As a parent or caregiver, you no doubt want to provide the children in you life with a safe place to live and play. Unfortunately childproofing homes is something that gets put off and because of this, thousands of accidents happen each year that could have been easily prevented. What is the good news? Child proofing is not a difficult or time consuming thing to do! Take into consideration some of the things that should be addressed in your home when you have a child living there.
Don’t become overwhelmed by all of the products you see on the market that are designed to child or baby proof your home. There are quite literally hundreds of options. Don’t get easily sold on some product that are, honestly, unnecessary. There are some things you can do that don’t require a special device to do the job. There are other areas, though, that definitely require the use of a proofing device. It is also worth noting that not all children are the sale. One of my sons figured out how to remove the locks from the cabinets in two days. My other son, however never showed any interest in them, however he was quite obsessed with the toilet. Be practical and consider these basic steps for child proofing your home.
- Move cleaners, medicine, and other poisons. These should never be within reach of children. It is common to keep these substances under the kitchen sick. Child resistant caps? Well, those keep about 80-85% of children out. Do you really want to test which category your child will fall under? Just take precautions to keep all poisons and medicines high up in a cupboard or locked cabinet.
- Block Stairways. You won’t be surprised to hear that falls are one of the biggest causes of injury to children. Stairways can be hard to navigate as an adult, let alone as an uncoordinated child! Pressure mounted gates should never be used on the top of stairs since they can easily come lose with enough pressure. Even with a gate, you should always be aware of there are stairs around. There is no safety device that outweighs the importance of adult supervision.
- Keep children out of dangerous rooms. The bathroom, garage, office…dads workshop. These all have so many hazards in them. Use door-knob covers and locks to keep little ones out of these rooms. If you use locks, make sure they are high enough so that your kids can’t reach them, even when they are being sneaky and standing on a stool.
- Keep windows safe. They should be locked or have guards on them so that they cannot be fully opened. Screens alone are not going to stop children from falling out. Another important thing to make sure of is that blind cords are out of reach of beds, cribs, and other furniture. Those pieces of furniture should also not be near windows where a child could easily climb up and reach them.
- Outlets, drawers and cupboards. There are a huge assortment of products that will help your protect your children from getting their little fingers slammed in drawers or doors. The main purpose of these safety devices are to prevent accidents, but they shouldn’t be too difficult to use. Experiment with different devices and see which ones will work the best for you and your family.
- Small toys and other choking hazards. Another one of the leading causes for ER visits with young children is from choking. Small toys, batteries, buttons, coins, and other small objects tend to go straight into the mouth. Prevention is key in this situation! If there are older children in the house, there should be taught to keep small toys out of the reach of younger children.
- Monitor New Dangers. Always be aware of what your kid have access to! As they begin to walk, be aware of things like dressers, bookcases, and tvs that they could pull down on top of themselves.
Try to remember that childproofing devices that you buy are only temporary solutions to prevent most disastrous accidents. In addition to these precautions, it is equally important to teach you children boundaries and expectations and where they need to be careful. Not all homes will be childproofed like your own and their safety in those places will hinge on what you have taught them.