8 Tips on childproofing your home (#37 Small Talk 2018)

How do you keep your child safe?

How do you keep your child safe? photo credit: pixabay

We all want our children to be safe and we can get them off to a good start by safe-proofing our homes. Childhood injury often comes from poisoning, burns, drowning, choking and falls. Here are 8 tips to childproof your home.

1: Get down low

As an adult, you may not see dangerous or accident prone points in your home. So get down on your knees and crawl around your home! You may be surprised at what suddenly becomes obvious danger points – such as electricity outlets and sharp table corners! Look into those low down cabinet drawers – household tools left there look like toys to a kid and can be a real danger. As your child gets older, look around the house again at his or her eye level.Toddlers are just at the right height to bump their heads on the corners of tables or any other furniture at their head height. Get bumpers for the really sharp corners to prevent your toddler from what could turn into a serious injury.

2: Safety plugs and electrical wires

All electrical outlets should have safety plugs fitted. Make sure that these are not easily removed as crawlers and toddlers can be very persistent little humans! Also put latches or safety locks on drawers. Make sure you safely coil electrical wires and place them in an inaccessible place for baby. The wires can trip a toddler and can even cause strangulation. Likewise curtain cords or those for window blinds – keep well out of reach of these exploring little ones.

3: Gated community!

Safety gates are not just for staircases! Place safety gates across doorways wherever you think your child should not go on his or her own. Like the kitchen and the top and bottom of stairs and any other room or outer doorway if you don’t want your child to have easy access to that place.

4: Dangerous items

Children love to explore, put things in their mouth and play with anything that comes to hand. So it is very important to keep certain items well out of reach, such as:

  • Detergents and all chemicals, such as Jik, Toilet cleaner
  • Flammable liquids
  • Medicines
  • Sharp objects like knives, even forks, scissors
  • Dustbins
  • Tools
  • Anything hot!

5: Crawlers

Crawlers photo credit: GoFoto Lifestyle Newborn Photography

The little one who has just learnt the art of getting around on his own is keen to explore. Anything and everything at their level is likely to arouse their curiousity…even dog poop! Make sure to pick up anything you drop on the floor – paper clips, buttons, staples, coins and safety pins.

6: Sturdy bookshelves/furniture

A crawler may decide to pull him or herself up by hanging onto a piece of the furniture such as a bookshelf or TV table. Make sure that all furniture is sturdy or attached to the wall if possible. Toddlers love to climb and may use a bookshelf for this, so make sure it cannot topple over.

7: Window safety

Try not to put furniture near to a window. Children have a higher centre of gravity and if they climb on a chair to look out, they may fall out an open window. Never encourage a child to stand on a chair to see out of a window. Even if the window is closed, it could still lead to a dangerous accident.

8: Water safety

A child can drown in a minute amount of water so never leave water in the bath tub or leave a child alone in his or her bath. Toilets have water in them, so make sure your toddler cannot open the toilet lid and  fall in. Most front loader washing machines do have a lock on their doors, so the door will not open once water is in the drum. Make sure the lock is working properly and that your toddler cannot start the wash cycle without the door being shut and locked!

Final thoughts

No matter how safe you have made your home it is important for you to always be alert. My one son decided he would like to see the kettle boiling and actually pulled out drawers to make a stairway to climb up onto the counter – he couldn’t even walk yet!!! Luckily I was there and saw him (took a photo when he was on step 2 out of the 4, then carried him out of there!), but I then put a safety gate across the kitchen doorway every time I was not in the kitchen! That was a close call indeed. And I still get the heebie-jeebies whenever I think about it!

I’d love to hear of any other ways YOU can think of to try to make your home as safe as it can be for your child so drop me a line either in the comments below or email me directly: lydia@gofotolifestylenewbornphotography.co.za

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography



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