Toddler proof your home
One minute their non-mobile, gurgling balls of baby gorgeousness, the next they're like a cyclone racing through your house, seemingly intent on inflicting on themselves grievous bodily harm. It's time to toddler-proof your house. Read on…
Are you one of those parents of toddlers who see injury and destruction around every corner? Good - because you're well on your way to making your house a little safer for your kids.
This haven of safety you've set up for your kids (i.e. your home) is, according to statistics, a potential deathtrap with most injuries to babies and toddlers occurring in the home.
Toddlers are curious and love to investigate things - and they won't have any real and reliable sense of danger until they're five or six. Plus, they are still not so steady on their feet, so falling over and off things is pretty commonplace.
The best way, say all the experts, to toddler-proof your home is to get down on to their level and start looking for danger. And then try to remove it, or at least make it safer.
Here are some practical tips to consider:
- keep windows and balconies locked and chairs away from them (particularly if they are above ground floor)
- tuck up curtain and blind cords - these can be a strangulation risk.
- keep medicines and all poisons out of reach - and lock those cupboards.
- Put plastic safety covers on all electrical outlets.
- Unplug electrical appliances and fold up extension cords when they aren't in use
- Attach all bookcases and tall dressers to the wall, as toddlers like to climb. Do not put heavy objects on top of these pieces of furniture.
- Be careful where you toss your loose change. Toddlers still like to put things in their mouths.
- Don't leave your toddler and pet alone in the same room.
- Make sure you don't have buckets of water lying around (these include pet bowls) - kids can drown in a few centimetres of water. Driveway safety! One child, often a toddler, is run over in the driveway of their home every week in Australia! Studies have shown that the rear vision of many popular family cars is impeded by fairly large “blind spots” in which a toddler can be lurking.
- make sure children are supervised when the driveway is in use, even putting them in the car with the driver while cars are being moved.
- treat the driveway like a road, making your children aware that it's not always a safe place.
- If you can, make access to the driveway more difficult.
This article was written by Fiona Baker, former editor in chief of Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth and Wondertime magazines for Kidspot, New Zealand's best resource for pregnancy and parenting.