A Todder-Friendly House – Part 1
Mingled in with the sheer joy of seeing your new offspring grow and start exploring the world, from the cute gurgling noises to the first tentative steps, is a primal fear that every parent understands. Your baby is a vulnerable and utterly trusting being who is wholly unaware of the dangers that lurk in every corner of a home. But you don’t have to feel helpless and impotent when it comes to the harm that could potentially befall your bundle of joy. In fact, there’s plenty you can do to make your flat or house a toddler-friendly environment where nothing bad need happen. A bit of awareness is all that’s required to turn your home into a comparatively safe place for your roaming and adventurous baby to explore. Here’s a few pointers for getting started. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but it should help you develop awareness, which you can then apply to every room in your house.
- The Bathroom. This room is usually full of sharps, including nail scissors and razor blades. Not only that, it can also be home to dozens of objects (cotton buds, aftershaves, scent, pills, bleach, cleaning products) that could be dangerous, even lethal, in the wrong hands. Poisoning and overdose are just two of the hazards that spring to mind. If any of the cupboards, drawers and cabinets in your bathroom are potentially reachable by the roaming hands of a toddler, then it’s a good idea to put sturdy locks on them. Furthermore, even if they have childproof tops, don’t take chances by keeping cleaning products at floor level. Then there’s the loo – it’s not inconceivable that a baby, curious at seeing water, could end up in danger of drowning here, so consider putting a lock/latch on the loo-seat.
- The Sitting Room. Sofas and armchairs are often hiding places for coins and other detritus that could potentially be a choking hazard. Keep yours tidy and free of such debris, making a special effort to check under and around furniture when you’ve had guests. Be careful that decorative items such as potpourri are not within reach of your toddler and make sure that your bookshelves are fixed to the wall so that they can’t topple when pushed or pulled.
- The Kitchen. Another room full of sharps; make sure that drawers and cupboards are out of reach or else locked, and be aware of what you keep on display on surfaces. Do away with fridge magnets altogether – it’s so easy for toddler to try to putting them in their mouths. If there are appliances your toddler could try to get into or otherwise tamper with, then keep their doors firmly locked. Knives, forks, utensils and so on should be locked away rather than placed on counter-tops.
- The Office/Study. Power strips and office supplies can spell danger. Keep sharps (e.g. letter opener) out of reach, along with staples. Cover power strips and electrical goods so that your toddler can’t play with them.
- Electrical sockets/wires. Electrical sockets are, fortunately, designed to be of minimal danger for wandering hands and mouths. However, socket covers will prevent your kid from trying to plug and unplug appliances, so they’re a good idea. Look for frayed wires coming out of any appliance or device because they’re danger signs and run wires behind furniture rather than under carpet.