Especially if you’re not accustomed to the mischievous ways of little ones, child-proofing your house can be a big task! Multiple hazards, many of them hidden, are present in every room. Ensure you’ve got them covered and children remain safe in your home by following these five “must-do’s” when it comes to child-proofing.
1. In the kitchen:
-Put child locks on all cupboards, cabinets and drawers. Store dangerous stuff like cleaning fluids in a high, locked cupboard. Keep all knives locked away.
- Remember spices and seasonings can be dangerous, in particular, table salt, vanilla essence and cooking wine. Store these items away from little hands.
- Drinks, particularly hot ones and dishes should always be kept away from the edges of countertops, where they can easily be pulled down.
- Teach your child about the dangers of the oven and stove top as early as possible. Use the back hobs whenever possible and always turn handles inwards. Keep appliances unplugged when not in use.
2. In the bathroom:
- When kids are really little, keep toilet doors locked, as it’s possible an inquisitive child could fall in and drown.
- Always use slip resistant mats in the tub
- Set your hot water to 50 degrees Celsius. Always check the temperature before placing your tot into the bath, and never EVER leave them unattended
- Put child safety locks on all bathroom cupboards, ensuring items such as mouthwash, medicines, razors, perfumes, toothpaste and cleaning fluids, all of which can be extremely dangerous, are out of reach.
3. In the lounge:
- Always wrap your blind cords in cleats at least 1.6 m off of the floor to avoid potential strangulation
- Pad the corners of tables etc. to avoid nasty accidents
- Place a secure guard around the fire and/or heater
- Cover all unused power points with guards and use a cord shortener to keep your cables out of reach of children. Run cables behind furniture wherever possible.
4. In the children’ bedrooms:
- -Only use a cot if it meets Australian Safety Standards. Position it away from blind cords.
- Anchor heavy items like chests of drawers to the floor or wall, as kids will climb on them!
- Don’t hang pictures above your baby’s cot, as they could fall down
5. Other areas of your home:
- Prevent nasty falls by installing sturdy safety guards across entries to stairs and balconies.
- Lock all windows, particularly those located above ground floor level, or install high quality window guards
- Anchor heavy objects to the wall or floor.
- Put stickers on glass doors at kids’ eye level
- Keep the laundry and home office doors locked
- Ensure all pools and spas have fences and gates meeting Australian Standards.