Did you know that the most common injuries to children under three years old happen right inside your house? Because toddlers and infants spend most of their time there, it is important to make sure that they are as safe as possible. Childproofing a house is a never-ending task and safety measures need to be constantly updated as your children grow.
Every child will accumulate bumps and bruises, but most serious injuries are entirely preventable. Make sure that any equipment or furniture you buy for your child meets the current safety requirements and be sure to follow any assembly instructions accurately. However, most areas of risk involve furniture and fixings that are already inside your house. Here are some key areas to check out:
Your windows pose a variety of threats to a growing child. Be sure that any window ledge corners are appropriately covered and that cords from blinds or curtains are tied up and out of reach. Locks and latches on windows are also important; you may wish to consider safety netting to prevent falls.
Outlets are the source of sending on average 2,400 children to emergency rooms. Shielding your outlets with outlet covers is a great start to securing your child against electrical shocks. It is also a good idea to unplug any equipment that is not currently in use. Even loose cords can pose a threat, so keep unused cords tied up and tucked where your child cannot reach them.
The kitchen is one of the most difficult rooms in your house to childproof, because there are so many different areas to consider. Adding latches to all of your cabinets is essential. It is also a good idea to move any hazardous chemicals and sharp kitchenware to high, protected areas. While latches on your cabinets are key, most people forget that it is equally important to secure your oven, fridge, and microwave. Lastly, your trashcan can be an attractive target for your little ones, with all of its interesting smells and contents, so keep it behind closed, locked doors.
Many household accidents involve pieces of furniture. Whether it is in a bedroom, study, or living room, securing furniture to the wall and floor is vital to prevent tipping. Be sure to secure your TV, as well, in this process. Additionally, most furniture has corners or sharp edges that should be covered, especially those areas near ground level.
These target areas are great places to start, but also remember to consider hazards like stairways, heaters, fireplaces, and outside doors. Every house is unique and has its unique challenges, so one of the best ways to check for areas to childproof is to get down on your child’s level. Remember to update safety measures as your child grows ; previously difficult areas to reach may have become accessible. Most importantly, remember that you are your child’s best defense, so never leave your child unattended.
Check out these additional tips on child proofing your home!