Being a parent, as you all know is a thankless 24/7 job, especially for the first 5-10 years at least. During lockdown, having your children at home full time due to schools and nurseries being closed is another challenge that comes with many obstacles and opportunities for things not to go so swimmingly.
As most parents in the UK, we are now entering our 4th month at home with our kids. With pre-school children, this means that being in your care without breaks might have you pulling your hair out, particularly if they are full of life and energy which most are!
So, with all this time at home with each other, and further added risks thanks to the boredom of being isolated, how can you ensure your little ones are kept safe from hazards around the home? Here’s a list of 5 things you can do to baby and toddler proof your house to help reduce risk.
Crawl like a baby and see what you can get to
This is a very common and really easy way to baby proof your home for when your baby is going to start crawling and their “exploratory” phase. Simply make like a dog, get on all fours, and crawl around your living spaces to see what you can get to and what hazards you see at baby height. Typical offenders are of course plug sockets and wires, for which you can get plug hole covers and tape to tape wires safely away out of reach. There could be other hazards such as plant pots with compost (that you might not want them spreading or eating!) or cupboards that can be opened with all sorts of goodies inside.
Lock away all medicines, lotions, and potions
Children have a great exploratory sense of play, and toddlers just love picking up different tubes, packets, and bottles with funny colour liquids. Keep them out of harm’s way by having lockable cupboards and for anything of high risk a cash box safe that’s lockable with a key. Even in the bathroom, be sure to have all shampoos and shower gels out of reach, as little ones will try to get at them and whilst they may not necessarily want to taste them they may end up pouring them all over your toilet! Lockable cam locks are an ideal solution to keeping cupboards and small doors locked, keeping any dangerous or hazardous items out of reach!
See what corners your children can walk into, and get rid of them
Corners can be a challenge in a home, especially as they exist literally on everything! The most common offenders are usually little ones bashing into the corners of walls, tables and chairs. For tables and chairs, you can get corner guards which just go over the top of the corners and have a round finish so that children do not come into harm. These are an ingenious way of allowing your little ones to roam free and stay free from little bumps and pains from the corners of your furniture.
Glasses and cups, with or without fluid in them
As children get older and more independent, they relish the idea of being able to take charge with a glass or cup and drink the contents (as best as possible). Sometimes, we may forget that we are using a cup of actual Glass (material) which is hazardous to small ones depending on the weight and size. There is also the risk of them consuming something that looks like water but might actually be a Gin & Tonic – which wouldn’t go down so well! Therefore, try and get child friendly cups, and regardless of what you are drinking, be sure to leave your cup or glass out of reach so that it cannot get into the little hands of your children. Zoning is a great idea and is a way of identifying safe zones in every room where you can leave drinks out of reach and harm. Perhaps a little side table tucked away between sofas in the corner of your living room as a simple idea.
Keep your doors and windows secure, to keep children inside and safe
Being a busy parent juggling all responsibilities sometimes means you can’t keep an eye on the little ones all the time. For a few minutes at a time they may be left to their own devices, and if they are mobile, you want to make sure that they are kept inside and safe. A simple but sometimes forgotten measure is checking that all access doors and windows are sufficiently shut and locked. By doing so, your little ones are kept within the confines of the home and are kept away from external risks. For front doors, mortice locks are quite popular however multipoint locks will lock your door in several places, making it even more secure. For further added safety, consider the integration of stair gates around doorways and staircases, to help keep your children even safer when at home.
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