Child-proofing the home
The following are some handy tips and hints on how to childproof the home – increasingly a necessary must for homeowners and investors alike.
Kitchen and Wet Areas:
- Scald-preventing devices are installed on bathroom taps, so the temperature of bathwater can be measured, and the water thermostat is turned down to 37 degrees Celsius.
- Unplug and store all electrical gadgets.
- Install latches and/or locks on cabinets, drawers and lids (toilets are a great place for kids to throw items into).
- Keep handles and cords out of reach by facing handles into the centre of the stove, bench or towards the rear wall. Cords should be kept short.
- Store cleaning supplies, hygiene products and other points and dangerous items such as razors, knives, etc in a locked closet or cabinet.
Living and Sleeping Areas:
- Securely attach entertainment and shelving units to the wall to prevent them falling onto, or being pulled down by, a child.
- Place screens, preferably wall mounted, around fireplaces, radiators and other heating units.
- Shorten strings and cords on curtains and blinds or tie them up as high as possible to avoid children becoming tangled in them.
- Remove any poisonous plants and ensure house plants are kept out of a child’s reach.
- Ensure pools, and spas, are fully fenced, with well-maintained, self-closing gates.
- Fence off play areas from the street and the driveway because cars and kids don’t mix.
- Safely store mobile BBQ’s, and ensure they are properly covered when not in use.
- Place safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases, and in doorways leading to rooms deemed unsafe or housing valuable and breakable items.
- Accordion style gates with large openings that children could fit their heads through should be avoided.
- Protect electricity outlets with plastic tamper-proof socket covers, to prevent children from inserting fingers and other objects into the sockets.
- Place stickers on glass doors and low level windows so children don’t run into them and move furniture with sharp corners, such as coffee tables, out of hallways and other places where children run about. Pad sharp corners with foam or cushioning.
- Never leave a small baby or child alone with pets or other children as they may unintentionally hurt the child or pet and cause it to nip, bite or hurt the child in return.
- Never leave a bucket of water in or around the home. Children can drown in inches of water.
- Never place a crib, bassinet, high chair, play pen or swing near a window.
- Keep plastic bags and deflated or burst balloons away from young children – they can choke or suffocate very easily.
- Babies should never be placed on anything above the ground, like a changing table, unless you have a hand placed on the baby.