Home safety is extremely important for families with children. While many people put a lot of forethought into security systems to protect themselves and their loved ones, it’s important to also consider the other areas of the home that can pose safety threats to little ones.
Here are nine areas of your home you’ll want to consider baby- and toddler-proofing.
Oftentimes, parents can overlook the bathroom when baby-proofing their homes because they feel that simply closing a door is sufficient enough. However, relying on guests, older kids and even yourself to remember to close the door every time is unreasonable. And toddlers who’ve learned to walk can often times reach the handles.
The toilet poses a drowning hazard, so invest in a toilet lock that re-locks itself when the seat is closed. Keep all of your medicines and other liquids out of reach of children in high-up cabinet, and be careful not to toss anything that can cause a potential hazard to your child in the bathroom waste basket (think disposable razors, medicines or anything that cause a choking hazard). Finally, attach a spout cover to your tub so baby doesn’t bump her head during bath time.
While there are still some homes that offer a completely closed off kitchen, many families are opting for a more open layout, so it’s easy for growing toddlers to waddle their way in when you turn your head. Keep a diligent eye on children when they’re in the kitchen with you, and invest in safety devises that will ensure they’re safe and sound.
Keep hazardous chemicals like detergents, bleach and cleaning products out of reach — if you have a laundry room with high cabinetry, it might be the best bet to store them there. Knives and glassware should be stored in out-of-reach cabinets and protected by childproof cabinet locks. And invest in knob covers so baby can’t accidentally turn on the stove.
When you’re cooking, use the back burners so that your child can’t accidentally knock off a hot pot, and if you are using the front burners remember to turn the handles of the pots inward toward the stove and out of baby’s reach.
Buy a trashcan with a lid, and if you happen to break a glass or toss away a can with sharp edges, toss the trash away immediately so baby can’t cut himself on the item if he should happen to knock the trash can over.
It is crucial to remove chemical products from lower cabinetry or off the floor so as to not be in reach. Parents often invest in cabinet childproofing, but there are more than just cleaning products that can be harmful to children when ingested. Keep the number for poison control posted on your refrigerator to ensure you are prepared in case your child gets into something that may be harmful to them.
Another way to keep your child safe from poisons is to replace harmful products like bleach and glass cleaner with safer ones like vinegar and borax. Check out this list of 1,001 ways to use white vinegar around the home.
Stairs can be a huge danger to children, even for those that seem to have mastered the ability to climb and descend on their own. Keeping a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs is a way to limit their access unless properly supervised.
Whether you’re outfitting the bedrooms, playroom or living room, it’s important to properly secure heavy furniture by anchoring it. This can ensure furniture won’t topple over on your child on adventurous climbers or during rough-and-tumble play. The same should be done for heavy bins atop bookcases or even decorative figurines that could smash small toes when they land.
Windows can be a major hazard for small children, whether it’s on the bottom floor or the highest level. Not only should parents be wary of windows that could potentially be opened or climbed out of, but they should also put thought into the window treatments. Blinds can contain strangulation dangers in chords, while improperly hung drapes can be pulled down to cause injury.
In this technologically advanced society, security cameras have become much easier to purchase due to a vast amount of options and price tags that can suit any budget. Nanny cams and wireless cameras can be a great way to keep a watchful eye on your children, whether it’s to know when they have come home from school or to watch a babysitter while you’re away. There are a variety of free apps that can be downloaded to your smart phone or tablet to ensure your children are safe while they are at home.
Tablets are being designed to cater towards children from teens to toddlers. While the Internet can be a great educational tool with fun learning games, it can also be a host for serious dangers to children. Parents should take steps to put age appropriate blocks on tablets and computers used by their children in order to maintain a safe home. Whether it’s to block access to chat rooms that may be targeting children or to put a more specified block on your Internet through your provider, there are a number of steps parents can take to keep their children safe while surfing.
Many times, the biggest hazards in the home can go unseen. For homes older than 1978, many paints contained high amounts of lead. Radon is another unseen agent that can be extremely harmful. Take steps to provide testing for your home to ensure there aren’t any harmful agents that may be hurting both you and your child.