Your home is supposed to be the one place on Earth where you and your family are safest, but if you’ve got small children roaming about, then this might not be the case for them. In fact, millions of children are taken to the hospital each year for accidents that have occurred within the safety of their four walls. Because of this, it’s vital that you take action now and do what you can to make your home as child-friendly as possible before some bad happens. To give you a hand, here are twelve changes you can make right away.
1. Crawl Around A While
One of the easiest ways to spot potential dangers in your home is to put yourself in your baby’s shoes. This means getting down on the floor and crawling around, much as they do pretty much every day. You’d be surprised at just how many hazards you miss when standing upright. Things like wires and nails are just two examples of the many dangers that lurk on the ground and just above. When you spot something, make sure that you cover or remove it.
2. Cover The Power Sockets
Power sockets are another floor level hazard that you have to deal with. Toddlers are curious creatures, so don’t put it past your little one to stick their finger or a fork in there just to see what would happen. To prevent them from getting hurt, it’s sensible to buy some baby-proof outlet covers and put them on every floor level socket that’s not in use. Of course, you can’t do this with ones that are being used, so you should block them, to stop your baby from touching.
3. Tidy Away Any Wires
While you’re dealing with your power sockets, it’s important to note that the wires can also pose a risk to your little one. The main danger is that they are going to pull the wire and make something fall on top of them, but they could also get tangled in the cord, which could result in choking. To stop this, you need to make sure that you tidy away your wires, rather than leaving them all over the floor. You can do this with a wire tidy, or you could fix them to walls and floors.
4. Lay Non-Slip Flooring
Babies fall over a lot, and nothing that you do is ever going to change this. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to keep these falls to a minimum. Laying non-slip flooring is a great way to do this, especially if you stick to something softer, like a thick carpet. This way, your little one shouldn’t hurt themselves too much on the way down. Just make sure that you opt for darker colours, instead of lighter ones, as babies also have a tendency of making huge messes.
5. Remover Or Cover Corners
The last thing that you want around a mobile baby is furniture with sharp corners. Because of this, you should probably switch your rectangular coffee table to something round, or just get rid of it completely. This means that, when your little one falls over, they’re in a lot less danger. If sharp corners are unavoidable in your home, or you don’t want to part with your favorite table, then you should cover the points with safety guards to make them softer.
6. Put Dangerous Chemicals Away
You probably notice the huge warning signs on your cleaning products and toiletries, but your baby isn’t going to know how dangerous they are. This means that it’s up to you to keep them safe, by storing these chemicals out of reach. A locked cupboard is always your best option, as your little one has no way of getting in there. You should also make sure to put any medicine away, as most tablets look like sweets to little children, and they won’t hesitate to eat them.
7. Install Baby-Proof Locks
As mentioned above, it’s always best to keep chemicals in a locked cupboard, but that doesn’t mean that your cleaning cupboard is the only one that should be locked. You might also have cabinets filled with plates, tools, or pet food, and any of these things could pose a risk. Your little one could also trap their fingers in the cupboard door, which would be quite painful. Because of this, you might want to consider baby-proofing all of the cabinets in your home.
Your kitchen is probably the most dangerous room in your home, so it’s vital that your baby can’t get in there unless you’re with them. Adding a safety gate to this room will keep them out and mean that you don’t have to keep the door locked while you’re cooking. If you have stairs, you should also add a gate to the top and bottom of the staircase, to stop your child from crawling up or down the stairs alone and risk falling down them.
9. Keep Your Bathroom Closed
Your bathroom is the second-most dangerous room in your home, so it’s critical that you also keep your baby out of here. Unfortunately, you can’t install a gate on this door, as it means that you won’t be able to close it when someone is using the bathroom. Because of this, it’s important that you get into the habit of closing and locking the door when no one is in there. This will stop your little one from exploring things they’d be better off avoiding.
Pretty much every kid out there loves playing in the dirt, but a broken plant pot could cause some serious harm. To avoid this, you might want to rethink having potted plants in your home. If you live in a house, then you could keep your plants in the garden, and with apartments and HDB flats, you could put them on the balcony. If it’s not warm enough for this, then you should find ways to keep your plants out of reach, like hanging them from the ceiling.
11. Invest In Window Guards
When you open your windows, it’s important that they only open enough for you to get a hand out. If your windows open any wider than this, then there is a risk that your little one could fall through the gap. To keep them safe, you should add window guards to any of the windows that open a little too wide for your liking. Kids are smart, so don’t assume that they won’t be able to get to a window just because it’s a little high off the ground; They’ll find a way if they want to.
12. Make Sure Everything Is Secure
Kids love to climb, so it’s important that all of your furniture is stable enough to handle your little monkey. If there’s anything that could tip over under weight, then you need to make sure that you secure it to the wall or ceiling and stop this from happening. Things like televisions, bookshelves, and armchairs can all be dangerous if they fall on top of your little one. You should also make sure that the photos on your wall are secure, and that they won’t fall off and smash.
You shouldn’t wait until something bad happens to think about the safety of your children. You need to consider it now and do whatever you can to prevent them from getting hurt. Hopefully, the tips above can help you with that.