When you have children, their safety and wellbeing are always going to be at the forefront of your mind. You want the best for them and you want them to stay out of harm’s way as much as possible. Of course, when we think of potential threats to our children, we tend to think of the outside world. But your home could play host to a number of potential accidents, injuries or other issues too. Your home should be your family’s safe haven and this is a space that you have full control over, so there are a number of steps you can actively take to make your living spaces child-friendly and safe for your little ones. First and foremost, there are an endless number of steps that you can take to maximise your little one’s safety while they’re in the home. Many of us have homes designed in ways that are primarily targeted to benefit adults. But children don’t know what’s safe and what’s not in the way that we do and can often run into types of trouble that we hadn’t even considered. Here are just a few safety suggestions for your home that could prove extremely important.
Opt for Curtains Over Blinds
Many of us opt for blinds over curtains in our home design, as they tend to be lower maintenance and can often look more sleek and minimalist. But few people are aware of the threat that blinds can pose to children. They can be risky when you have little ones, mainly due to the cords that are used to raise blinds up and lower them down. Of course, you’re going to want to do as much as you can to minimise potential harm to your children, so consider switching blinds out for curtains. There’s a reason that blinds tend to come with warning labels for children. The cords attached to blinds can quickly and easily get tangled around children who are often tempted to play with them. Unfortunately, there have been a number of cases where cords have wrapped around children’s necks and proven fatal. This is a risk that most are unwilling to take. Of course, if you do want to stick with blinds, you can make them safe. Just make sure to fit the cord holders that come with your blinds and wrap the cord up and out of the way on them every time you use them. This will significantly minimise risk.
Fix Furniture to the Walls
Another step that people tend to forget to take is securely fixing large pieces of furniture to walls. This can often include cabinets, bookcases and more. Why do you need to do this? Well, in the mind of a child, these pieces of furniture can often look like fun climbing frames. If unsecured and a child does attempt to climb the furniture, it could topple, harming them or causing further damage. Nowadays, most furniture comes with safety tabs on the back that can be screwed into the wall, preventing the furniture for toppling and minimising risk of accidents. Of course, you should monitor your children at all times and prevent them from climbing in the first place. But this acts as a good safety back up.
Fit Cupboard Locks and Oven Locks and Pipes with Secure Valves
If you have particularly curious or mischievous little ones, you may want to consider investing in cupboard and oven locks. Kids often want to explore and will delve in and out of anything they can. The problem is that sometimes the contents of cupboards can prove to be dangerous for children. This could include medicine, plastic bags, cleaning detergents and more. You don’t want your little one ingesting anything that they shouldn’t or placing plastic bags over their heads. Cupboard locks can prevent them from getting into the cupboard in the first place, keeping your little ones safe while they explore the home. Locks on the buttons or knobs on your oven are also something that you should consider investing in. This is particularly important if you have a gas oven. These locks will prevent your littles ones from turning the gas or heat on without you knowing about it, preventing potentially fatal or hazardous situations from developing. Finally, any pipes should have safety valves to prevent your children from turning them on or off and potentially flooding your home.
Use Storage Solutions
Kids have a lot of belongings and these can pose trip hazards. Every parent has experienced the pain of standing on a Lego brick or slipping on a small car at some point or another. But these incidents should be minimised. Make sure that there’s a space for all of your child’s belongings. Toy boxes and chests for toys. Quality built in wardrobes for their clothes. Small, accessible bookshelves for their books. Storage boxes for art supplies. This list goes on. Not only is this important for general safety, but it’s a good idea for general organisation and neatness too!
Manage Your Garden
Your garden is another space you should manage in regards to your child’s safety. There are a number of potential threats that should be tackled where possible. Start out by going around your garden’s perimeter. Ensure that the fencing is all entirely intact. Small cracks and gaps could be widened or further chipped away at by little ones, creating a route out of your garden. Replace any fence panels that could potentially break the security of your garden. Next, take a look at all of the plants that you have around. Some could be toxic if ingested. These should be removed. Sure, children shouldn’t eat plants in the garden, but many will give it a try. When planting new flowers and trees, make sure that they are non-toxic. A small amount of online research will be able to let you know which options are safe and which are not. You should also keep an eye on any paving slabs that may become uneven. These could pose a trip hazard for children when they are running around the garden. Have them levelled if you start to notice any raising or falling below the others.
Move Into A Modern Home
Older homes tend to have a lot of character. But if you compare them to those created by Australian building icons Coral Homes, they contain a lot of hazards. Perhaps the most obvious is old wiring. But there are so many others, such as lackluster fire safety standards, toxic building chemicals and so on.
Thus, if you really want to improve the interior environment for your children, sometimes moving to a new build property is your only option. Older houses simply present too many risks.
Of course, these are just a few suggestions. But they’re definitely worth taking into consideration and tackling to make your home as child-friendly as possible!