Your child is growing up so fast and just on the verge of being able to crawl, it’s all so exciting and very cute but there are a few things that come along with crawling that you may have to stop and think about. A crawling mobile baby is owe who can now start getting into all those draws and rooms that were once not a worry. So before your baby reaches his or her mobile stage it’s really important to take a scan of your house and work out possible dangers and hazards to your child. Luckily these are mostly pretty easy fixes that so many parents have worked out before, to help you out we’ve created a checklist to make it a little easier for you to spot potential hazards and make the right changes so you’ll be able to enjoy your child’s crawling and walking phases without being stressed about dangers within the home.
– Draws and cupboards
– Sharp and heavy objects
– Bench tops
Bathroom and Toilet
– Cleaning Chemicals
– Screens and shower curtains
– Changing table
– Power outlets and cords
– Electronic Devices
– Water Safety
The kitchen may seem like the most daunting place because of all the sharp knives, heavy pots and pans and draws full to the brim. But don’t stress too hard there are simple steps that can be taken so you wont have to worry when your toddler cruises around the kitchen area or just wants to sit by you and help prepare dinner!
Depending on what style handle you have on your draws and cupboards there are multiple options of different fasteners that you can attach to your handles to make them childproof. Some operate like lock ties joining two handles together and some for slide out doors stick to the front and side of the door with release buttons only an adult can work. They may seem like they will make your life in the kitchen a little harder but it’s worth the few seconds of inconvenience for your own piece of mind.
Knives are obviously a big concern in the kitchen, no one want their child accidentally putting themselves. If your knives are not stored in a draw that can be baby proofed but instead stored or metal strips or in a wooden knife block then you may have to rethink your arrangement. Even though they are up and out of the way with it won’t take your walking baby long to learn how to push chairs up on to benches and all of a sudden those things are in reach. There are baby proofing knife blocks that you can purchase that have a release button on the side to that even if your child can reach them there is no way to get them out.
Heavy objects likes pots and pans are also a big kitchen concern so it’s important you find either a draw that you can fasten to keep them in or hooks high enough not to be reached. Always remember when cooking or leaving pot on the bench top or stove to keep the handles facing in so there is no risk of a child reaching for it and tipping the pot or pan.
Bench tops can often be somewhere your child ends up sitting so they can stay close you while you are cooking or cleaning so it goes without saying that you should always keep them clear of hot pots and pans and sharp objects. Bench tops though can also be a fall hazard so if you are wanting you child to be sitting up with you, invest in a kitchen tower which is a sturdy high chair a child can stand in and be at your level without the risk of toppling.
When using your kitchen appliances such as blenders and mixers be careful to keep them well away from your child and do not leave them out and plugged in on your bench top. It’s amazing where little fingers will end up and you don’t want them being cut if they accidentally press the wrong button.
Mostly you will be with your child in the bathroom but once they are at the crawling and walking age they can escape your vision pretty quickly so it’s best to have everything safe in case they wander into the wrong room.
You will always be with your child during bath time, but for all other times make sure you never leave any water in the bath tub, as kids are top heavy they can over balance easily if they were fishing around for a toy in the bath or sink so make sure no water is left in the bottom no matter how small and always put bath and sink plugs in high up places.
The easiest place for cleaning chemicals is often the bottom of the bathroom cabinet or next to the toilet but now you have a toddler around you do not want anything toxic in an easy to reach place. If you have no other space for your cleaning supplies make sure you put a childproof lock on your cabinet. But if you have space up the top of your laundry cupboards well and truly out of the way then that is even better.
Shower curtains are not known for being solid and often their flimsiness can be a hazard, if a child clings to it wanting support the weight of the child can often pull the curtain down and trap your child under it. So if you do use a shower curtain then make sure you always drape the bottom over the top rod so it is out of reach. Sliding glass screens in your shower can also be a concern. Make sure yours in sturdy enough to take a bit of weight and if not then its worth while investing in a screen that is stringer and wont break with the weight of a toddler pulling on it or falling into it.
A child’s bedroom and playroom can be where they spend a lot of their time alone if they have just woken from a nap or are having their own quiet time so it’s very important the room is secure enough you don’t have to stress about them being in their on their own.
Changing tables can be a great thing to try and climb in the eyes of a child so make sure yours is sturdy enough to take a bit of weight and that you don’t leave anything lotions that you don’t want spread out over the whole house on top of it!
Cribs and cots are another large item in their room and just a big climbing frame in their eyes. Make sure their cot is always secure and if the room isn’t softly carpeted then put a nice thick rug under what could possible be the landing zone if they do manage to climb out and over the bars. It’s good to have a crib that is not too high off the ground so in the event of a jail break there is not to far to fall!
Children love putting things in their mouths, which often ends up with them trying to eat all kinds of toys! So if you are going to be leaving them in a space where they can move around and grab things make sure there are no swallowing hazards around. Keep in their room only toys they are safe to play with without supervision.
