I’m not normally one for guest posts, but when Jonathan Dempster, a recent father and freelance blogger, contacted me offering to write this post about ways to child proof your home, it struck a chord with me and I thought it would make for an interesting read – and I wasn’t wrong! Over to you Jonathan…
Any parent will know that when your child turns two, you will spend the next year of your life constantly chasing you former bundle of joy. As you embrace your partner watching your child take their first steps, when you turn back around, your toddler will be in the kitchen cupboard with a bottle of washing up liquid in hand. From then on the powerful feeling of euphoria will be usurped by a constant feeling of paranoia.
You must bear in mind that toddlers are designed for bumps and falls, and no matter how careful you are, your young one will take the occasional tumble. However, there are a few ways in which you can make your house a little more child friendly, and with these five easy ideas, your anxiety will be put on hold…for now.
Put it on the back burner
We have all heard of the horror stories surrounding hot ovens and small children. Some parents decide to gate off their kitchen, although I found that the more you make the kitchen seem like the ‘forbidden place’, the greater lengths your toddler will go to get in to it.
Whenever you are cooking on the hobs, make sure that you use the back two stoves and point the handles away from the front. This will prevent them grabbing it and allowing it to fall onto them. Once you get into the habit of doing so, it will be a huge weight off your mind if they make a sudden burst for the kitchen.
Bump that corner
Fireplaces, solid marble especially have extremely pointy corners. You can buy protectors that fit onto the corners from most hardware stores and they don’t take away from the look of the fireplace. This is one of the steps that you should definitely be taking from day one, and especially by the time your little one is crawling.
Hit the right cord
I recently read a tragic tale about a small child getting caught up in vertical blind cords by a window. They don’t often look it, but long pieces of string are very dangerous to small children, especially when they are just beginning to walk. They may grab onto them for balance and get tangled very easily.
A simple way to prevent this is to buy a sticky hook and tie your vertical blind adjustment cords up, out of your child’s reach. Vertical Blinds Direct offer fully customisable blinds if you are planning to get some installed and have a small one.
Make sure anything that is either smash-able or dangerous is out of your child’s reach. This could be medicine, kitchen cleaning products and glass cups. If kids can get their hand on them, they will. Spend an hour putting yourself in the mind of your child; looking at things they could reach and if they are dangerous enough to be moved out of harm’s way. This even goes for power sockets that kids will try and wriggle their small fingers into; You can by power socket covers to prevent this from happening.
Watch out for the water
Finally, remember young children have been known to drown in the smallest amount of water you can imagine. Therefore it is important to always supervise in the bath and never leave water standing. This also applies if you have a pond; make sure it is fully fenced off with maybe a net over the top of it. Always supervise children when they are outside near it. Sandpits can also be dangerous if it has been raining, and water has collected in it, so be vigilant.
Remember, these tips will simply be a deterrent. At this point in their lives, kids have the attention span of a goldfish, so hopefully they will try to get something and loose interest. Just beware that this is not a replacement for watching what your children are doing and keeping an eye on them. As I said at the start, kids are built for cuts and bruises, but making a few little changes can have a drastic effect on the wellbeing of your mental health, and their physical health.
Jonathan is a recent father and freelance blogger who is working on behalf of IGD. His interests include business management, environmental issues and parenting.