It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re a parent, of course you’re going to want to do everything in your power to keep them safe from harm. Although we can’t keep the tykes in a bubble when they’re out in the world, we can at least make sure our home is a safe place for them.
We got some top agent insights regarding the best ways to child-proof our homes and here are the top 9 tips.
1. Use safety gates
This may seem like a no-brainer, but indoor safety gates are a lifesaver once your little one starts walking (or running!). They’re ideal for blocking off fireplaces, stairways, and access to rooms that you don’t want your child in.
Note: You can ask a realtor for a family home without a fireplace or stairs if you want to be extra cautious. A home affordability calculator will give you an idea of how far your money will go and you could even save money by not even considering houses with these features!
2. Store breakables up high
Your child is going to be curious and they’re going to want to touch everything – even things that are breakable or harmful. To eliminate this, store anything that’s breakable (picture frames, vases, knick-knacks, etc.) on a high shelf.
Note: You’ll also want to do this with plants as well because some plants have toxic leaves or flowers.
3. Lock cabinets, drawers, and toilet seats
Locking cabinets isn’t just something you’d do when Uncle Benny comes by for the holidays. Curiosity is going to get the best of your child and they’ll want to open everything they can get their tiny hands on. So you’ll want to put locks on cabinets with household cleaners, sharp utensils, any kind of tools, medicine, and liquor.
4. Use outlet covers
Putting electrical covers on outlets is probably one of the first things you think about when you’re child-proofing your home. You don’t want them to figure out that their tiny fingers or their toys fit perfectly in the outlet! You can also install tamper-resistant (TR) and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets because they protect against electrical shock.
5. Keep cords contained
Unruly electrical cords aren’t just an eyesore, they’re a hazard to a child because they could pull on it, causing the item to fall over and hit them. They could play with the cord and it could get wrapped around their necks. Cords of all kinds present a whole list of potential dangers to a child, so it’s best to keep the cords contained and out of their reach.
6. Make sure furniture is secured
In the past, there’s been a lot of buzz in the news about a dresser toppling over onto children from a certain furniture store. You don’t want your child to be another headline because a dresser or a bookshelf fell over when they were playing with it. That’s why it’s important that furniture, lamps, televisions, and other things are fastened to the wall using furniture brackets or fasteners.
7. Be mindful of pets
We love our pets, but pets can get aggressive seemingly out of nowhere. Your little one could play with it too roughly, pull its tail, or take its food or toys. Be sure to keep an eye on your child around your animals at least until they’re three years old. Also, you don’t want to buy toys with small parts or buttons or leave hard food on the floor because they could become a choking hazard.
8. Pay attention to ingredients on all products
Household cleaners, cosmetics, and personal care products can contain chemicals or ingredients that are harmful to children. While you may have things locked up or out of reach, it’s still a good idea to be mindful of the labels just to be sure
9. Always keep them in your line of sight
While you may not want to play the role of a helicopter parent, it’s still a good idea to keep them in your line of sight. You never know when something may happen and they get hurt. They could find something on the floor and pop it in their mouths, thus choking on it, for example. Keeping your child in your line of sight isn’t just for their safety, but it’s for your own peace of mind as well!