Simple, Easy to Follow to Steps to Child Proofing your Home
At first thought, child proofing can seem like a daunting task. The truth is that you can do it yourself, take your time doing it and ensure that your child is constantly protected in your home by following a few, simple ideas.
The first thing to understand is that every home and every child is different. Depending on the curiosity and level of exploration your child is prone to makes a statement on how and where to protect your child. Some parents have never had a climbing toddler that scaled book shelves or tried to climb out windows and therefore their child proofing efforts could be less thorough. Other parents have children that seem to be daredevils from birth and no place is safe from their child’s temptation and energy. Before you begin, take a realistic look at not only your home but your child’s personality and tendencies as well. The first things that throw up a red flag in your mind as hazardous should be the first places you child proof.
Understanding Child Proofing Basics
Certain things – no matter what kind of home or child you have should be no-brainers. You must have smoke detectors throughout your home. You must cover all electrical outlets whether they are low lying or not to be sure your child does not inadvertently shock themselves. You also must make sure that chemicals (cleaning supplies, cosmetics) medications and other poisonous items are out of reach and preferably out of sight. No parent should rely on their child’s ability to listen to the word “NO” in regard to toxic substances. The other huge hazard to children is water. The bathroom should be thoroughly childproofed. Start with setting the water heater at 120 degrees to ensure no one is accidentally scalded. Many parents also overlook the hazard of young children wandering out of the front door. Installing safety locks up high can ensure that your child doesn’t quickly learn to let themselves out while you are using the bathroom. Remember, it only takes a matter of seconds for a child to be seriously injured or even killed in the home.
Beyond the Basics – Childproofing Necessities
Once the basics are covered and you see how much more relaxed you feel, you will probably want to continue childproofing your home. Start with heavy and bulky furniture that poses a tipping hazard. TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players and stereos are always areas of interest for kids. Remove electrical cords so that your child will not pull on them or even worse put them in their mouth. (Yes, that happens all the time) Implement the use of safety gates to make areas of the home unsuitable off limits. If you have younger children, baby monitors are a great way to listen in on their activities even if they are playing with friends in their room. Every year thousands o f children are seriously hurt in their own kitchens. Remove hot spots, cover stove knobs to ensure they can’t turn on the stove; move small appliances away from kids reach and keep sharp items and breakable wares out of cabinets that kids can reach. The easiest thing to do is install cabinet and drawer locks.
Child proofing is not about restricting your child. If you have to child proof your home it does not mean that you kids are out of control of extra rambunctious. Child proofing enables kids to remain within boundaries, have fun and stay safe. The biggest childproofing measure you can take is to always ensure that your kids are properly supervised.
We have compiled a wealth of information on baby proofing your home. Peruse the checklists and familiarize yourself with the many household hazards. Once you know the problem areas in your home you can search through our catalog for the right products.
Babies can drown in as little as 2 inches of water, so never let your babies play in the bathroom or leave them alone. There are numerous other hazards as well.
The kitchen is full of potential dangers to your child.
The nursery should be one of the safest in your home. You should feel confident that your baby is totally safe here.
Children are often very curious about electrical outlets and cords.
See also our ‘Guide to finding the right Baby Gate’
Babies are generally drawn to the warmth and sparkle of a fire.
Secure your outdoor living spaces.
Kids often play in driveways.
Having a baby changes every aspect of your life. This will be evident not only in your lifestyle but also in your home. In addition to making preparations for nursery design and furnishings, you will have to take measures to ensure that your home is as safe as possible. The natural curiosity of children will lead them to explore everything within their reach. To enable a child to explore without compromising safety, parents should childproof their homes by the time their child is crawling.
As a designer and father of two kids, I know that most homes are not designed with small children in mind and, consequently, expose children to many hazards in their daily life. All homes have common hazard areas such as stairs, bathrooms, laundry rooms, electrical outlets and kitchens. In addition, the distinct features of your home can pose a safety risk for children. Some examples include: fireplaces, stair and deck railings, laundry chutes, and low windows.
Realistically, you cannot watch your child every second of every day to insure his or her safety, nor is it practical or healthy to say ‘NO’ all the time. Childproofing creates a safe environment in which your child can play and explore, and it also provides you with some peace of mind. Fortunately for parents, there are home safety products on the market to address almost every hazard within the home: cabinet latches, gates, electrical outlet covers, toilet locks, corner padding, and many others.
The goal of childproofing your home is not to turn your home into a prison-like setting that completely inhibits a child’s ability to explore and develop. Rather, childproofing should balance such factors as safety, aesthetics, cost, child supervision level, and livability.
Of course the hazards a child is exposed to will vary with their stages of development. A passive three month old is exposed to many less hazards than an active eighteen month old. The following is a list of potential hazards based on age:
Up to four months:
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