects or crafts.
You want the space to be comfy and accessible to your kids. Choose furniture that is easy to clean since kids aren’t well-known for being all that neat and tidy. You may want to cover carpet with a large rug or replace it with hardwood so it’s easy to clean and less prone to permanent damage. Once you have created a comfortable place, consider the safety of the rooms.
Use straps to adhere large pieces of furniture and televisions to the wall, so if your child decides to climb, the items don’t topple over on them. If there are stairs anywhere, install baby gates so that your child doesn’t suffer a catastrophic fall.
Tie up strings and cords on window treatments, place a heavy grate on the fireplace, use picture hooks to keep wall art from falling on your little one, and wrap up cords for the electrical appliances so they can’t be accessed, which can cause strangulation or electrical shock.
3. In The Bedroom
Bedrooms should be cozy and welcoming. Again, choose furniture and bedding that is easy to clean, and use straps to keep the furniture from tipping over. When it comes to toys, be sure to avoid those with small parts that can cause choking, and keep stuffed animals away from babies due to the risk of SIDS.
Tie up window cords and strings, and choose furniture that hasn’t been recalled. Avoid toy boxes and bins that can cause pinches or that can’t be opened from the inside if your offspring decides to crawl inside. Keep furniture away from windows to prevent falls.
4. In The Bathroom
One of the biggest risks of the bathroom is drowning. A child could drown in the tub if left unattended, but if they fall head first into the toilet, there is also enough water there to drown a small child who can’t get back out.
Lock medications, cleaning supplies and other personal care items out of reach so your child can’t get hold of them. Use slip-proof mats and stickers to keep kids safe while they bathe. Never leave a small child alone in the bathroom for any reason or any amount of time.
Invest in a bath thermometer so you can be sure the bathwater isn’t too hot for your child. To make the room fun for your kids, choose fun decor so that they enjoy being in the room instead of dreading bath time.
Use a potty seat or extender if you are potty training so your child feels safe and secure while going to the bathroom.
5. In The Yard And Garden
Spending time outside is great for a child’s development and fosters a sense of wonder with the world around them. Create a space that is fun and safe for your child by adding some lighting and a place to keep toys and play games.
Let your child help you plant flowers or a vegetable garden so that they truly enjoy time spent outdoors. Going outside is important for kids, but the yard holds many possible risks. If you have a water feature or swimming pool, a large fence is necessary to prevent drowning.
Make sure garden tools, the lawn mower, trimmers, rakes and shovels are kept out of reach. Store fertilizer, weed killer and other chemicals on a high shelf where your child cannot reach them. These items can cause death if ingested, so it’s important to keep them out of sight.
Provide safe and age appropriate toys so that time outdoors is educational and fun for both of you.
Baby proofing your house isn’t so tough if you tackle each room separately. Go through and eyeball the entire room looking for anything that could hurt your child.
You know them well enough to know whether they might crawl up the furniture, eat things that aren’t safe or otherwise put themselves in danger. Even when the rooms are child proofed, you should never leave small children unattended for long periods of time.
Curiosity has led to many injuries and deaths, so keep a very close eye on your child even if you feel like the room is as safe as it can be. This ensures a home that is child friendly and one that gives them the perfect place to create memories that will last a lifetime.