One thing that always amazes me is how fast children can injure themselves around the house. While they do play ‘quietly’ sometimes, the most popular games at our house tend to be ones that involve someone getting chased up and down stairs, bouncing off furniture like pinballs, or some kind of acrobatics that make your hair stand on end as a parent. My son once broke his arm simply falling off a double bed that was no more than a foot off the (carpeted) ground. But what are some things we can do to make our homes safer, especially if you’re going from not having children to that first baby coming along?
Plug covers – inconvenient and a bit boring, but worth getting…
If you haven’t seen these before, you can buy little socket covers that you push into your wall sockets to prevent kids from sticking their fingers in. I mean it’s not as easy as you think to put your fingers in there anyway, but it’s well worth getting these. They come in a ten pack and they’re pretty cheap to get. My advice would be don’t get any of the fancy ones, don’t get the lighty up ones, and don’t get any with nice pictures on. Get the most boring ones you can find. That way they’ll be of no interest to your little ones once they start moving around.
Stair gates – what we did wrong!
When it was time to board up the stairs and stop missy climbing up and down them, i didnt like the idea of screwing anything into the wood on the bannisters so we opted for a stair gate that had bits that are meant to screw securely outwards. This is meant to keep the stair gate in place, without damaging your woodwork.
we experienced a real disaster with the upstairs stair gate…
You’ll notice I keep saying ‘meant’! That’s because when my little girl started toddling around, we experienced a real disaster with the upstairs stair gate.
She had gotten old of the bars and must have pushed on them. All I heard was a scream and the most horrendous noise. When I looked what had happened, the stair gate has given way and my daughter had sort of sledged down the stairs on top of it. Miraculously, she was completely unharmed (although made a heck of a racket for a few minutes…) Suffice to say for the second baby, we were more than happy with a little hole in the bannisters. It’s worth doing it properly so you don’t have to worry about and accidents with your stair gate!
Drawers and cupboards can be a bit of a pain
Although my children have never expressed the slightest interest in any of our cupboards (are they that boring?!) you’ve obviously got to take measures to stop them getting in there. When I was a toddler, I got somewhere I shouldn’t have been and downed a bottle of bright blue chemicals that were used to keep my mam and dad’s fish tank clean. A race to the hospital and a flushing out of the stomach later and I’d probably taken years off their lives! Stories like that make you realize the crazy stuff toddlers can get up to.
I’ll take peace of mind over a little frustration any day
For drawers, where all the interesting stuff is – like knives – there’s secure drawer catches that come in packs of around 10+ and only cost a few pounds. They’re dead easy to fix, taking only a few minutes. I mean they’re pretty awkward and you’ll be forever forgetting they’re there, if you’re anything like me. They can be frustrating to have around so you could always only put them on the drawers with anything small or dangerous in there. It’s up to you, but I’ll take peace of mind over a little frustration any day.
Sharp Edges + Toddler Heads = bad idea
We had a lovely designer come in and do our bathroom once. It looked fantastic! But the trouble was it was the least child-friendly thing you’ve ever seen. I mean all sleek, fancy sharp edges. It looked like a fancy hotel. Very nice for adults; a real nightmare for parents with stumbly wobbly toddlers. We did end up grinding some of the corners down. Pretty drastic but it helped a bit.
Another thing you can get is corner guards and safety edges. These are tough little plastic or rubber strips or blobs that you can affix to any nasty sharp edges or corners that your toddler might fall over. It’s amazing how much toddlers do fall over! They have these huge heads that just love smacking off hard surfaces. I know you can get those crash helmets for toddlers but are they the answer? I don’t know.
Window blinds can be dangerous for little climbers
Some people have kids who don’t seem to do this, but other people have young children who are like these amazing monkeys who can climb up just about anything. Our two fall somewhere in between. But I read a news article about the dangers of the chords on some windows blinds and our house was FULL of them. Window blinds are a major cause of injury to children under 6 and can, in come cases, cause very serious injury. The first thing I did was go around the house and snip the circular chord and, where possible, put it out of reach of little children. There’s a good guide on We Have Kids on just this – will worth checking out. your home might not have any dangerous type blinds, but it’s worth checking out.