Preparation is key when welcoming your new arrival into the family home. To keep them safe, you need to make sure each room is protected and efficiently child-proofed to prevent accidents. By following the simple steps in this guide, your home will be safe and secure in no time.
1. The Kitchen
A breeding ground for hazards, your kitchen can be a dangerous place for a young child. Firstly, you need to make sure your cupboards and drawers are as secure as possible.
If your young one manages to get into your cleaning products under the sink, it could be disastrous. Installing child-proof safety locks gives added protection – and they’re usually both cost-effective and simple to install. Although best practice is to move items such as alcohol, cleaning products and medicines completely out of reach, safety locks work great if this is impractical. They should also be used on cabinets or drawers with small items in that could be a potential choking hazard.
When you’re cooking, make sure you turn your pan handles away from you. This keeps them out of reach from roaming hands which is important as your child grows up and begins to explore the house.
In the kitchen you’re likely to have numerous electrical items plugged in. Take preventative measures and turn off plug sockets, or even unplug power cables, just in case they manage to get hold of anything whilst your back is turned.
Another serious danger-point in your home is the bathroom. There are all sorts in here that can harm your little one, so take extra care when making it safe.
It’s a common habit to leave personal care products such as shampoo, moisturiser and the occasional fake tan lying around your bathroom. They’re often found at low-level such as on the side of the bath tub. However with a mini-you now running around, make sure they are kept out of arms reach.
A child-proof lock for the toilet seat is another recommendation to take notice of. This means that your child can’t get into it at all, as long as the toilet seat is kept down after use.
Any sharp or small objects such as razors and nail clippers should be stored in a locked cabinet and out of reach. This one seems obvious, but it’s surprising how easily these little things can be forgotten.
Small purchases can also make a huge difference in the bathroom. A non-slip rubber mat for the bath tub and a spout guard make bath time a breeze. You can also look into lowering your hot water temperature – no higher than 49 degrees Celsius is a good guide to go on.
3. Living Room
This is an area you and your child are destined to spend a lot of time in together. Making sure it’s safe keeps your mind at ease, even if you’re supervising them most of the time.
If you’ve got tables and cabinets in your living room, cover up hard edges and pesky corners using edge guards. This prevents the inevitable small bumps from being a nasty cut. Pay special attention to anything that’s head height for them once they’re on their feet.
Large cabinets and book cases may have a tendency to lean or even fall when played with. Attaching tall pieces of furniture to the wall to prevents serious accidents, should your child bump into or purposely try to move them.
If you’ve got a lot of low-level plug sockets in this room, you may want to consider using plug socket covers. They can be bought for next to nothing, and they’re great for stopping your child giving them unwanted attention by sticking things in them. This is also the same for radiators and open fires – a decent cover fights against accidental burns.
You may also want to consider using door stoppers – although this is applicable to most rooms in the house. This avoids trapped fingers, especially if the door is likely to be in use a lot throughout the course of the day.
Most children will spend time alone in their rooms at bedtime. This means it’s crucial to keep their room secure and as safe as possible for when you’re not there.
To keep their windows secure, install child restrictors to stop them opening too wide. As they grow older your child is likely to start exploring the house – starting with their bedroom – and wanting to look out of the window naturally piques their interest. We’d also recommended moving tall furniture away from windows to prevent the urge to climb up to the window ledge. If your blinds have looped cords you should remove them, just in case they do manage to get up there.
To prevent any trips and falls, keep their room tidy and void of any trip hazards. Loose toys and clothing are key examples of this. Furthermore, keeping their bedroom well-lit makes sure they can see what they’re doing as they explore.
Although this will mostly be applicable in your child’s room, if they spend a lot of time with you in yours you might want to think about replicating it.
Even though hallways are used so much over the course of a day, they can be easy to forget about when child-proofing.
You’ll need to install baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. This prevents your little one exploring out of their comfort zone unsupervised. If you’d like to stop them getting into rooms you don’t want them to access, for example a utility room with toolboxes or – in extreme cases – a swimming pool, use locks on your door handles. These can be very cost-effective and much easier than littering your entire home with baby gates.
Many hallways also use wood flooring to handle the large amount of footfall. Make sure your child isn’t wearing soft socks that are easy to slip in, especially if they’re just starting out on their feet. Rugs with non-slip mats underneath also work well in areas with a wooden floor, whilst stopping them from sliding about when walked on.
These steps are all easily implemented in every room of your home. We’ve split the guide into protecting each room to show where each piece of advice best fits, but please consider making these changes house-wide for the best results and to keep your mind at ease. You can never be too careful!