Childproofing your home doesn't need to be difficult, but you do need to know what to watch out for.
What to look out for when childproofing your home
Invest in blind cord wind-ups. They keep blind cords out of the reach of babies in their cots. It also keeps their older siblings safe. Cords that are too long can be very hazardous. Also, remember to keep cots and beds away from windows and window fittings whenever possible.
Once children become mobile, there are other obvious steps:
- Block off power points with child proof outlet plugs
- Move sharp objects, knives and poisons, including medicines, out of reach
- Baby proof corners, especially the sharp edges of tables
- Use child proof gates to prevent them falling down stairs
- Keep children within sight and only allow a trustworthy and loving adult to supervise them.
Look out for the obvious and hidden dangers. Children learn and discover the world by experiencing things and unfortunately, that can sometimes mean getting hold of a knife from the drawer, unplugging the computer or pulling on a tablecloth.
Get down on all fours and look up at the world from the point of view of a crawling child. It’s amazing the hidden dangers you'll immediately identify.
What are potential safety hazards in the home?
I don’t want to scare you, but there are many hazards throughout the home. However, with preparation, a lot can be improved on safety wise.
- Move regular medications usually kept in the bathroom or beside your bed up and out of reach of a child, and preferably locked away.
- Keep children out of cabinets and drawers by properly securing them with child proof cupboard locks and latches.
- Child proof doors and prevent them from slamming on little fingers by securing them using a door-stop or under door-gripper.
- When cooking, move pot handles to the side so kids can’t get hold of them and pull hot liquids on top of them.
Laundries, kitchens and bathrooms are also big areas to watch. Block access to them with child proof gates. Dreambaby's Liberty Gate comes with a smart stay-open feature, which is great for when the kids are not around or you have shopping to bring in.
In addition to a gate, add lever locks to all doors with levered handles. Our new Lever Door Lock are child proof door locks that stop children from gaining access to rooms they shouldn’t be in unsupervised.
Preparation and recognising the potential issues is what it’s all about. Remember though that every house is different and every child is too. Your child may never even look twice at a cabinet, but what about that visiting cousin or friend? They may have other ideas, so make sure your home is safe for all children, not just your own.
If the living room is the child's play area, do you recommend not having a coffee table?
Choose either a very rounded-cornered table that is really solidly made (no glass) or nothing at all. Remember to also keep an eye on any food and hot drinks that you place on the table as they can be a hazard of their own.
What about the bedroom
Before bedtime, ensure the side of your child’s cot is up. If your child is older, install a bedrail to stop them from falling out of bed and hurting themselves. Dreambaby’s Phoenix Bed Rail has a breathable mesh and an easy fold-down feature, offering peace of mind and security in the bedroom.
Are there any toxins that we should look out for?
Plenty, including some plants in the garden and most household cleaners. Many people don’t realise that the residue left by everyday cleaning chemicals, particularly while still wet, can be quite bad. Likewise, the dishwasher drawer can be toxic even after the load is finished.
What about pet doors?
These doors come in different sizes and children can get stuck in them. Many pet doors can be locked so that nothing can pass through and if this is an option, do it!