Toddler-proofing your house: seven key ways to ensure your little ones live and play in a safe environment.
This guest article about toddler-proofing your home is written by Luci Aldrin, a part-time freelance writer and a full-time mother to an inquisitive, energetic toddler. She pens a wide range of publications, primarily interior design and parenting blogs.
When you have a toddler at home, there can never be a dull moment. Crawling, climbing, running—your busy toddler is always on the go. Every child is different; while some babies are natural climbers, others can’t resist getting into things, opening and emptying drawers or even crawling through garage doors. While all this activity is part of their overall development, these are the very things that can get them into trouble and, worse, injuries.
Unintentional injuries and falls in their home are the reasons why at least 58,000 children are hospitalised every year. Let’s face it, your tiny tots are bolder than you—which means you will have to think of ways to outsmart them to keep them safe. Here are seven smart steps you can focus on for toddler-proofing your home.
Remove breakables and sharp objects in the living room
With lots of furniture, tables and decorative things around, the living room is an enticing playground for toddlers. Check your furniture to see if there are sharp corners or nails sticking out. Use anchors or furniture straps to secure furniture and use soft padding on any sharp corners or counters.
Baby-proof the bathrooms
Kids love water and will get into anything that has water if they can. Ensure you don’t leave a bath or sink with water in it, or a shower running. Don’t leave kids unsupervised in the bathrooms and always remember to close and lock bathroom doors when not in use. Be mindful of the dust bin in the bathroom and don’t leave sharp objects, including razors, used cotton buds, medicines or dental floss in them.
Use a safety gate in the kitchen
The ideal way to toddler-proof your kitchen is to use a safety gate to block access. If you can’t use a safety gate, examine your kitchen to see if there are any low-level appliances or pointed objects. Keep sharp kitchen tools in a locked drawer, stock appliances higher up on shelves where your toddlers can’t reach and keep rubbish bins in a closed cupboard with a child safety lock.
Remove small objects in bedrooms
The bedroom and study can be a toddler’s delight and a parent’s nightmare. Small objects, including pens, pencils, glue, rubber bands, bobby pins, combs, tweezers, scissors and plastic bags are potential choking hazards. Keep them in locked cupboards or high up on shelves where your toddler cannot reach even when standing up on a chair. Use window guards and restrict window openings.
Focus on electricity safety
Get all the wiring and power outlets checked regularly, and immediately repair anything that is damaged or worn out. Turn off all switches and electrical appliances when not in use and put a safety cover on power points to prevent your toddler from sticking their fingers into them. Fasten electrical cords from all appliances such as telephones, vacuum cleaners, TVs, hairdryers and computers.
Make the stairs safe
When toddler-proofing your home, also ensure stairs have bannisters and handrails that run the entire length of the stairs. Stair bannisters need to have close posts to prevent your toddler from getting into the spaces.
Install sensors on garage doors
Automatic garage doors and driveway gates pose a serious injury risk for toddlers. Children are fascinated by moving garage doors and can be tempted to crawl near them. While it is important to keep the garage and driveway gate remotes out of reach, another key aspect to focus on is installing additional safety features on the garage doors.
Doors Direct, the licensed garage door experts, recommend installing a sensor light above your garage door. The sensors improve visibility while causing the garage door to stop and reverse in case of contact with any object. Garage doors with finger-proof safety have curved edges that protect fingers from getting trapped in the folds of the garage door.
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