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Childproof your home!

Babies – the adorable little being that will eventually become curious little explorers with no fear of danger. This will make your once ‘safe’ home a minefield of hidden hazards and accidents waiting to happen.

While parents worry endlessly about how to protect their children from abduction and violence, many overlook one of the biggest threats to their children’s safety and well-being – their own home! Yes, the importance of child-proofing your home couldn’t be over-emphasized. Each year, countless numbers of children are injured by home-related accidents which are, most of the time, preventable.

Look through your child’s eyes

When you have a crawling baby in the house, one reliable way to not miss out any lurking dangers in your home is to view it from your child’s perspective, and the only way you can do this is by getting down on your hands and knees and ‘tour’ your house by crawling along and observing what your baby could be seeing at that eye-level. What’s within reach or looks tempting for a baby who doesn’t know better?

Keep your eyes open for dangers such as open sockets, loose wiring, small ornaments or knick-knacks that could be swallowed, pest poisons or traps which you thought were not visible – (they might have been well-concealed from your normal view!). You may be surprised at what you’ll find!

Check your furniture and fixtures

Every year, scores of children under the age of 5 end up in the emergency room with injuries caused when television sets, bookcases, and other furniture and appliances tip and fall on them.

Big, heavy pieces of furniture like bookcases, dressers and cupboards can pose big dangers! Secure such furniture by bolting them to a wall. Many such furniture items from IKEA, for instance, have safety features for better security.

Items like television sets should be placed away from the edge of the furniture they’re placed on, and ideally, secured into position. Top-heavy furniture tend to topple over easily, so place heavier items at the bottom shelves or drawers. Items like floor lamps should be placed behind furniture to avoid being toppled.

Bumper issue

Sharp and hard furniture corners are another common hazard, especially those found on dining and coffee tables. Cover these with ready-made fix-on bumpers to soften the impact if your child should run into them or fall against them.

Mind your windows

Windows, especially low ones, shouldn’t open to more than 4 inches. Window stops are available at hardware shops and these can prevent windows from opening too much. Always place furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing up and reaching the window sill.

Open double-hung windows from the top or fit them with locks to prevent small children from opening them.

Household poisons

It’s almost impossible to be living in a 100% organic environment, though it would be wonderful! The cleaner your house is, the more likely that there are an arsenal of poisonous products somewhere in your house, such as soap powders, bleaches, window cleaners, floor washes, bug sprays, etc. These have to well out of your little one’s reach.

Keep medications and other potential poisons also out of the way or locked up. If you have houseplants, make sure that they are not poisonous in nature.

Water dangers

It doesn’t take more than a few inches of water to cause a baby or toddler to drown. Always empty bath tubs right after use. If you are cleaning or mopping by using a bucket of water, empty the bucket as soon as you are done.

Install a child-safe latch to bathroom doors to prevent your little one from venturing there unsupervised.

Watch your little one!

Child proofing a home is not a total replacement for constant supervision but it can prevent many unfortunate incidents. It’s important to keep a close watch on your little one at all times to prevent untoward incidences.

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