Your family home is an exciting place for a young child, but one that is also potentially hazardous to inquisitive minds. While we do try to keep an eye on our little ones at all time, it is important to make sure that the house is safe to explore nonetheless.
Whether you are looking to child-proof your existing family home or knowing what to look for in your new house, the following tips provide a good starting place for making sure your young ones can run amok in safety.
Living areas are the focal point for every home, but it is important to limit the areas that your child can explore. Safety gates are an easy way to ensure that little ones who begin exploring cannot get to places with stairs, loose objects, or breakables.
Homes with built-in bookshelves or wide, flat walls that can be used to mount televisions are also preferable to having to use furniture and unstable shelves that children can grab onto. Your child will undoubtedly attempt to climb anything they can get their hands on, so limiting these opportunities and removing things that can easily fall will help avoid unpleasant accidents.
Electrical sockets that can be easily covered or concealed are also something to look for in living areas and socket protectors are often a good investment for those that your child can easily access.
With open plan living being a feature of many modern homes, chances are the kitchen and living areas will blend into one. Child-proof latches on drawers and cupboards are essential, as little ones learning to walk will grab on to anything to help them balance and explore anything they have not seen before. Cabinet doors swinging open are an easy way for a child to lose their balance and fall, not to mention a quick way for your finest china to end up in the wrong hands.
Windows and Balconies
Homes with window locks are always the best option for families with young kids. Alternatively, window fixtures that can be opened to a limited degree (often around 10cm), windows that open at the top rather than the bottom and strong security screens rather than weak mesh are all desirable features to keep an eye out for.
It also goes without saying that the door to the balcony should be locked at all times if there is a young child in the house. On the balcony itself, guardrails should be high, securely fixed, and checked regularly. Finally, the gaps between the guardrails should be narrow, so that it is impossible for your little one to fit through.
Bathrooms and Laundry
As with the kitchen, all cabinets and drawers in the laundry and bathrooms should be child-proofed so the contents stay safe and secure away from curious hands. These are perhaps even more important than in the kitchen due to the number of items you do not want near your child’s mouth.
If you have a bath tub or spa, it may also be worth putting a physical barrier like a safety gate in the way, as the rims of these are usually quite low, and can result in a child overbalancing and falling in head-first if they are leaning against it.
A final word of advice would be to do as much of this as possible before you absolutely need to. Whether this is keeping all of these factors in mind while searching for your new family home, or taking care of them in your existing home before your little one decides to get mobile, preparation is the best way to keep things safe around the home.