Having kids around the home is one of the greatest joys you’ll ever experience in life — years from now, you will look back and remember the good old days when your grown-up children were just so little and tiny!
You want to fill your home with things you love, and we love nothing as much as our own children. But it’s also important that your home is ready for young kids: child-proofing the home can keep your kids safer, as well as prevent your home from getting damaged.
It’s great that your toddlers are excited and curious, but read these tips to help you make sure that their innocent, playful nature doesn’t result in accidental harm to them or your home.
Lock that Bathroom Up
Toddlers may see a toilet and not really understand the finer points of indoor plumbing. If they see a bowl of water, it’s possible they’ll put something in it. And if they see a lever, you can count on them pressing it down.
That’s why there’s a real risk that they could accidentally flush something valuable down the toilet, or send something down your pipes that could cause them to get clogged. Whether this ends up being a diamond earring or something inexpensive that merely blocks up your pipes, you can avoid this fate by getting a toilet lock.
Your child will still be able to press the flusher down, but at least nothing valuable or problematic will get flushed down. Install a childproof bathroom doorknob if you’d like to prevent them from entering the room without being present.
If it’s too late and there’s already a stubborn blockage in your toilet, there are pro plumbers you can call like Sewer Squad who arrive quickly, and who don’t even charge an extra fee for evening or weekend service. Some problems are too big to solve with just a plunger.
It’s important that the plumber be able to remove the obstruction without making a mess of your plumbing or your washroom. They should be respectful of your home, too.
What to you appears like a beautifully painted white wall may appear to your toddler like a perfect blank canvas! Hopefully, they develop a passion for art, but they should channel their gifts properly, on paper, or on real canvas.
If it’s too late and they’ve already marked up your wall, make sure you clean it off with a solution that matches the implement they used. If they used a wax crayon or lead pencil, you’d be able to scrub it off effectively with non-gel toothpaste.
Magic Marker can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Pen marks can be wiped away with hairspray. Encourage them to draw and paint by all means, but only in ways that are appropriate.
Nailing Bookshelves into the Wall
Toddlers’ natural curiosity can be downright dangerous when they go reaching for heavy things. Tragically, kids around the world have had fatal accidents when playing near bookshelves.
Kids often have a tendency to climb the things around them, and if they treat your bookshelf like it’s a ladder, it’s liable to fall on them if it isn’t secured to the wall. Nail any bookshelf to the wall if kids may play near them.
Even covering the shelves with things like a glass cabinet with a childproof lock is a good idea, because it will keep whatever is on your shelf in place. As you no doubt know, children tend to grab and throw things. To keep what’s placed on your shelf in order, have it safely covered. Toys for older kids may have parts that could be choking hazards for younger kids, so be on the lookout.
Keep Kitchen Hazards at Bay
The kitchen is full of things we need to make delicious food, but there are hazards for young children everywhere. First off, sharp knives and scissors — make sure these are stored somewhere childproofed, so they don’t stumble on something so dangerous for them to handle.
But even things like spices can be dangerous and even fatal if a baby inhales them. There are horrific stories of toddlers rushed to the hospital because they consumed things that seem innocuous, like ground cinnamon. Make sure these are safely stowed away.
Sometimes the kitchen contains substances that could be toxic to children, such as medicine, alcohol, or something else. Put these on a high shelf somewhere safely out of reach.
Do you have a pool in your backyard? It can be a wonderful place to cool down in summer, but it’s also a danger for young children, or even potentially adults. Make sure that there is always a lifeguard who knows how to swim and do CPR whenever kids are swimming.
Also, be sure to have a fence or gate around the pool, which fastens securely, so children don’t go wandering around the water when no adults are present.
The Dangers of Windows
Rooms that are on the second floor or above pose a risk to children if the windows aren’t locked shut. Ensure that the mechanism to keep them locked and in place is closed, so they can’t accidentally open them.
Also, some window curtains have strings or cords that make the blinds open up or close. These can be choking hazards, so be sure to have them covered or removed to avoid strangulation.
Guarding the Corners
Any sharp corners or edges you may have on furniture should be covered with a rubber bumper, so a child doesn’t hurt themselves falling into it. Whether the surface is made of glass or wood, if it’s pointy, it can really do damage.
Be sure to also put plastic guards inside electrical outlets to prevent young children from sticking anything in there, especially metal.
It’s a special stage in life when your kids are this young, one you’ll look back on fondly forever. Just make sure you keep the above tips in mind to make sure your home is safe, both for your own kids and for all their playmates.