This is a collaborative post.
6 danger points of every home you’ll need to childproof
Starting a family is both stressful and exciting. When you’re preparing to have a child, your number one priority will be keeping them safe. But in every home, there are danger points which can pose a risk to babies and young children. The earlier you can minimise these risks, the more you can relax and start to get excited about bringing a little one into the world.
To help, we’ve gathered six common – but easily forgotten – risks that lurk in every home. Check them out:
- Kitchen appliances
In the kitchen, you should have secured all the cupboards that contain harmful chemicals or sharp utensils. But minimising the risks in the kitchen is also about implementing a new best practice when you’ve got little ones around.
There has been a 20% increase in reports of children putting the brightly coloured packets you use in the washing machine or dishwasher into their mouths. There are serious and sometimes even fatal consequences. Never pre-load your appliances with cleaning products – be ready to set them off before, and secure the chemicals away immediately afterwards.
- Large furnishings
The living room is the part of your home that probably contains the most risks. This is largely due to furnishings – you’ve got to treat every piece of furniture with suspicion. When your children are mobile, bookcases and TVs, for example, could easily become climbing frames in their eyes. If they’re not secured safely to the wall, they could easily fall on top of your child.
- Hand-me downs
When you start a family, there’s no doubt people will ask whether you want clothes or toys their children have grown out of. Indeed, this is a great way of saving money on new things for your little ones. But you’ve got to check whether there are any missing or broken parts, and whether the item is still up to current safety standards. It’s unlikely any parent will hand you something dangerous, but it could have been in the back of their wardrobe for a while.
Similarly, people who aren’t used to being around children could accidentally bring something risky into your home. If you’ve got someone staying with you, they might bring their toiletries – including razors and stronger soaps – and leave them out in the bathroom without thinking. Make sure you give them somewhere secure to leave their belongings.
The looped cords on blinds carry the risk of turning into a deadly noose. European laws introduced in 2014 have made it illegal for blinds to be sold unless they’re fixed to the wall or include a snap-mechanism to fix the cord out of harm’s way.
Elsewhere in the world, efforts have been made to provide free kits which involve clipping loops in cords or mounting a tension device to a wall to prevent the danger of sagging cords. Check any blinds in your house for potential danger, says this Window Covering Safety guide.
Last but not least, we’ve got the potential danger of your garden. As a family, you’ll want to spend time outside in the fresh air. But in addition to securing the garden and any water features, you should check whether your plants could cause any harm. Babies tend to test things out with their mouths and, although poisoning is rare, it’s best to get informed.
How have you improved the safety of your home for children? Share your suggestions with us.