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How to Childproof Your Home

ByJennifer McLean: 

Babies and toddlers are naturally inquisitive about their surroundings and often thrive from new experiences. As soon as they learn to crawl, they love nothing more than quests of discovery to explore and navigate their home environment.

Giving your child the freedom to explore is essential for his/her development, yet ensuring safety is equally — if not more — important. The reality is that children are not yet able to make their own judgments, nor are they aware of the many potential dangers that may be surrounding them.

For these reasons, it’s essential that parents take the necessary precautions to childproof their homes in order to mitigate the risk of freak accidents and to help prevent their children from coming into harm’s way.

With that said, here are some of the key steps parents can take to childproof their homes.

Remove Suffocation Hazards

The sad reality is that suffocation is the main cause of unintentional deathin kids under the age of 4. As adults, it’s sometimes easy to assume kids won’t get themselves into situations that potentially can lead to harm; the truth is that kids often don’t think in a rational way since having fun is often their top priority.

Common hazards that can lead to suffocation in the home include pillows, bedding and blankets. For this reason, the American Society of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to have their babies sleep on their backs and on a flat surface without any blankets, pillows or other similar items.

Strangulation is another concern, so you should check your home, particularly bedroom and play areas, for anything that could put your child at risk. This includes things like cords on blinds and lamps. Ensure that you either remove them completely or secure them in such a way that your child can’t access them.

Select an Appropriate Bed

It’s important to bear in mind that the majority of sleep professionals advise that there’s no need to be hasty when it comes to your child’s transitioning from a cot to a normal bed. However, when you think your child may be ready, make sure you select a bed he/she feels comfortable sleeping in.

Many parents find that their children prefer the smaller style beds designed with tots in mind. Even so, some opt for normal size beds, although it’s important to remember that these can be quite overwhelming for small children. Either way, make sure to fit side rails on the bed in order to prevent the child from falling out during the night.

 

Secure Furniture to the Walls

Children are drawn to new things, and love to climb and pull at furniture, including TV stands and bedroom cabinets. The reality is that keeping your focus and monitoring them constantly all day long is not possible. For this reason, the most practical way to be certain they remain safe is to secure all large and heavy objects to the walls in order to prevent them from falling on top of your child and causing injury.

Furniture with protruding and sharp edges is something else parents need to be aware of. Choose furniture with flat or smoothed edges and, if possible, composed of soft components. If replacing furniture is outside your budget, then you can always childproof the areas of concern with some simple DIY materials, such as foam and tape.

Childproof Locks & Windows

Windows that can be pushed open, especially those upstairs, are definite safety hazards thatcan be taken care ofeasily. Window locks can be purchased from most local hardware stores and are relatively easy to install. 

Cabinets and other places where you may store potentially harmful substances such as cleaning products and medicines should also be kept out of the reach of children. If this is not possible, lock them away. These rules also apply to other potentially harmful items like kitchen knives, weapons and hunting gear.

Smoke Alarms 

Smoke alarms are essential for keeping you and your family safe and secure, so if you don’t already have them installed, it’s probably time to do so. It’s also a good idea to teach your kids what to do in the event of a fire, and to make them aware of emergency services contact numbers and fire exits. 

Carbon Monoxide Sensors 

Carbon monoxideis a potentially lethal gas that cannot be sensed by sight, smell or taste, so it’s certainly worth installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Ideally, they should be placed near all appliances (including fireplaces, boilers and stoves) that utilize gas fuel.

Guest Author Bio

Jennifer Mclean is a mother of three, a housewife and full time blogger whose ramblings and research can be read on her blog and passion project Mom Bible. Jennifer writes about a wide range of parenting topics including health, education, behavior, spirituality and even product reviews.

About Guest Writer

We know that not everyone wants to be a full-time writer, and that those people may still have something great to contribute. Knowing this, we often have guest writers submit articles to us on various topics. Contact us if you have something wonderful to share!

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