Our little ones are our pride and joy, aren't they? But parenting isn't always easy! There's so many things that as a parent you need to do to keep them safe. One of the most important things is making sure that your home environment is safe for your little ones. That’s why it's vital to make the transition from grown up house to child-proofed home.
I wasn't enthralled about making these changes to my own home pre-Bert, but, I now understand how important each of them are, and they have FOR SURE saved my bacon (or Bert's bacon I guess!) on multiple occasions when he otherwise would have hurt himself.
So, what do I need to check/get pre-little one's arrival?...
Ok, so unless they are a 'super' baby, you probably won't need your baby gates straight away, but it never hurts to be prepared does it? Baby gates are such a great thing for when they start walking. You know then that they will be safe and not able to wander off to any parts of the house that might prove dangerous (kitchen, stairs, bathroom etc).
Window locks are also essential if you have little ones, especially if you have furniture like your sofa near to your windows. Remember that once they start crawling, they start climbing too! So you want to make sure that they can't use the window as an unsafe exit. You can also get windows that lock while they are open. They basically only open a tiny smidgen to let air in and keep your home well-ventilated, with the use of restrictors. This is a useful idea if you like to have a breeze in the room but still need a child proof safety feature. We have literally only just discovered that our windows can do this...and as a household with a house-cat who doesn't go outside (hence we never leave windows open) this discovery has been a god-send!
Sometimes the safety risk of heavy doors with young children is one that is missed. We can become so used to it, that we just forget that the door is there and a potential risk. But consider those little fingers and how easy it is to get them trapped in a closing door. Ouch! That's why it's essential to have a latch, chain or stopper that holds the door in place when its open or stops its from closing fully into the frame. Then it can't swing back under its own weight and cause injury!
Corner covers are essential for table and cupboards with very sharp points, especially if they are at your toddler's level. You can get a nasty bump on the noggin from a sharp corner and of course, they can pose a real risk to the little one's eyes and face too! You can buy corner protectors from mothercare and online.
Another safety issue that few parents think about is making sure that any pest control issues are sorted out. Remember your child will be crawling along the floor, often where the pests route is, so the risk of contamination is high.
Some pests provide a direct risk to children and adults alike like wasps. Especially as it's so hard to know whether your little ones will have an allergic reaction. That's why it's so important to get these things sorted as soon as you see a hint of them. It's just not worth the risk. We had an issue a few years ago when we found we had a wasps nest in our front room wall - we got it sorted straight away as I was so scared of baby-Bert getting stung!
If you have a pool or pond, it's very important that you take some safety measures into account once you have children. Most people cover their pools or ponds to some degree, but you need to make sure that you are using the right type of cover to protect your child. Netting and flexible covers are good for keeping out animals and debris like leaves, but they can pose a risk to humans: people can get caught up in them, and then find themselves stuck and unable to get out. Doesn't bare thinking about! Rigid covers are the best in terms of safety, as they will not give way, even if someone steps on them, making them a much safer option.
I hope this has been useful for all you new parents, child minders etc.
Have I missed anything? I hope I've covered all the basics!
(This is a collaborative post)