When we become parents, one of the first thing we start thinking about is making the home safer for playing kids. I know that we have made many changes since having our first child, Mr Z, 6 years ago. As soon as he began crawling and pulling himself up to explore his surroundings we quickly realised a few changes would have to take place as we started to move breakable items higher up and cover up or remove any hazards. Now with three kids running around, our home is well and truly child proofed. I’ve shared tips and advice on this topic before and today I have a guest post sharing some more home safety tips with you.
MAKING THE HOME SAFER FOR PLAYING KIDS
The home is a family unit which reflects the owner’s unique style and choice in furnishings, such as attractive coffee tables, and other decorative home furniture, along with utility appliances, IT equipment, fittings, and collectables. When all these items are considered in the light of child safety in the home, there are a number of aspects that need to be taken into account.
SECURING CERTAIN ITEMS
The first thing that comes to mind is advice given on an ABC TV news report on child safety at home, presented by WTAE President & General Manager Charles W. Wolfertz. In it, he tells viewers to “secure heavy furniture and televisions”. This is to ensure that they do not fall over and seriously injure the child. Mounting a flat screen TV securely on the wall is the best option, and firmly securing heavy furniture and placing it in an appropriate part of a room out of the way in a corner is the best course of action. Items such as non-glass coffee tables do not pose a danger, and are very practical as they are easy to reach for toddlers and older children, and can be positioned somewhere in the room where they can put their food and drink, toys, homework, and books or i-pad on.
Children are inquisitive by nature, and taking steps so they avoid electrical shocks, or trip over loose wires is vital. All outlets should be covered with safety plugs, major appliances must be grounded, and all long wires should be securely fastened against the wall. Potential fire hazards, for example: overloaded sockets, and under-carpet wiring should be avoided. Computers and hi-fi equipment needs to be positioned against the wall, and not put on coffee tables.
HEATING APPLIANCE SAFETY
Where necessary, child-proof screens should be put on radiators and other appliances such as baseboard heaters; and gas fireplaces can be made safe by utilising a key or cover.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
The NHS draws attention to the importance of keeping household chemicals, medicines, and cigarette lighters and matches securely locked away, or out of reach. They also draw attention to the fact that even child-proof devices can be infiltrated by some children.
In summary, there are are many pitfalls that can easily be avoided by having the appropriate home furniture, securing heavy furniture and electrical appliances; and making minor adjustments to utility installations.
Photo credit: Child near the socket – Shutterstock. Partnered Post