Children have a completely different perspective of things – they are curious and like to explore. But there are more dangers lurking inside your home than you might actually be aware of.
The point at which you need to childproof your home depends entirely on the age of your child. Newborn babies are totally dependent on their parents and can’t move about much on their own. But things start to become particularly dangerous when babies start to crawl. From that point onwards, nothing is harmless anymore and a few things need to be taken into consideration.
Here are 10 tips for childproofing your home:
1. Keep cleaning products and cosmetics stored in a secure place
You should be extra careful when it comes to cleaning products, as these can be harmful to your child. Our tip: keep everything in a secure place out of the reach of children, such as in the top section of a cabinet. Another trick is also to lock the cabinet, so that even if your child manages to climb up, they won’t be able to open the doors.
2. Cover the edges of your furniture
Bumping into furniture edges can be quite painful and can cause cuts, so it’s best to childproof these. All you need to do is attach some edge or furniture guards – and just like that, your furniture is childproof.
3. Cover the plug sockets
Plug sockets are among the greatest dangers for children, so we recommend covering them. You can even get special childproof plug socket covers, which allow you to still use the sockets while ensuring that they no longer pose a risk to your child. Another thing to consider is exposed cables. Keep these out of the way with cable trunking to ensure that your child doesn’t trip over or pull on them.
4. Block off the stove area
Children can injure themselves in many places in the kitchen – and the stove is probably the most dangerous area, where they can burn themselves in the blink of an eye. A stove guard is a good way to keep the stovetop and knobs out of reach. All you need to do is place it in front of the stove to block it off and make the area childproof.
5. Keep indoor plants out of reach
Very few indoor plants are poisonous. However, some leaves contain a milky sap that can irritate the skin, or cause a scratchy throat, nausea or vomiting. We recommend keeping your indoor plants somewhere out of reach or getting rid of them altogether, which also eliminates the risk of your child pulling on one and it falling down.
6. Install stair gates
It’s perfectly normal for children to trip and fall over. But tripping over in the vicinity of stairs can have serious consequences. We recommend installing stair gates to prevent your child from frolicking on the stairs unattended. When purchasing stair gates, make sure they are stable and high enough so that your child can’t damage or climb over them.
7. Fix your cupboards and shelves to the wall
Even though they may seem to stand securely on their own, shelves and cupboards should be fixed to the wall to be safe. This eliminates the risk of your child getting stuck underneath one. There are many ways to fix a cupboard to the wall, but the easiest is to simply screw it on.
8. Secure the windows and doors
Children like to go to windows and through doors once they start exploring their world. To prevent them from getting their fingers jammed, it’s a good idea to mount a safety lock on the windows and place a door stop at the doors.
9. Secure your outdoor area
If you have a pool or a pond in your garden make sure there’s a hard, secured cover. This prevents your child from being able to fall into the pool, meaning they can play outside undisturbed with no risk of them drowning.
Certain objects shouldn’t be left lying around. This includes anything small that your child could choke on or injure themselves with, such as
batteries, lighters, jewellery, cigarettes, scissors, etc.
Also keep vases and breakables stored away, as your child can hurt themselves on the shards if they fall down and shatter. Other heavy or delicate objects should also be kept securely out of reach for the first couple of years.