Safe haven for little ones

Safe haven for little ones

A childproof home, apart from being a cushion for curious kids, lets parents relax and loosen up a bit. So, go on and redo your home for the safety of your tiny tots, urges Simran Chibber

All kids love to explore their homes, especially when their parents are out of sight. In their inquisitiveness to stumble upon thrilling objects, they are ignorant about potential dangers, mishaps and accidents. Well, that is every parent’s worst nightmare, isn’t it? 

So, this year, resolve to make your home childproof to keep your little ones safe, even as they investigate all and sundry around them. A childproof home, apart from being a safe haven for curious kids, lets you relax and loosen up a bit. Here are a few points you might want to consider while redoing your home for the said purpose:

Children’s room

As a parent, you may love to buy stuffed toys for your kids and stack up their rooms with fluffy soft pillows. However, stuffed toys and large pillows pose potential suffocation hazards.

It is better to have firm and flat mattresses rather than the fluffy and bouncy ones for their beds, so that they are not tempted to jump up and down on them, fall off the bed and bruise themselves. 

Design your kids’ playarea in such a way that the door on the toy storage doesn’t slam shut and other main doors do not allow for locking themselves in. Given how tiny kids are, most designers suggest a lock-free environment, not only for the main doors, but also the cupboards and cabinets, in case they snuggle into them!

Make sure the storage racks for small items like mosquito repellents, coils and liquid refills are well above the reach of your children. And in case your children’s toys come with battery chargers and wires, you may want to allot a similar space for them, too.  

The kitchen

Mothers spend most of their time in the kitchen and children often give company. Keeping knives, peelers and graters out of reach is a no-brainer; a childproof, lockable drawer for such items should do the trick. Step-stools, too, are a no-no near gas stoves, lest your little ones climb up to explore what’s cooking!

Install a lockable cabinet, specially, for plastic and litter bags. The same goes for electrical appliances that need to be stored away after use. Preferably, put a childproof lock on such drawers.

It would also be a good practice to unplug electrical appliances after use. For one, it ensures a safe work environment and also helps you save electricity. Another must in a child-safe home is the presence of a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it in case of an emergency.

Bathrooms & staircases

It is necessary to have locked cabinets in bathrooms, to store away razors, blades, scissors, hair-dryers, epilators, shampoos, shower and shaving gels, medication and the like, after use. Also, having the bathroom floor redone with skid-proof tiles would be a wise move. 

Another area that must be child-proofed is the staircase. Install bright and sharp lights at the staircases, and safety gates at the top and bottom of the staircase to prevent accidental falls. Also, make sure you do not use any loose carpeting on the stairs. The railings should be designed  with strong and firm balustrades, placed in such a way that they prevent tiny kids from slipping in between. 

Tiny, tedious details

Decorative knick knacks, especially mirrors and frames that are breakable, around the house might look pretty, but you need to make sure they are out-of-reach of your children and not loose.

Make sure that there are no nails or sharp and chipping pieces protruding from the walls, furniture or shelves and cabinets. Also, it is good to invest in furniture that come with lockable storage  compartments, where you can keep first-aid box handy, in case your child is in urgent need of it.

Install childproof plugs on electrical sockets, everywhere in the house. Do not let any wires run under carpets. And those gorgeous, spotless glassdoors need to be marked with some stickers or hangings, to help prevent accidental collisions.
Better to prevent 

Use bright and sharp lighting along corridors, walkways and stairwells. Do not keep plants, especially cactus, indoors; you never know if they are poisonous when consumed by a curious child.

If your child explores the outdoors as well, you would be wise to ensure that any swings you may have aren’t rusted in places and do not have any sharp edges. If your kids are in the habit of playing on the swing, then place rubber mats, mulch or soft mattress to cushion their fall. Check for uncovered manholes or loose ground in your garden or porch, as these can be life-threatening. 

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