10 tips for making your home child friendly

You can make your home as safe as is possible, but you are your most important safeguard. Young children must be watched constantly.

Even if your home has been childproofed, it takes one second for babies and toddlers to fall, run over to a hot stove, or put dangerous items in their mouths.

Most household accidents happen in areas with:

  • water – in the bathroom, kitchen, swimming pool or even a bucket of water
  • heat or flames – in the kitchen or at the braai area
  • dangerous substances – under the kitchen sink, in the medicine cabinet, in the garage or even in your handbag
  • fall potential – on stairs, slippery floors, from windows, or from furniture
  • choking hazards – Keep an eye out for tiny objects that your child could choke on. Pick up any coins, marbles, beads, paper clips, and other small objects on low tables or the floor.

Safety measures you can take

Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases and keep them securely closed.

Make sure that buckets have lockable lids and install snap locks on toilet lids. Small children are top heavy and can easily drown in a little water.

If you have a pool, you should have a fence with a lockable gate as well as a safety net.

Store medicines and chemical cleaners in closed, preferably locked cupboards, out of reach of any furniture children can climb on.

Install plastic safety guards in all unused plug points to keep out curious little fingers, and put snap locks on low cupboard doors.

Hide lamp and appliance cords behind heavy furniture as they may topple over if your baby pulls on chords.

Attach cushioned corner-and-edge protectors to coffee tables and desks. They may not prevent a fall but they can help lessen an injury.

It is best if your kitchen is gated as it is a room full of risks. Make it off-limits when you are not around. When cooking, make sure that the handles of pots and pans are turned away from the edge. A pan handle can look very tempting to a curious child.

Put non-slip pads under mats that don’t already have non-slip backs.

Keep your car locked even when parked in the driveway or garage.

 

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