QuickStart Guide To Toddler-Proofing Your Home
Going from having a baby that stays in one place to then having a crawling baby can feel like quite a big step. You have to make sure that the floors are clean and that there is nothing around for them to pick up and chew. But when you go from a crawler to a walking toddler, it is a completely different ball game. There are so many new things that are suddenly in reach for them, which is always further than you might imagine, and it is all very new and exciting for them. Your toddler does need help to feel safe in the home, though, so there are a few things all around the house that need to be looked at. Not only can it be safe for them, but it can give you some peace of mind that they can’t get into anything that will harm them if they’re out of view for a couple of minutes.
If you’re going to have a toddler in your home, or even if you have a family member that is a toddler that comes round to your house, here are some of the things that you can do to make sure that you are allowing them to be in a safe environment.
This is going to be an area where your little one is likely to spend quite a lot of their time. So it is one of the rooms in the house where you should pay close attention to what is in there and what can be done to make it safer.
- Unplug sockets and switch them off when they’re not in use. Any plug sockets that aren’t being used should be covered, so that little fingers or objects can’t be poked inside.
- If you have a fireplace, an open fire, or a log burner, then make sure that you have a fire guard for it. You don’t want them to touch or reach out to fire.
- Keep curtains tied back and keep them away from any lit flames, like candles on a windowsill, for example. If you use window blinds with strings or tie-backs for your curtains, make sure that they are tied securely and not left to dangle; these can be a major choking hazard.
- If you have large shelving units or bookcases in the living room, then make sure that they are sturdy. If possible, secure them to the wall so that there isn’t the risk of them being pulled over and falling on your toddler.
The bathroom is a room in the house that has a lot of potential to be dangerous. There is water in there for starters, that can be at hot temperatures, as well as slip hazards, and potential cleaning products.
- You need to make sure that you’re never leaving your toddler unattended in the bathroom. This will reduce the chance of any water-related incidents, or the risk of them scalding themselves on the hot water tap.
- Having a sturdy shower screen in place, from somewhere like Professional Glass can help to prevent trips or falls. If they are pulling on a shower curtain, it could lead to them falling over or slipping as shower curtains are not going to be as sturdy.
- Keep any of the bath products like razors, makeup, nail varnish remover, and shampoos out of reach for little ones.
- If you have a radiator or heated towel rail in the bathroom, then make sure that it is covered with towels when your little one is in there.
The kitchen can be potentially one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. With kettles, heavy pots and pans, as well as knives and sharp objects, it has a lot of risks for toddlers that can suddenly open cupboards and drawers. So unless they are supervised, it is best to keep them out of there altogether.
- There are many things in a kitchen that are hazardous. Take dishwasher tablets or laundry powder, for example. These can also look like candy to little ones. So keep them out of reach in a cupboard high up, or in a locked cabinet to avoid them stumbling across them.
- When using the hob, turn pan handles away from the front of the hob, and use the back burners where possible.
- Never underestimate just how far little ones can reach. If you’re making a cup of tea and the kettle has just boiled, don’t put a mug full of boiling water close to the edge of the countertop.
- Keep knives and other sharp instruments like graters or peelers out of reach. If your little ones want to help in the kitchen, then move the sharp objects to somewhere that they can’t just grab them.
If you have stairs in your home, then you’ll know that that can be a tricky thing to navigate with little ones around. So here are some suggestions:
- Use a stair gate at both ends of the stairs. It will stop them from falling down if they are upstairs, or getting up the stairs if they are downstairs.
- Keep the stairs as a clutter-free area. If you’re holding your toddler and can’t see toys on a step, it could lead to a dangerous fall.
- Make sure that things like banisters are secure, as toddlers can grab them. If they are loose, it could fall and hurt them, or the toddler could fall if they are halfway up the stairs.
If your toddler is still in a cot, then there are some reduced risks, as they can’t get out of bed without you yet. You should make sure that there aren’t things like cot bumpers in there for them to get a ‘step up’ with, as that could lead to them falling out. Cot bumpers can also greatly restrict air-flow and be a suffocating hazard.
Like with the living area, make sure things like plugs are secured and switched off, that there aren’t small things that they could grab and choke on, and that curtains or blinds are secured.
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