As a parent, protecting your toddler from harm is a top priority – and that awareness needs to start at home. Our houses are full of hazards for small humans that we, as adults, may not even think about.
1. Movie Night
Your munchkin may be mad about Moana and try to cue up the Blu-ray all by herself, but an unanchored TV screen can topple over and cause serious harm. Securely mount your screen to the wall to prevent toddlers from grabbing and pulling it down onto themselves.
2. Dress Down
If a piece of furniture is taller than your toddler, take the time and fasten it to the wall or floor. Thousands of kids are treated in the ER each year due to injuries sustained by unsecured dressers, bookshelves, tables and other heavy household items. Be proactive and check your home for these items that should be secured.
3. Window to the Soul
Windows that swing open unfettered present a huge safety risk for young ones that are small enough to squeeze through. If a window can open more than seven centimetres, it needs a window guard. If the window is crank operated, you’ll need removal shafts. Putting guards on any window that’s low to the floor or part of a window seat is also a must.
4. Low Blow
Low cabinets are used to house some pretty toxic-to-toddler concoctions; such as dishwasher detergent, spray cleaners and drain solution. If you need to keep them low, pop them into a childproof lock box and add an additional child-proof latch to the cabinet door. Alternatively, put toxic items high up – but remember, toddlers are great climbers.
5. Lock Down
Check if your dishwasher has a lock setting, to stop little hands from getting inside. There are also some common-sense rules, such as storing knives blade down and emptying the trays immediately once the wash cycle is done. Ingesting dishwasher detergent is a serious threat to small digestive systems, so run the dishwasher as soon as you deposit the detergent.
6. Go Cordless
Toddlers may have the time of their lives pulling blinds up and down, but those long cords pose a serious strangulation hazard. If they’re looped pull cords, cut them so they become two free-hanging strands. Or better yet, opt for a cordless window covering.
7. Fire Power
Toddler-proofing a fireplace should be step one in any home equipped with a woodstove or fireplace. Use flame-resistant gates whenever a fire is burning, and lock the stove door when it’s not in use. Also, keep any fire-stoking tools far from reach. Also, consider foam-padding the edge of the hearth to protect little heads. Non-wood-burning fireplaces often have small rocks or crystals, so be sure to remove those as they are a potential choking hazard.
8. Tub Time
Bubbles and rubber duckies make bath time fun, but a stream of scalding water can bring that to a screeching halt. Adjust the temperature on your hot-water tank, setting it below 48 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, consider installing an anti-scalding device, which is designed to turn off the faucet when the temperature gets too high. Also, add a cute rubber spout cover to the faucet to protect your toddler from bumps and bruises.
9. Doors Open
Harsh but true: slamming doors is among the main causes of finger and thumb amputations among children. To avoid this scary scenario, install devices that prevent interior doors from closing all the way. Alternatively, hang a small towel over the door to prevent it from shutting tightly and too suddenly.
There’s a lot to think about when child-proofing your home, but as the saying goes, safety first. Armed with this list and a little bit of effort, you can take your worries from a ten to a two.