How to Successfully Childproof Your Home
The addition of a new family member is an exciting and important period in the development of your family as a whole. If this is your first child, you'll be learning a lot about the different stages of development as you go along. There is no standard manual, and many people forgo the advice and learn on their own. There's nothing wrong with that, but you should at least be forewarned about the toddler years.
These are the years for exploration and testing boundaries, which is why they are the years you'll want to childproof your home. To make sure your tiny tyke stays safe, here are some tips for areas of your home you may never have thought to be dangers.
1. Secure all Cabinets, Drawers, and Doors
People are naturally curious, and it starts in the early years. Once your little one starts to crawl, he or she will be wanting to explore everywhere and everything.
Behind cabinets and doors, and inside drawers, are dangers your child has yet to learn about. You wouldn't want your child to inadvertently wander into the solar panel battery storage room, or find chemicals under the sink.
To keep this from happening, purchase cabinet locks. For the doors, there are special handle covers that allow only adults to open them.
2. Check the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater
Every hot water heater has a highest temperature setting. While it's unlikely your small tot can reach any water faucets, in just a year or two he or she will.
To protect your child from coming into contact with scalding hot water, set your water heater for a maximum heat of 120 degrees. This setting won't kill bacteria, but it will keep your family safe.
3. Cover Electrical Outlets
If children explore they naturally learn. They test and experiment, though without actually first forming a hypothesis. Since they have yet to learn about the dangers of electricity, purchase outlet covers so your receptacles don't become a subject for experimentation.
4. Gate the Stairs
Even a crawler can maneuver up stairs. However, coming down can prove a bit more difficult. It can also be dangerous. There are many safety gates on the market, and the one you choose could simply be a matter of choice.
Use the safety gate full-time when at home. Looking away for even a few seconds can provide the perfect opportunity for a quick getaway.
5. Fence Around the Pool
If you have a pool, put up a fence around it so your child can never wander to it alone. When you have a pool, it's also a good idea to start swimming lessons young.
Never leave your child unattended at the pool for any length of time. Also, never allow your attention to divert to anything else, such as your phone, when your child is in the pool.
6. Fasten Heavy Furniture to Walls
Children are climbers. If they see something they want, but it's out of their reach, they will look for a creative way to get to it. For this reason, it's a good idea to fasten bookshelves and any other heavy climbable furniture to the walls.
7. Watch for Sharp Corners
If you have a coffee table with sharp corners, you can count on your child getting injured by that corner at least once. Think about replacing any furniture like this, or storing it until your child is older. You can also find corner guards that will protect against injury.
Raising children is not for the faint of heart. It will always be challenging. The biggest challenge for any parent is getting past the toddler years. Your child is just beginning to understand you while resisting your propensity for authority. While they're challenging, it will be hard to resist that cute little pleading face and you'll find yourself smiling often. Congratulations on your new bundle, and stay safe.