Whether you’re bringing home your first bundle of joy, growing your family, or revisiting safety methods for your existing children, it’s always good to know the tips and tricks to maintaining a safe and happy home.
Potential dangers to watch out for, depending on the age of your child:
Balconies - As you’re probably already aware, children are small and like to go where they shouldn’t. Make sure the spacing between the bars is narrow enough to prevent small children from squeezing through and injuring themselves, and never leave them on the balcony unattended.
Hazardous materials - It’s best to store medicine, toxic fluids and dangerous chemicals such as bleach and other harsh cleaners out of the reach of children. If you can’t do that, the next best option is to secure cabinets that house these materials with child-proof locks to make sure that only adults can access them.
Sharp corners - As adults, even we sometimes misstep and stub a toe or slam a knee into a sharp corner. For us, it causes a great deal of pain, for children, it can be extremely dangerous to their fragile bodies. There are very effective products on the market that you can adhere to sharp corners and edges to soften them and prevent harm to your children.
Electric sockets - These seem to be a magnet for young curious minds, but are of course extremely dangerous. Buy socket-protectors for all of your electric sockets to prevent inquisitive toddlers from accidentally hurting themselves.
Stairs – Any uneven surface can be unsafe for small children who haven’t developed dexterity in their limbs yet. Baby gates are a great way to keep children who can’t walk yet away from stairs when you’re not with them.
Windows - During warmer weather, we forgot that the mesh screen so common on the outside of windows is actually quite flimsy, and it doesn’t take much pressure to make it give. You can ensure your child’s safety around windows by making sure the opening is not large enough for them to climb through. If the windows are high enough up that a child couldn’t get to it, make sure that there are not climbing surfaces nearby that your child could traverse.
Fire - Do not leave lighters, burners, etc. around children. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of any materials that are hot enough to burn a child, such as pots and pans, and to keep them out of a child’s reach.
Water - What is often a source of so much fun for young children can also be a drowning hazard. There isn’t a designated age for safely allowing children to bathe alone since kids’ abilities in water differ. Exercise good judgement and err on the side of caution when assessing whether your child is old enough to be left alone in the bathtub or pool.
There are plenty of hazards in every home, but with a little preparation and the tips above, you can help your children grow and learn while avoiding danger.