The house living areas is where your child will probably spend most of their time stumbling around after you and keeping themselves amused while you get on with the day to day running of things. If you have a few large living areas it can be daunting to start thinking of all the changes you will have to make to childproof these areas, but just take it one step at a time and you’ll be done in no time at all.
Leaving any kind of extension cord laying around loosely is a big no, it’s both a tripping hazard and an electrical hazard, if you do require extension cords in your living areas then have them taped down and slid to the back or furniture so they are as out of the way as possible. Power outlets can also be a concern as kids seem to love trying to stick objects into any kind of hole! There are cheap and easy solutions for this in the form of plastic outlet covers you can buy that fit onto the sockets and can’t be pulled off by tiny hands. A quick and easy solution that will take you no time at all.
Just like in the kitchen you will have draws in your living areas filled with things you don’t want tiny hands touching. It’s easy to put fasteners on these at the same tie as you fit out your kitchen to ensure your things stay safe just as much as your child! Some coffee tables and furniture can also have very sharp edges that are just about the right size for little heads to bump into, so until your child develops more special awareness it may be a good idea to invest in some table edge guards. You can get these in a range of fun colours or neutral colours to suit your décor and in a few different styles, as soft strips or corner pieces you slide over your existing hard edge. They are relatively in expensive and will safe a lot of bruises and scrapes on your little ones head.
If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home to keep a beautiful heat in winter then you will have to be extra careful with your toddling child. When they are first learning to move they are still a bit young to understand the dangers of fire and so you’ll have to be extra vigilant and install a fireguard. They come in all different style so that you’ll be sure to find one to match in with your home. Hen installing your free standing fireguard make sure it is large enough that hands cannot slip though and connect with the hot sides of the fireplace.
In this modern age our homes are often filled with some many different electronic devices and as you know these can be very fragile, so for the sake of the safety of your good always keep your lap tops tablets and phones out of reach or in locked draws. Children are so drawn to screens and chances are they’ve seen you use yours and are fascinated by them so if you have something lying around they wont resist trying to work it themselves. As well as the damage they can cause to your device, a smashes screen can also be a hazard for a baby with tiny sharps of glass being very hard to pick up and even the possibility of glass splinters going into your child’s hands. So always keep your devices well out of reach.
Halls ways and passages are those little in between place soften forgotten about, when you putting power socket guards in your bedrooms and living area don’t neglect the hallways.
Stairs, for obvious reasons are a bit of a danger zone. Luckily there are some great stair gates you can put across both upstairs and downstairs entrances that are easy enough for an adult to step over but big enough that a child will not be able to clamber over the top. As well as your stair guards pay attention to your upstairs railings. Make sure your gaps are small enough that you can’t fit a child’s head through and it they are not then it’s time to get handy and install some extra slats so that there is no chance of your baby squeezing through and topping out.
No matter the size of your back or front yard whether it be big or small there all still safety precautions you need to take if you have a newly mobile child. Make sure to take a very good look at all the possible risks even if you think you’re child will be in your view all the time there can always be moments where you may quickly leave them for a minute to answer the phone or even help out another older or younger child, so your area needs to be friendly enough that they can’t get into danger too quickly.
Water is a huge danger zone and needs to be taken very seriously. If you have a pool then you should have it properly fenced off by your cities guidelines but it’s not only pools that can be a danger. Ponds large and ornamental can be a water hazard no matter how shallow. If you have a larger size pond then consider putting up a temporary fence around it or a sturdy wire grate over the top so an inquisitive child won’t have a change of falling onto the water. There are many companies that do beautiful pond cover designs that you can put out without having to compromise on looks and know that your baby will be safe. Kiddie pools can also be a danger. Many are only small and have a tiny amount of water in them but a child should never be left unattended in or around one that have water in. Make sure to property drain the water out after each use.
Be aware of what gardening tools you leave out. Shovels can have very sharp edges and even trowels can be great incidental weapons for young children! Always put your things always after using them and make sure you have a secure garden shed you are able to lock or shut so that a toddling child can’t make their way into it.
Gardens are a wonderful thing for a child to grow up with. They love seeing things grow and especially edible foods that smell and taste great. Children should be encourages to play around plants but as a parent you will have to be careful of what you have growing and what weeds there may be that could cause sickness if ingested. The kids of fertilizers you use is also something to think about. We all know kids love putting anything in their mouths so be sure you are not using fertilizers that contain harmful chemicals that could possible make your child sick. Using some edging and fencing around your vegetable gardens can also be a good idea more for keeping for edible food safe from over enthusiastic eaters!
Baby proofing may seem like a daunting task but it is well worth if for the peace of mind it will offer you knowing your toddler can roam fairly freely around your house and garden without coming to any great harm. Ask other parents what their tips and tricks are also and always keep your eyes open for potential hazards.