“Anybody who has experience with young children and infants knows that they are more than capable of finding ways to injure themselves in your home. However, there are several measures you can take to ensure your home is “childproof”, and to minimize the risk of injury to kids in your home or apartment.”
Todays piece comes to us from Kurt Jacobson who primary considers himself a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes & works on RentFinder.co, a site he founded to connect renters with helpful tips & advice on their journey to their next home. So with no further ado… 6 Easy Tips for Toddler-Proofing Your Home
Whether you already have children, you are expecting, or you are simply hoping to prepare your home for the children of friends or relatives, the information below should prove helpful.
- Clean up small items they may put in their mouth. Of course, we all know that children love to put anything and everything in their mouth. Perhaps in their own way they are learning what is edible, but it also presents a serious choking hazard. By keeping clutter off the floor and out of reach of little hands you can reduce the risk of this happening. It is a good idea to regularly vacuum floors and sweep floorboards, as very small items such as a pin or needle can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but these can pose the greatest risk.
- Watch for sharp-edged furniture. If you are planning on starting a family soon and will likely have young children in your home in the years to come, you may want to factor this into the decisions you make when purchasing furniture. For example, a glass coffee table may look great, but you will be forever cleaning dirty fingerprints from it! Sharp edges are also best avoided, as it doesn’t take much for a toddler to fall, and a sharp corner can make a small fall much more serious. If you already have furniture with sharp edges, many stores sell corner and edge protectors that you can attach to your furniture, making the corners less sharp and significantly safer.
- Block access to stairs. If your home has stairs, you may also wish to purchase a small gate or barrier to go across the top of the staircase. If you’re not too bad with a hammer and saw, these are actually very easy to make, but there are lots of different types for sale if you would prefer to purchase one. With so many of these barriers available at stores, it is not difficult to find one that even matches the decor of your home. However, the importance of such a safety measure means that this is a really worthwhile item to purchase regardless of how it looks.
- Assess kitchen drawers and cupboards. Another simple but important safety measure is fixing stoppers to drawers in the kitchen. Without stoppers, these drawers can be completely pulled out, which could result in them falling on a toddler, or the contents (such as potentially very sharp knives) being instantly available to the child. By fixing stoppers, the drawer can only be pulled out a certain distance. This will also help prevent your drawers from sagging or warping. An alternative is to attach safety catches to drawers and cupboards, to prevent them from being opened by children entirely.
- Cover electrical outlets. One of the most common safety precautions people think of is covering electrical outlets and rightly so. A toddler’s curiosity will lead them to wander anywhere and everywhere throughout your home if you let them. Electricity is one of the most dangerous elements within a home, so be sure to purchase some plastic or rubber stoppers to cover any outlets they may come in contact with. Typically, it’s best to go ahead and do this throughout the home.
- Reduce the risk of climbing. Children love to reach and climb up onto shelves, tables and just about anything else they can reach. By removing objects that children might use to pull themselves up with, you can reduce the risk that they will climb and potentially hurt themselves. For example, it is all too easy for a child to use a bookshelf to pull themselves up with, only to pull the books off and have them fall on top of them – or worse, the entire bookshelf. Another example for older toddlers is where they may reach up onto a cook top and grab the handle of a pot that is full of hot water or oil, tipping it over and onto themselves, which can obviously lead to very disastrous situation.
By following these few simple steps, and using a bit of common sense, your home should be ready for a toddler onslaught in no time at all. Good luck!