Protecting your children at home is of the upmost importance. Your home should be a safe haven for your family’s new addition, and taking the appropriate baby-proofing steps is vital. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, it should act as a good starting point for you to consider before your little one arrives. I’ve also written about this in the past, and you can get a free printable checklist to help you! But to start, here’s six ways to child-proof your home.
1. Install baby gates
When your child begins to make their own way around the house, you’ll need to keep them away from areas that could cause unfortunate accidents. Baby gates are commonly found at the top and bottom of staircases, for obvious reasons. But if there are certain rooms which are potentially dangerous (think bathrooms, which are often home to razors and bottles of chemicals), you may want to close these areas off as well. However, buying numerous baby gates can soon become expensive. A more cost-effective alternative would be to use child locks instead. These fit easily onto door handles, and can be bought without breaking the bank.
2. Secure windows
At some point or another, your little one will be intrigued by anything and everything. So if they have the chance to look out of the window at the world outside, it’s likely they’ll take that chance with both of their tiny hands. If you’re adamant you don’t want them near windows, make sure you move any furniture that may provide climbing access. For windows that can be reached by your children, make sure they’re as secure as possible to prevent any accidents. Child restrictors are available for any type of window, which prevents them being opened past a certain point. This means there’s no way of a young child and wide open window being anywhere near each other!
3. Cover up corners and plugs
One of the cheapest ways to protect your children, but it’s oh so important. Sharp corners and an energetic child are bound to come into contact at some point or another – especially when they’re on their feet and running around. For any corners that pose a possible risk, buy cheap corner covers that will soften any blow and prevent bumps turning to cuts and possible scars. When it comes to plug sockets, any which are eye-level need to be covered. Make sure to keep them switched off when not in use, as well. If you’ve got radiators that can be accessed, make sure they’re fitted with covers. Luckily these don’t need to be unsightly, and you can get some beautiful looking designs.
4. Secure heavy furniture
If you’ve got any furniture that’s tall and heavy, it needs to be completely secured to the wall. As we mentioned previously, your little one will be intrigued by everything. They’ll love finding things to climb, and an unsteady piece of furniture could lead to a serious accident. Heavy cabinets and book shelves can be easily secured to walls using an ‘L’ bracket and screws. You can’t be with your child 24/7, so it’s important to secure furniture to prevent you worrying about an accident occurring.
5. Avoid light coloured carpets
Does your home have light carpets? We hate to break it to you, but they won’t be staying light for long. Spillages occur on a frequent basis, no matter how careful you are. If you’ve got carpets throughout your home, it might be time for a change. Wood or laminate flooring works well for living rooms and dining areas, whereas vinyl flooring works best for a cost-effective solution for kitchens. All of these surfaces are easy to clean and maintain. With a child, you’re short on free time as it is. The last thing you want is to spend that free time trying to get the stains out of your carpet!