Having a child is one of the most exciting times of your life, and sometimes it can also be the scariest. Whether you are a growing family that has just moved for an extra bedroom, or you are staying in the same house after starting your family, these 5 child safety tips will make your home more safe for your children.
5 “beyond the basics” child safety tips to help make your home safe for kids
Children are very curious, tiny humans who have not yet learned what is safe and what isn’t. As the movie UP says, “Adventure is Out There” and your child is just going to go straight for it, full of courage and fearlessness.
We understand that, as a parent, you are always giving 150% to keep your child safe, but no matter how much we believe we can do it, we can’t always be there to catch a fall or stop a wandering finger from touching a hot pan.
Now, before you continue reading, take a glance around and make sure any young ones near you are fast asleep or safely occupied. Here are our 5 “beyond the basics” child safety tips to help make your home safe for kids.
1. Childproof Home Staircase Gates
Did you know that injuries related to falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children ages 0-19? Well, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are about 2.8 million fall-related emergency room visits every year. Installing staircase gates at the top AND bottom of your stairs will help prevent your child from a long tumble. Luckily, you can get safe reliable ones that are relatively cheap.
Here is a great blog post that describes the different types of baby gates you can get https://www.thebump.com/a/best-baby-gates
2. Childproof Home Windows with “Window Stops”
In Southern Oregon, our summers can get very hot. If you are trying to save money and energy, a nice cool breeze from an open window can make a huge difference in circulating air throughout your home. Having this circulation is not only good for you, but it is also good for your child who will be better able to run around in your playroom without overheating. We recommend childproofing your windows with “window stops” as compared to “window locks”.
You may be asking yourself, what’s the difference? To clarify, “window locks” prevent the opening and closing of a window, but do not provide any safety measures after the window has been opened. Therefore, “window stops” allow you to choose how far a window can be opened. If you set the stop at 4 inches, for example, fresh air can circulate and your children cannot inadvertently fall out or climb out of the window.
3. Childproof Home Cabinets with “Safety Locks”
Now, here is where you want the equivalent of a “window lock,” but, in this case, for your household cabinets. Child safety locks will prevent your curious toddler from getting into places that aren’t safe. These locks will prevent them from locking themselves in a broom closet, opening up the toilet seat, or hurting themselves with a sharp kitchen utensil.
All the colorful household cleaners beneath the sink are poisonous to everyone in the house—including your pets. The CDC reports 300 cases every day of poison-related injuries to children. Don’t forget to install locks on all cabinets and closets containing cleaning products. Also, people often forget to install a safety lock on their oven and install a safety guard over stovetop controls. Don’t forget this!
Pro Tip: Leave one cabinet unlocked, such as the one that stores your plastic storage containers, so that your child can still have fun in the kitchen with you while you cook dinner.
4. Childproofing the Tub
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4. This occurs more than you’d like to think because children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.
Don’t be misled by all the happy sounds and playful splashes; “tub time” is a time for parents to be extra vigilant. However, there are a few safety tips which will help to make “tub time” a fun AND safe time for all.
Installing both non-skid tub mats and suction cup grab bars will help prevent any sudden slips. Also, be sure to check the water temperature in the tub before putting your child into it. We suggest buying a water thermometer for the tub and making sure the water isn’t anywhere close to 120 degrees because that can scald your child in an instant. If bath time is a daily routine for your family, finding non-toxic bath toys that don’t leak any chemicals over time is definitely worth researching. Luckily, another concerned parent has already done the legwork for how to get your child clean safely here.
5. Childproof from a Child’s Perspective
This Child Safety tip may seem a bit odd but is undoubtedly the most fun and inexpensive way to make your home safe for kids.
So far, you have only imagined what could go wrong or taken advice from others, such as from this blog, but now it’s time to take your child’s safety into your own hands. We suggest doing this with a partner or close friend as it will make for a hilarious afternoon bonding activity.
This doesn’t take a lot of instruction, just use your own judgment. Let’s begin. You can start in any room, but you must now get on your hands and knees. Get all the way down to where you would be eye level with your child if your child was with you. They may even want to join you on this little adventure. Now start crawling!
Go room to room, literally crawling around the entirety of your home on your hands and knees. During this process, pretend you are new to this world and know nothing about safety. Look for anything and everything you can pull or push over, use as a stepping stool to climb to new heights, or crawl under things to explore.
Doing this exercise will allow you to explore every inch of your house from your child’s perspective and level of curiosity. You may even find things that you would be shocked to know still exist in your already “childproofed” home. For example, while crawling under the TV stand you might find an old ant trap, a dangling electric chord, or that last elusive outlet without a cover. Or, you might even discover that, after summiting the woodpile by the fireplace, you now have easy access to a box of matches.
We hope you aren’t able to push over a bookcase that hasn’t been attached to a wall or find any other surprises for that matter, but either way, you’ll be better off knowing what’s out there within reach of your youngest family members.
Whether your child is an infant, toddler, or growing up faster than you’d ever have imagined, having the safest house possible will allow you rest easy and enjoy your time together. We hope these child safety tips are helpful and that you’ll share our ideas—as well as any new ideas you come up with—with others!
At KDA Homes, our mission is to be pioneers in smarter home design leading the way for sustainability in real estate development and green building. If you’re interested in being a part of a sustainable community in Ashland, Oregon please contact us today to learn more about KDA Homes currently on the market.