When most people become parents for the first time, their number one priority is keeping their child safe. However, even if you’ve spent hours childproofing your home and think you’ve done the job well, there’s probably something that you’ve missed. In fact, I would bet that you haven’t spotted more than half of the potential hazards in your home. This isn’t to say that you’re a bad parent, or that you’re not safety-conscious enough, it’s just that there are so many simple things that toddlers and small children can make dangerous, from televisions to toilets. If you want to make sure that your home is safe for your child, then here are ten things that you should do.
Install Some Gates
To keep your child safe, it’s important that you know where they are. Adding some gates to your home is a great way to ensure this. It stops them going into the kitchen and getting themselves into trouble, or falling down the stairs when they get out of bed in the middle of the night. Without gates, your child has access to the entire house and all of its hazards, without your supervision.
Don’t Leave Candles Out
You may not think that your child is capable of lighting a match yet, but that doesn’t mean that you should take the risk, especially when a house fire could be so easily prevented. All you need to do is put candles and matched out of reach. This also stops your child from chewing on a candle and choking on it. To be extra safe, you might even want to try ditching candles all together and getting some LED ones instead.
Ditch Small Toys
There is a reason that small toys aren’t recommended for small children; All it takes is a moment, and your child could be in grave danger. If there’s anything you’re not sure of, make sure you supervise your child with it at all times and put it away when you’re not around. Also avoid buying small, thin crayons, as these too could be a choking hazard; Fat ones are much less risky.
Mount Your Television
Children like to climb, and while this is often cute, it can also lead to danger. If your little one tries to climb up on your television stand, the TV could fall on them, causing a lot of damage. To reduce this risk, you should have your television mounted to the wall, or somehow secure your television to the wall if it has to rest on a stand. Also make sure to tidy your wires away, as these could also pose a risk to your little boy or girl.
Get Non-Slip Flooring
Toddlers fall over all the time, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do what you can to avoid this happening. Carpets are a great option for a child, as they’re non-slip and provide a soft landing, but, of course, aren’t cleaned as easily as other types of flooring. Polished concrete is easily cleaned and non-slip, so is a perfect option for your kitchen. However, installing concrete flooring isn’t as easy as buying concrete grinding segments and a bag of concrete. It takes a lot of time and knowledge, so you may want to call in a professional.
Keep Cutlery Out Of Reach
You’ll want to keep your child out of the kitchen as much as possible, but there are going to be times when you want or need them in there. In these cases, it’s essential that there’s nothing around that your child could grab and hurt themselves with, such as a knife. It’s convenient having a knife block in the middle of the counter, but, as I said earlier, children like to climb, and those knives may be easier to reach than you think. To be safe, store knives in a cupboard above the counter or in a locked case.
Lock Away Chemicals
Toiletries and cleaning products may have big warning signs across the bottles telling you not to ingest them, but toddlers don’t understand these warnings, and won’t think twice about drinking the colourful liquids under the kitchen sink. To stop this, make sure that you lock these sorts of products away in a cabinet with a child-proof lock.
Close Your Toilet Lid
Toilet latches can be the difference between life and death when it comes to your toddler. Although you wouldn’t think to do it as an adult, toddlers love to stick their heads in toilets, and if they slip, they could drown. To prevent this, make sure to keep your toilet seat closed, install a latch, and remind everyone that visits your home to use it.
Guard Your Windows
Windows in your home should only be able to open enough for you to stick your hand out; If they can open any wider, your child could slip through the gap and fall. If you have low windows or windows that your child can climb up to, and they open fairly wide, installing window guards is essential to keep your child safe. Also remember to watch what you put on your windows, as corded blinds also pose a huge risk to children.
Put Frames Up High
When you have some lovely picture of your family, you’re going to want to show them off. However, it’s imperative that you show them off from up high, mounted to a wall somewhere, rather than on a cabinet that your child can reach. If your little one drops or knocks over a frame, the glass could easily smash, even on carpets, and could cut your child. The frame itself could also do some damage if it falls on your child, so make sure to keep them out of reach.
As a parent, your child’s safety should also be one of your top priorities. While you definitely can’t keep them safe from everything, there are a lot of dangers that you can eliminate, so make sure to pay attention to the advice above and implement it in your own home.