Whether you’re a new parent or an experienced grandparent, making sure your home is safe for children is a vital part of keeping them secure and unharmed. Issues like loose plugs, smoke detectors left unchecked and medicines on nightstands all present a terrible risk to children. Consequently, we thought we’d offer a few guidelines on safe practices in the home. After all, as professional home specialists, nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of you and your family.
1) Cover all wall plugs with protectors. Every new parent knows to do this, but it’s easy to overlook once the kids have grown and gone. But if you’ve got an empty nest that is about to overflow with grandchildren, you need a refresher course! Buy plug covers and make sure no wires are loose under the rugs. Get down to a two-year-old’s eye level and check everything from their perspective. What may look harmless to you may represents a tempting new toy to a toddler.
2) Put all medicines away and out of reach. Once children reach a certain age, they know not to touch mom or dad’s meds, so leaving them in a night table drawer is no big deal. But small children don’t know that, so if your grandchildren are coming by be sure to stash all medications out of sight and well out of reach.
3) Be sure small items are put away or placed high on a shelf. If you’ve got a collection of your great grandmother’s spoons, put them away for now. Toddlers, in particular, are curious creatures, and put just about anything in their mouths that will fit. That’s how choking happens! Any object that’s smaller than the palm of your hand should be put out of the child’s reach.
4) Don’t forget the guard rails at the staircases. Toddlers run with absolute abandon, and it’s easy for them to tumble down stairs and injure themselves. Be sure there are guard rails both at the top and the bottom of all staircases.
5) Soften corners going from room to room. Kids race around with little thought for their well-being, and can easily bang into corners and get bruised. Putting a little foam rubber on a corner prevents any lasting damage, and is easily removed when the grandchildren go home. Or you can leave it up if they’re coming back soon.
6) Put away plastic bags and small toys. Your plastic items are probably stored in the pantry or kitchen cupboard already, but if they are within reach, be sure to put them somewhere safer. Stories abound of children accidentally smothering in plastic, so why not err on the side of extreme caution?
7) Keep knives and scissors in a drawer out of reach. Again, this is done out of an abundance of caution. Children have a way of finding exactly the item that presents danger, and so keeping these kitchen utensils out of harm’s way just makes sense.
9) Be sure buckets are empty and turned over. Did you know that a small child can drown in an inch of water? Be sure your rain barrel is covered, but also check that your house cleaning bucket is empty and turned over. That way, even if a child puts it on their head as a pretend hat, they cannot hurt themselves.
10) If you have a pool, never leave them alone. Not even for a single moment – that’s when accidents happen that end in tragedy.
These and other guidelines are also offered by local government public health websites all over Alberta. Check with your local municipality for more suggestions on how to make your home safe for children. While most of these items are common knowledge to many, sometimes our homes aren’t built to accommodate these safety tips. Whether its additional storage, child-proofing or safer stairways, contact a professional renovator like Kay2 Contracting to increase the safety in your home. Once you do, all you’ll have to worry about is whether you’ve laid in enough food and other goodies for them to enjoy.