When your tiny explorer gets to the walking and climbing stage, both learning opportunities and potential hazards increase for them. To keep kids safe while maintaining an enriching environment, keep these less obvious childproofing tips in mind.
1. Anchor heavy furniture to the wall.
Small children can become accomplished climbers quickly. While parents would prefer that kids limit their climbing exploits to playgrounds, kids find dressers, bookshelves and other furniture just as inviting. Around 70 kids are taken to hospitals or clinics each day after suffering injuries when heavy furniture falls on them. Hardware stores sell metal brackets that can be used to anchor heavy pieces to the wall to keep them from falling and causing harm.
2. Put laundry items up high.
Kids get curious about the clean smells and bright colors you run across in the laundry room. This can be especially true of bright and colorful laundry pods, which can cause poisoning. Keep these items on a high shelf.
3. Add a lock to the toilet.
Water is another strong child attractant. A simple locking mechanism can keep kids from drowning risk and any potential pathogens.
4. Always lock the dishwasher and oven.
Make it a habit to keep these items locked, even when they are not in use. As you build up a load of dishes to wash, it is possible to leave sharp knives and breakable dishes where little hands can get to them.
5. Make sure houseplants aren’t poisonous.
Plants make indoor spaces warm and inviting and even help clean the air. However, even seemingly innocuous varieties can be dangerous when ingested. Aloe, for instance, can cause irritation inside the mouth if a child breaks off a piece and chews on it. Keep these items on high shelves.
6. Put refrigerator magnets high.
While older kids may enjoy arranging and rearranging magnets, they represent a choking hazard for younger children. Some powerful magnets, if swallowed, can even cause intestinal perforations. Keep these items high until children are old enough to play with them safely.
7. Think twice about antique toys.
Your great aunt’s offer of your cousin’s vintage building blocks is kind. However, it could be a gift that is better for display than active play. Older toys, particularly those made before the 1970s, may include lead paint. If ingested, this paint could cause neurological problems. If you aren’t sure whether a toy is safe, order a lead paint testing kit to check. These kits use small chips of paint to provide instant results.
Even vigilant parents sometimes miss baby hazards in the home. Observe your baby or toddler’s behavior and explorations to identify any more dangers that you may have missed. By seeing what they are curious about and making the right changes, you can prevent accidents and injuries throughout the home.