Injuries that occur within the home are the primary reason for children visiting the hospital. Many of those visits are easily avoidable. With a little work and a small investment in time and money, you can childproof your home enough so your kids can enjoy themselves in relative safety. Here’s how.
Outlet covers are neat little plastic covers for power outlets. Plug them into the wall as you would an appliance and it completely covers those holes where small fingers seem to fit so well. Put them everywhere!
Window covers or guards
With a climate as warm as ours, open windows are essential for keeping rooms cool and the air clean. However, they also offer the potential for trouble. Consider investing in a window guard or cover that fits over the open window and prevent little ones from climbing or falling out.
Edge bumpers or corner bumpers
In those early years when kids are unsteady on their feet or even later when they charge around the house at 90 miles per hour, all those sharp edges can cause a problem. Cover them with rubber or foam edge bumpers and you can avoid nasty injuries.
Latches and locks
High-level latches or locks are useful for kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors, medicine cupboards, cleaning cupboards and any door where a child could access and cause mischief. Anything that contains items that a child might find interesting should be protected.
Child gates are invaluable for keeping young ones corralled and in a safe area. Use them at the top or bottom of stairs, at the door of the playroom to keep them inside or as part of a fence to protect your pool or garden. They are one of the best inventions for children.
Smoke and CO2 alarms
Even if you childproof your home and keep a close watch on little ones, they always find a way to create mischief. Smoke and CO2 alarms should be fitted to every house as standard but if you don’t have them, now is the time to get them. Accidents, matches, lighters, candles and even a magnifying glass are all fascinating to children.
Take the walk
Once you have all these lifesavers, it’s time to take a walk around your house. Start at the front door and work your way through every room while imagining that you are 2 years old. What can you get your fingers into? What edges can you see? What ornaments, pictures or treasures can you grab hold of? Can you get into the fireplace?
Ask yourself these questions as you move around the home, paying particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom. Then, once you’re done, ask someone else to do it too as you will always miss something.
There simply is no way to childproof your home to make it completely safe. But, if you remove as many hazards as humanly possible, you lower the chances of injury drastically. As a parent, that’s all you can do.