Studies show that most parents are unfortunately overconfident regarding their child’s understanding of danger and fail to adequately childproof their home. A preschool center that takes child safety seriously, knows that childproofing a home doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task. The tip is to start early, have a checklist, and reassess the potential dangers as your child grows and develops.
No matter how careful you are, your home is full of potential safety hazards for young children. The good news is anyone can childproof a home without losing its functionality. A preschool center recommends having a checklist of potential hazards and revising them regularly.
Some obvious things that should be on any checklist include:
Electricity is one of the most dangerous hazards in any home. Homeowners must have regular electricity safety checks to ensure the electrical system is safe and code compliant.
Other ways to ensure that your child is not injured by electricity are:
- Cover all unused, electrical outlets.
- Hide all electrical wires and extension cords. Ensure they are concealed with protective wire coverings or hide them behind heavy furniture.
- Keep all electrical appliances out of a child’s reach when in use. Store in a safe, childproof area when not in use. Never let a child play with electrical appliances, even if they are unplugged.
Child Proofing Furniture
Household furniture can be hazardous to your toddler, especially if your toddler has just started walking or they are at the stage where they use furniture to pull themselves up.
Some ways to childproof furniture are:
- Apply corner guards to any sharp corners.
- Secure heavy pieces of furniture or unsteady items that can be pulled over. Bookcases, shelves, and dressers are often items that toddlers use as leverage. Securing these items can prevent them, or heavy objects placed on them, from toppling onto a child.
A child should never be left unattended anywhere near water.
- Never leave bathwater in the bath or leave a child in the bath unattended.
- Ensure you have a secure swimming pool cover installed at all times. Only remove the pool cover when there is adult supervision.
- Do not leave any buckets or other items containing water unattended, unless they are sealed.
- Keep the toilet closed. Apply a toilet seat locking mechanism if possible.
Childproofing Doors and Windows
Here are some useful tips to avoid little fingers getting slammed in doors, or children entering restricted areas.
- Invest in a few child-safety gates. These easy-to-install, portable gates can be placed across any doorway. They are very useful to keep children out of restricted areas or enclosed in safe areas.
- Good quality, baby-proof door stops will prevent doors from slamming closed on little fingers and toes.
- If windows have blinds, keep the cords and any choking hazards out of children’s reach. Try to install safety blinds that do not have cords or beads, wherever possible.
- Where possible, install windows with the opening mechanism on top. Ensure all windows have good quality window guards.
Childproofing Medication and Other Hazardous Substances
It is advisable to “go green” and try to use natural, plant-based cleaners in the home. Despite doing that, there will always be hazardous/poisonous substances in any household.
This is how to keep your children safe from these items:
- Always keep all medication in a childproof place, far out of reach. Never refer to medication as “sweets/treats” thereby tempting your toddler to try and access them.
- All hazardous cleaning materials must be kept in a lockable cupboard, also far out of reach from little hands. It is advisable to keep all poisonous substances in one area of the home. Make this area inaccessible to children.
- Never decant poisonous substances or medication into other containers. If you have to do so, label the container clearly.
Childproofing Indoor and Outdoor Plants
Some of the most beautiful plants and flowers are unfortunately poisonous when touched or ingested. If you have young children (or pets) in your home, you should not have any of these plants inside the home or anywhere in the garden.
With indoor plants:
- Display them out of reach. Even if they are not poisonous, they will make your baby sick if eaten.
- Do not use decorative gravel, rocks, marbles, or pebbles that could be a choking hazard if the toddler were to gain access to the plant.
Most families spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so everyone must be aware of the potential dangers for children.
- Never leave sharp knives, scissors, or any other sharp objects within a toddler’s reach.
- All cupboards and drawers must be fitted with childproof safety locking devices.
- The garbage/recycling bin must be lockable or have a childproof lid.
- Always keep large appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges, and freezers firmly closed. Toddlers and young children love to explore and play “hiding” games. Large appliances should never look like a temptation.
General Safety In The Home
To childproof your home effectively, you need to think like a child. Get down to their level. Never underestimate your self-confident toddler. A good idea is to crawl on your hands and knees and see potential dangers from their perspective.
- Put all plastic bags and wrapping in a safe place, out of a child’s reach.
- A briefcase or purse is full of hazards. Never leave them lying within reach.
- Ensure all toys are age-appropriate. Discard or mend broken toys.
- Lock all firearms and weapons away. Never expose a toddler to them.
A Preschool Center That Makes Child Safety A Priority
Looking for a preschool center where child safety is a top priority? Providence Children’s Academy, Coconut Creek’s recommended school for early childhood development, believes in partnering with parents to keep the children safe at school and home.
For more safety tips or a tour of our preschool center facility, call us at 954-570-6914 Monday to Friday from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Preschool Center Tips: How To Child-Proof Your Home (Infographic)
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