Child proofing your home
Despite the fears of violence and accidents for kids when they are out and about, a young child is more likely to be injured in their own home. Before a baby learns to move around and eventually walk there are a number of key areas to consider in making your home safe for your child and avoid any unnecessary accidents in the home.
Lock away medications, chemicals and cosmetics
Medications and hazardous chemicals should be put out of reach and ideally locked away in a cabinet. Many cosmetics have potentially dangerous ingredients if ingested and should also be kept out of reach. There are a huge range of cupboard locks on the market from those that stick on to cupboard doors, those that wrap around handles and those that require screwing into the required cupboard. They should be used consistently to ensure access to the cupboard is prevented at all times.
A good quality stair gate is a staple child proofing piece of equipment. They should be placed at the bottom of the stairs to prevent a child ascending the stairs and risking a trip backwards, and also at the top of the stairs to prevent a fall down. Even in bungalows if there are any rooms or areas you wish to prevent access, a stair gate can be installed at any door way for this purpose.
As babies outgrow their cot they will make the move to either a toddler bed or regular sized bed. Young children may not have developed the spatial awareness to stay within the bed, particularly as they may be used to the fact that they have always had protective rails within a cot. For this reason, bed rails should be easily installed and will prevent injury in a middle of the night fall out of the bed.
Windows and Blinds
Windows are a key part of the house that can cause hazards for kids. A fall out of an open window, particularly on a higher floor may lead to serious injury or death. Many modern windows can be adjusted to ensure they can only open a certain distance and window locks can prevent the window being opened at all however it is important to ensure the window can be accessed in the event of a fire.
Where blinds are installed on a window it is important to ensure that any cords are kept out of reach to prevent a chocking hazard. Cord ties are also available in many stores.
Water and Electricity Don’t Mix with Kids
Little fingers will easily find plug sockets and many are just at the right height for an inquisitive toddler. Make sure plugs are turned off when not in use and it is possible to also purchase plug guards.
For other electrical appliances make sure they are put out of reach when not in use and that cords and cables are not accessible.
For kitchen appliances for example kettles, ovens and hobs can cause real dangers. So make sure they are adequately protected for small children.
Even a small amount of water can create a drowning risk for a young child. Keeping doors of bathrooms closed and installing toilet locks will help. For those with outdoor pools ensuring the area is gated to prevent access is key. Every home is different so assessing the individual risks your own home poses is important. Getting down on your hands and knees and viewing your home from a toddler’s perspective will highlight quickly the potential dangers that may exist.
Of course nothing beats adequate supervision. Young children do not understand danger and should be supervised at all times.
- Child proofing