A parent’s main priority is always to keep their children safe. But realistically, it is impossible to be hovering over your child at all times of the day. If you have a small child, these tips to childproof your home will spare you the stress.
1. Install safety locks on cabinets
Children are naturally curious, and it’s not uncommon for them to go rummaging through your cupboards and cabinets. But what happens when they come across the knife drawer or a cupboard full of toxic household products?
To make sure they keep their hands off these items, install safety latches onto all your cabinets, drawers and cupboards. Any products containing toxic substances should also be stored far away from the reach of your child.
2. Safety gates
The consequences of falling down a staircase can be fatal. Letting small children scale staircases independently when they are unstable and just learning to walk can lend itself to accidents. By implementing safety gates at the top and bottom of your staircase you can prevent this situation. These safety gates can also be used in doorways to prevent your kids from getting in any rooms that they should not be in.
3. Don’t forget the Swimming Pool!
If you have a swimming pool, make sure to install fencing that is a minimum of 1.2 metres high. The gate should also be self-closing and self-latching. According to the 2018 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, accidental falls into swimming pools accounted for 78% of drowning deaths amongst children in Australia – So make sure you don’t forget to childproof the swimming pool!
4. Door-knob covers and door stoppers
At every door, place doorstoppers to make sure no fingers or toes get jammed when they’re shut. While you’re there, it might also be wise to invest in door-knob covers. Door-knob covers make it harder to turn the handle and open doors. This will help stop your child from entering spaces they shouldn’t be in, such as the swimming pool area.
5. Secure your furniture
Go the extra mile and secure any wobbly furniture such as bookcases to the wall using latches. Corner and edge bumpers can be placed on any sharp corners of furniture, which will protect your child from any nasty collisions. Furniture should also be placed away from windows to make sure your child isn’t able to climb onto the window sill and jump out.
6. Childproof the Bathroom.
As your child gets older, the bathroom will be the one space where they definitely won’t want you tagging along, so it is important to make sure it is safe. Install toilet locks and ensure that toilet lids are left closed – because believe it or not, a child can easily drown in the shallow toilet water.
For the shower, set the hot water heater to 45 degrees Celcius and install anti-scalding devices to protect your child’s sensitive skin from hot water burns.
7. Keep them away from electrical appliances
Electrical appliances have become necessities but have also presented a new hazard to children. Keep all electrical appliances such as hairdryers and straighteners unplugged. In empty plug points, place plug outlet protectors or safety caps. Make sure to tuck all electric cords behind furniture where they are out of reach from your kids.
Water and electricity is a recipe for disaster. So if you have any outlets which are in close proximity to water sources, update them with ground fault circuit interrupters. This will make sure the electricity is turned off if it comes into contact with water.
8. Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home. You should regularly check that the smoke detectors are actually working. Additionally, ensure your house also has carbon monoxide detectors.
Words by Vidya Kathirgamalingam