Child Proof your Home
We spend a lot of time preparing for the birth of our children but what happens when they’re more than just newborns? When they start to explore the home, crawling at pace around the house? It happens before you know it. Children crawl at around 8 months of age on average, but it can be even earlier so we’d suggest spending a little time around month 4 to child proof your home.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust reports that around 1 million children per year on average, end up at hospital after an accident at home. Any measures to minimise these numbers are advisable. You don’t have to change everything, but making simple adjustments can ensure your home environment is as safe as possible for your precious little one to roam.
If you’re not sure where the danger zones are, we suggest getting down on your hands and knees and having a look from a toddler’s perspective. You’ll be surprised at how much you have access to. To save you some time, we’ve made a list of our child-proofing essentials.
There are a few measures that can be taken throughout the entire home (or whichever rooms your children have access to).
- Use plastic plug covers to protect little fingers from all accessible electric outlets;
- Wrap sharp edges of furniture with soft fabric or furniture pads to prevent bangs;
- Be sure to secure large pieces of furniture or appliances in case a child attempts to climb up or pulls them over;
- Install stair gates at the top and bottom of all accessible stairs and if you find it helpful, to separate sections of the home to ensure children only have access to child-proofed rooms;
- Cut your blind cords or tie them up safety to prevent children getting caught in them;
- Do a regular check of the floor and low tables and shelves to remove any small items that could be choking hazards;
- Use door knob covers if your little one is beginning to open doors;
- Make use of cabinet locks to prevent access to any unsafe items, in particular chemicals, cleaning products and medicines (storing these items high up is best);
- Be sure to keep hair tongs or straighteners switched off when not in use and out of reach when they are. It is reported that hair appliances are one of the leading causes of infant burns;
- Use stickers on patio doors or low level windows to ensure children can see them clearly.
In addition to the above precautions, there are a few kitchen-specific measures that you can take.
- Use a cooker guard if your oven is at a low level or if your oven door heats up;
- Keep all appliances at the back of the work surface with leads tucked well back to avoid a child pulling an appliance down on top of themselves;
- Employ appliance locks to avoid a child getting into the dish waster or washing machine;
- Use bin locks to prevent access to any dangerous waste;
- Keep all plastic bags out of reach of infants;
- Ensure that all knifes and anything sharp (skewers, kitchen utensils) are stored well out of reach of little hands.
Once you’ve checked off everything else, there are a few additional edits you can make in your bathroom.
- Use a toilet seat lock at all times;
- Adjust your water settings to prevent taps running over a certain temperature;
- Keep all cleaning products in locked cabinets.