Congratulations! There’s a new addition to your family.
Before you know it, that baby will be a toddler. Then, he or she will be walking around. As a result, big changes are coming.
Planning ahead, it’s not too early to childproof your home. Here are some guidelines on just how to do that.
The first thing is don’t assume anything. Don’t assume your child won’t be curious about the stove, refrigerator, toilet or any other part of the home that may be hazardous to them. They will be curious. In fact, one of the top reasons children under 3 have to go to the emergency room is due to a household injury.
The best way to childproof your home is to go room by room.
Let’s start with your child’s bedroom. The first thing is to make sure the crib is safe. Once your child can sit, it’s best to lower the mattress in order to make it harder for them to climb out.
Stuffed animals may be pretty and fun, but they can also be a hazard as a suffocation risk. In addition, they can serve as a step stool for a curious child wanting to get out of that crib.
Windows in the child’s room, as well as the rest of the home, should only be able to open about three inches. If the window is close to the floor or if it has a window seat, you should have a window guard. And, of course, your window blinds should not have cords. It’s worth looking into an investment in cordless window coverings.
The kitchen is filled with dangers for curious young children. So, you may want to start with a gate to keep them out when you are not around. Any cabinets that are close to the ground should have childproof locks. Make sure the dishwasher is locked and the microwave and other appliances are out of reach. You may also want to consider removing knobs for the stove.
As far as the bathroom, consider installing rubber spout covers in the tub. It may be tempting and convenient, but it is best to avoid using plastic bags as a liner in the wastebasket. Keep the toilet cover down. Make sure all medicines and electrical appliances are out of reach. And just as it is in the kitchen, childproof the cabinets.
Finally, let’s look at the living room. This room, along with the kitchen, may be the most challenging, because there’s so much activity in it. In here, the TV should be mounted and pictures in frames should be out of reach. Both can cause serious damage if they are toppled. If you have a fireplace, it should be covered. Make sure power strips are not exposed. Also, keep the remote controls away from children, collect all the small toys that are laying around and cover any glass coffee tables.
These are the basics. The best thing for new parents to do is to not only follow this guide but also take a hard look round your home to consider what hazards are there to hurt your children.
Additionally, you should consider bringing in a professional for the projects that may be difficult for a do-it-yourselfer. We recommend Chris Willets of Humble Hands Handyman. He will not only do he more complicated work, but he can also identify some childproofing ideas you may not be thinking about.
This may seem overwhelming, and it may create some inconvenience for you, but that is far better than the alternative.