Before your little ones are able to crawl, it is essential to make sure your home is thoroughly baby-proofed to prevent unnecessary accidents from occurring. From anchoring your furniture to investing in hinge protectors, there are several ways you can effectively childproof your property. You may not have considered the level of risk associated with many hazards in your home, so hopefully, this article will be a beneficial resource to refer back to. Here is our comprehensive guide to baby proofing your home.
The Importance of Baby Proofing Your Home
An accident can occur at any time and in any part of your home, but there are plenty of safety measures you can implement to minimise the severity and number of accidents from transpiring. Furthermore, knowing you have done everything you can to try and prevent accidents from occurring is guaranteed to give you some small peace of mind. The average baby starts to crawl from the age of 8 months, so it is imperative for your home to be free from hazards before they reach this milestone. Here is our checklist on how to successfully baby proof your home.
Because children who’re learning to crawl love to pull themselves up on things, it is crucial to secure all tall or heavy items of furniture and appliances to the wall. As your baby gets older and braver, they are also likely to try climbing pieces of furniture, especially items like bookcases and chest of drawers. Ensure that potential climbable items of furniture and cribs are placed well away from windows.
If you own cupboards with glass doors, it is best putting them away until your child is much older. We suggest using storage solutions in London to store hazardous pieces of furniture until your children are older. Chests and boxes that do not have spring-loaded hinges can easily crush small children’s fingers and other limbs. If you have a toy chest without spring-loaded safety hinges, you could consider removing the lid and having it continually open.
Never hang heavy items such as clocks and mirrors directly above your child’s crib as these could fall in the night. It is also pivotal not to hang anything over the cot or in the bedroom that is longer than 7 inches. Long pieces of string pose a significant risk of strangulation. Make sure you have suitable blind hooks that ensure blind cords are kept well out of the way.
Avoid the addition of floor lamps in your home or placing table lamps on tablecloths. Floor lamps are extremely easy to pull over and can be remarkably heavy. It is also advised to purchase non-slip pads to be placed under rugs if you have uncarpeted flooring.
Windows, Doors and Stairs
Ensuring your windows and doors include the latest safety measures is imperative for safeguarding your children. It is best to ensure upstairs windows are locked at all times, but if this is not possible there are several other safety alternatives. There are specific restrictions available that prevent windows from opening fully. These safety gadgets allow a fresh supply of air to enter your home without opening too far and providing an escape route for your child. If your home is fitted with sliding, single or double hung windows, then you will require the addition of window stops. The wedge ensures the window stays shut and prevents children from being able to open it. The window stop can also be used to wedge the window open, allowing an airflow through a gap no wider than four inches. Both devices are easily and widely available to purchase and should be fitted to every window in your home.
Door hinges pose a great threat to small children’s fingers. You can easily keep internal doors open through the use of wedges and door stops, but this is only a temporary solution to the problem. It is advised to invest in door slamming prevention devices and hinge protectors. Slamming prevention devices are effective in creating a physical barrier between the fingers of small children and the door. Hinge protectors effectively prevent children from getting their hands trapped; they’re simple to fit, cheap to buy and easy to maintain. Purchase slam prevention devices and hinge protectors from places such as Mothercare and John Lewis.
Staircases is another dangerous, yet fundamental, part of your home. Unless you live in a bungalow, you will need to fit stair gates to both the top and the bottom of the staircase. You will also need to examine the quality of your bannisters; if the railings are too far apart your child could easily fall through the open spaces. If this is the case with your staircase, make sure to purchase a bannister safety net or plastic guard. This addition to your home may not be the most attractive, but it will effectively prevent potentially fatal injuries to your child.
There is an endless list of electrical items that are dangerous to children. Electrical plug-socket covers are necessary for preventing children from inserting their fingers and getting electrocuted.
Extension cables and loose wires are also dangerous everyday items in your home that you may not have deemed unsafe. The best way to keep wiring and cables out of sight and reach of children is to hide them securely behind furniture or stapling them to the floor. You can then lay the carpet over the top to effectively conceal the wires from small and curious children. Examine the condition of all the cables in your home, damaged wiring can create sparks and is a potential fire risk.
It is a good idea to keep TV’s, WiFi routers, DVD players and game stations inside cupboards to prevent child access to these devices. Ensuring batteries are kept well of the way of children is imperative; consumption of these can cause fatal bleeding and lead to life-changing illnesses.
General Safety Reccomendations
Ensuring your child is safe at all times is an ongoing task, however, implementing the safety measures we have suggested will significantly lessen the risks your child is exposed to. It is imperative you make these adjustments to your home before your toddler can sit up. Understanding the risks associated with your home can help you identify potential dangers and then prevent injuries. For a more in-depth guide on how to childproof your doors and windows, take a read of this article.