Childproofing Your HomeMichelle McQuade | September 27, 2017
Is your home safe enough for your small child to roam around in? These simple home fixes will help you make sure:
- 1. Keep harmful items out of reach
These are just some of the easiest ways to protect your children from accidents inside the home:
- Put away small choking hazards such as loose change, paper weights, magnets, and decorative or collectible items.
- Install safety gates or rails in high-risk areas like the kitchen. For added safety, keep cutlery, matches, and cleaning solutions and other toxic materials in cabinets or drawers, preferably with locks or latches. Turn pot and pan handles away from counter and table edges and push coffee makers and other containers of hot liquid toward the back of the counter or to the middle of the table. Keep trash bins covered at all times.
- Place small house plants on top of tall shelves or cabinets. Cordon off larger plants that can’t be moved from the floor.
- Keep pet toys and food away from your toddlers. Hard animal biscuits and chew toys can also be choking hazards for small children.
- 2. Secure your fixtures and preset your appliance settings
Even the most unassuming house fixtures need attention so that they don’t become child safety hazards. For instance:
- Screw shelves and free-standing furniture onto the wall or floor to prevent them from tipping over in case your child learns to climbs them.
- Tie up the cords of your window blinds to prevent toddlers from being entangled in them, or worse.
- Keep the shower’s heater settings below 120° F to prevent serious burns in case your child fiddles with the shower handles while you’re giving them a bath.
- Keep electrical cables tidy and tucked away to prevent accidents – kids tripping, floor lamps crashing, or frayed wires causing serious harm.
- Activate passwords and child locks on your smart devices to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content or tinkering with important files.
- 3. Invest in practical safety upgrades for your living spaces
Add the following items on your childproofing shopping list:
- Safety gates. Give your kids free rein to explore and play around in adequately protected spaces, while keeping them away from dangerous areas like the stairs, fireplace, toilets, kitchen, and basement.
- Mesh guards for your windows and/or doors. Let fresh air in without putting your toddler at risk of climbing or falling out.
- Disposable wallpaper. Encourage your child’s creativity while preventing messy cleanups. Let them scribble and doodle to their hearts’ content on sheets that can be easily removed and replaced – and saved for later enjoyment!
- Rubber or fabric padding. Line edges and corners of tables, counters, and shelves with protective padding. You can also wrap chair and table legs with these, especially if your child is in the teething stage.
- Power outlet covers: Electrical outlets are within reach of crawling children so prevent accidents by installing protective covers.
- 4. Always be prepared
In addition to preventive measures, take the time to learn essential first aid, such as age-appropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Heimlich maneuvers. Keep a first aid kit handy and fully stocked at all times and have emergency numbers saved on your mobile phone.
Visit our blog for more practical home improvement tips.
To learn more about the great real estate opportunities in the Greater Cleveland area, call real estate expert Michelle McQuade at (440) 823 2448 or email michellemcquade(at)howardhanna(dotted)com.