Keep all young children in your home safe by following these childproofing guidelines.
As your young kids grow up, they become little explorers, walking about the house and inspecting everything they can find. Unfortunately, it’s their inquisitiveness that also gets them hurt. How many times have they come up to you to you to show off a piece of lint in one hand and a bruise or a cut in the other?
Like it or not, your home does present a lot of potential risks, but taking certain precautions will ensure that kids will be free to discover while staying safe.
All around the house:
• Buy electric socket covers, which you can pop into place when nothing is plugged in.
• To prevent furniture from tipping over in case kids bump into or climb on them, secure them to the wall with anchors or brackets.
• It’s no secret that children like to climb on things while playing, so make sure items like tables and chairs are placed away from windows to keep them from accidentally falling out.
• If you live in a two-story home, install safety gates at the bottom and the top of the stairs to keep children away.
• Blinds with looped cords should be replaced, as these cords pose strangulation hazards if children fall and get caught in them.
• Does your home have a basement? And does your child enjoy playing hide-and-seek? Keep its door closed so your kids don’t wander down there and get hurt. Same goes for doors to the walk-in pantry and linen closets, especially if they don’t have vents where air can pass through.
In the kitchen:
• Keep cleaning products and other poisonous chemicals in cabinets. Also, any cabinets near the floor that contain toxic chemicals or breakables should have safety latches so children can’t open them.
• When using the stove, remember to cook on the back burners and to turn the pot handles towards the wall so kids won’t be tempted to grab them.
• Keep all kitchen utensils and appliances in the middle of the tables or kitchen counters; they can easily fall on the children if they’re right on the edge.
In the bathroom:
• Never, ever leave your small kid in the tub alone even to answer the phone. If you need to leave, take your little one with you, or call someone to watch them for a while.
• If you use a pail in the shower, make sure it’s empty or that the bathroom door’s always closed when children are around. There have been instances where a child has drowned in a mere one inch of water.
• Put down rugs on tiles that can get slippery when wet. Put a rubber mat on the shower floor or the bottom of the tub too.
• Put away appliances like curling irons and hair dryers after using them so children, or anyone for that matter, are safe from being electrocuted in case these items come in contact with water.
• Affix safety latches to cabinets that may contain bathroom cleaning products. To be safe, put a lock on the medicine cabinet as well to keep children from taking hold of items like pills, topical cream and other things that may poison them.
In the bedroom:
• If your child still uses a crib, avoid lining the sides with pillows, bolsters, comforters and other similar bedding. You might be doing this to keep them comfy, but babies can easily roll over in their sleep and press their face into these soft surfaces, which can suffocate them.
• Does your kid sleep in a bunk bed? Always make sure the sides are up and secure so no matter how they toss and turn at night, they won’t fall off the bed.
• Babies put things in their mouth all the time, so anything small enough for them to choke on (safety pins, clips, etc.) should be out of their reach, tucked away in a high drawer or shelf.
• Little kids should never venture outside the house without you or an adult present, but if they do, you don’t want them tripping over the garden hose or getting cut on the rake, so all garden tools should be put away when you’re done using them.
• If your house has a gate, don’t forget to keep it latched whenever someone goes out or comes in so your child doesn’t go wandering off into the street.
Because children are at the age where they want to explore everything around them, keeping an eye on them sometimes isn’t enough to keep them safe from injury. As long as you follow certain safety measures, you don’t have to do something as drastic as fitting your walls and furniture with padding or cuffing your kids to yourself while you proceed with your household chores. But since it’s unavoidable for them to get hurt sometimes, it’ll also be helpful to be prepared with precautions like putting together a first aid kit and keeping emergency hotlines in plain view.
Photo from babycenter.com