Once your family starts growing and you get kids, you will see your priorities shift. No longer will you be preoccupied with the little things and you will mainly focus on your child – or more specifically, the safety of your child. You will soon start noticing all sorts of threats to your little one that you never even considered before, both in your home and outside of it.
While you cannot always control what happens outside, the safety within your home is something that you can regulate and deal with. However, if you’ve only recently become a mom and are not really sure how to childproof your home to make it harmless for your little munchkin, keep on reading to learn about various hacks that every parent should know.
Baby gates are a lifesaver
The first thing you should get is definitely baby gates. By putting these around your home, you will prevent your child from going into parts of it that are off-limits. If you have stairs, this is the best way to prevent accidents. If you didn’t have a chance to childproof certain rooms or areas, the gates will stop the baby from exploring them and potentially getting hurt. So, if nothing else, at least install these protective barriers around your home to keep your child safe.
Sharp edges should be cushioned
When you were getting that fancy coffee table, you probably didn’t think about the danger those sharp glass edges would present for your child’s safety. However, chances are that you have plenty of furniture pieces that could harm your little one without you even realizing it. Therefore, to prevent any bruises or more serious head injuries, you should look for corner guards that will soften the pointy corners of various desks and tables. Luckily, there are companies such as Bink that offer all sorts of baby-safe corner bumpers made of silicone which will not only look sleek and almost invisible but will also not break into dangerous chunks or present a choking danger. However, there are also some DIY cushioning methods that you can try – all you need is some plumbing foam pipe insulation that you can get from a local hardware store.
Protect their fingers with doorstops
Some kids really love opening and closing doors and even if this is not the case with your kids, you do not want to risk their fingers getting squished by doors accidentally closing on them. To avoid any unexpected injuries and trips to the emergency room, get some doorstops which will not allow the doors to close suddenly. Also, if you have pool noodles, you can cut them up and put them on the door seeing as how this method will also prevent the kids from slamming the doors and getting their fingers jammed.
Keep them away from windows
Unfortunately, there are many window-related incidents involving children occurring on a daily basis. In order to protect your kids, you need to create some rules when it comes to playing near windows. If they are not old enough to understand the rules, you need to take precautionary measures to keep them safe. For example, close and lock all windows when there are kids in the room. What is more, keep furniture away from the windows to prevent them from climbing and trying to reach the handle. You should also install window guards which will not allow the window to fully open and present a safety hazard. However, do make sure they can open in case of a fire emergency.
Be wary of window coverings
On the other hand, falling out is not the only danger that windows present. Corded window coverings also pose a threat to babies and toddlers as they can easily get tangled in it and be at risk of strangulation. This is another reason why you shouldn’t have furniture pieces near the windows. If your window coverings have cords, make sure they are out of kids’ reach and anchored to the wall. Better yet, look for cordless blinds for your child’s room and living room.
Keep various cords at bay
These days, with all the technology we are bringing into our homes on a regular basis, having a bunch of wires hanging and lying around is a common occurrence. However, just like how window blind cords are a danger to our kids, so are various other cords. Not only are they a choking hazard but they can also cause the kids to trip and hurt themselves during a fall. This is why you have to find a solution to this problem.
For instance, you can put all your power strips into a plastic container that is properly ventilated and keep the kids away. However, if this option sounds like an eyesore, companies like Mat Shop offer mats that were designed to cover cables and prevent tripping.
Take care of the outlets
Power strips are not the only electrical hazard in a home – so are power outlets. You never know what small kids will do; they might touch or try to stick something in the outlet. With that in mind, it’s vital that you cover, lock or block off all sockets. Go through all the outlets you have and see which ones are within reach of the kids. Then, look for the best way to deal with this issue. For example, you can purchase various plug covers that are not expensive but work very well in protecting your kid. Also, you can put duct tape, painter’s tape or an adhesive bandage over the socket to deter the children’s plans.
Store electrical appliances out of reach
Besides hiding surge protectors and power outlets, you also need to pay attention to the appliances you use every day. For instance, the bathroom is full of various gadgets that could harm a child, from hairdryers and curlers to electric razors. Keep them unplugged and store them out of your kids’ reach, either on a high shelf or in a locket cabinet. Furthermore, in the kitchen, make sure they can’t reach the toaster, blender or some similar appliance and hurt themselves.
Fasten heavy objects to the wall
Injuries due to falling objects are another issue that parents are faced with. To prevent this, it’s best to secure all heavy objects to the wall. Make sure all bookshelves are properly fastened and cannot be tipped over. If you have open shelves, don’t put any fragile or dangerous things in places where the kids can reach them. Moreover, consider mounting your TV on the wall instead of putting it on a basic stand. Anchoring your furniture is even more important in case you live in an earthquake-prone area.
Put chemicals under lock and key
Be aware that there are a lot of chemicals we use for cleaning our homes that are highly poisonous when ingested. Furthermore, just coming into contact with certain products can be very dangerous. To avoid any kind of incident, it’s best to keep all your medicine as well as cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet where you are sure your kids cannot reach them. Also, our garages are full of toxic chemicals so keep the little ones out of this area. Finally, check the plants in your home to see whether they pose any danger to children and keep insecticides out of reach as well.
Deal with drowning threats
The bathroom is a very dangerous area to leave your kid alone. The first thing you should do is ensure all doors are closed when the bathrooms are not being used. Then, get some non-slip mats, install anti-scalding devices and set your water heater to a low setting. Put locks on toilet seat lids to prevent falling in or injuries to their head or fingers from falling lids. Last but definitely not least, in case you have a pool, make sure you have a fence around it, never leave your kids unsupervised and learn CPR.
These eleven tips are sure to help you keep your kids safe. However, there is always more stuff we can learn so talk to other moms to see how they deal with certain issues and whether they have some hacks to share.