Is Your Home Baby Friendly?
As your child quickly progresses from rolling to crawling and walking, a whole host of hazards present themselves in the form of everyday household items.
Long before your little one is on the move, carry out a risk assessment. The progress from rolling to crawling across the room is fast, so be prepared. The best way to do this is to get a child’s eye view of your home by getting down to their level – you’ll be amazed at what you’ll notice as a ‘child’ that passes you by as a grown up.
Check the stability of low coffee tables, chests and cabinets too – these are the things your baby will undoubtedly make a lunge for when trying to pull themselves up.
“I used rubber bands on my kitchen and bathroom cupboards, as the normal latches didn’t fit,” says Joanna, mom to one-year-old Cian. “Rather than saying no all the time and making it more desirable, I left the saucepans, plastic containers and his melamine plates and bowls in a low cupboard so that he could still play with something, without the risk of injury or breakages.”
Pay careful attention also to your pet’s feeding bowl, plug-in air fresheners, doorstops and other such items which can often be overlooked. While they don’t outright seem dangerous, it is inevitable that your crawling baby will make it her new favourite toy. Heated appliances like kettles and irons are an obvious danger – but what about other ‘hot’ electricals like hair straighteners, tongs and dryers that often get set down to cool?
Baths, basins, garden ponds, water features and swimming pools do of course pose a very real threat, and children should never be left unattended in or near them. Even filled bowls and buckets can be hazardous for young children. Ponds and pools should be fenced off and netted over, and children should always be under constant supervision in gardens or parks which have them.
Childproofing on the go
It can be useful to have a few spare bits and pieces to take with you when visiting other people’s houses, or staying away from home, to stop inquisitive fingers getting where they shouldn’t.
A pressure-mounted stair gate (one that does not require wall mounted fixtures and fittings) is a handy piece of kit to take to Granny’s house, or on holiday. And even if stairs aren’t an issue, they are great for putting across doorways to keep little ones in.
Socket covers can easily be slipped into a handbag or changing bag – again, very useful in hotel rooms or at friends’ houses when all those ‘voyage of discovery’ crawling sessions end up around the power points!