Tips to make your home safe for young children
There comes a time in every house’s life when style becomes secondary to child safety, and for the parents this focus, while generally short lived, is a very important and can be all-consuming. This is understandable given that household injuries are one of the main reasons children under the age of 3 wind up in the Emergency Department.
Much of what you need to do to childproof your home is common sense, but it is still worthwhile walking through every room to look for potential hazards (keeping in mind a curious 3 year old is likely to find uses for things you would never consider). What follows is not an exhaustive list but a guide to some of things you need to look out for.
- Photo frames should be out of reach or have plastic inserts; glass frames can break and cut little fingers and feet
- TV should be fixed; modern televisions are light enough for a toddler to pull over on top of themselves if they are climbing on a TV unit. If the TV is not mounted on the wall, strapping can be purchased which will ensure they cannot be pulled over. Speaking of the TV, don’t forget the remote control; if the battery cover comes off easily (or is missing / broken off) the batteries will be accessible – these represent a possible choking hazard.
- Corners should be protected; tables and benches tend to be just the height to catch a speeding toddler right on the head / eye area.
- Power points should have protectors so nothing can be inserted
- Curtains / blinds should be cordless; a small child can get his / her neck caught in a looped blind cord. If you have corded blinds, ensure they are not looped or purchase clips so the cords can be attached higher up the wall.
- Stairs should be gated. Child gates which are easy to install are readily available for a range of indoor / outdoor areas
- Medicines and cleaning products should be kept out of reach; young children often explore with their mouth and don’t distinguish between juice and other liquids or lollies and pills so it is essential anything dangerous be kept out of their way
- Cupboard / drawer locks; these are essential to keep children away from the dangerous liquids etc.