When you’re just taking care of yourself, “safe” is a relative term – it’s pretty much about the basics. Stop at red lights. Lock the doors. Be aware of your surroundings. Essentially, if you have a handle on the semi-obvious, you should be fine.
When you have a child, “safety” suddenly means something very different. Everyday objects that used to be completely benign are now accidents waiting to happen. Your sense of these lurking dangers is heightened, but you may be struggling to identify what exactly is dangerous and what to do about it.
To help you regain a sense of sanity, safety and control, we’ve rounded up seven of the top safety hacks to ensure you have a child-friendly home.
- Put any and all medicines in a secure – preferably locked – space.
Especially if your child is prone to earaches or stomach bugs, you’ve probably noticed that your medicine cabinet has grown exponentially. As your collection of remedies expands, make sure it is kept somewhere secure and out of reach of tiny hands. This may sound obvious, but it really can’t be overstated. Medicines should be kept high and dry.
- Set up stair gates…anywhere.
They’ve been a staple in family homes for decades now, and there is a good reason for it. Stairs in any house present a big hazard for little ones. Stair gates that lock securely, at both the top and the bottom of a staircase, are key. Even after baby starts walking, gates can be very useful in keeping the little mover in a single part of the house.
- Take infant first aid classes.
An infant first aid course, like those available at hospitals and local community centers, can help you learn simple yet life-saving tips. Hopefully you will never need them, but if you do, you’ll be equipped.
- Don’t leave water in the bath.
When you’re focused on keeping your child warm and dry after a bath, it can be easy to walk away from a tub full of water. Once your toddler is independently mobile, a forgotten bath can pose a serious safety hazard, so make sure to pull that drain plug immediately once bath time has come to an end.
- Keep access to windows secured.
As children become more mobile, their developing curiosities can lead to some less than safe situations. A small stool or chair can be pushed right up to an unsuspected window, and that can create a clear danger if a window isn’t securely shut. Keep an eye out for anything that could be used as a mini ladder and keep those things far away from windows.
- Tie up any cords.
Toddlers have a natural inclination to try to explore anything not bolted to the floor. When it comes to any type of cord – electrical, blinds, etc. – it’s too easy for that cord to become a hazard. Take extra care to make sure all loose cords are tied up, secure, and out of reach of tiny tots.
- Soften sharp edges.
First steps can be exciting, but toddlers aren't exactly steady at first. Missteps and tumbles are bound to happen. That's why it is a good idea to cover any sharp or hard edges of tables, counter tops, even wood or metal chairs to ensure a wobble in the wrong direction is just a temporary delay and the race can continue without injury.
- Cover outlets.
Tiny hands will be curious about those little holes in the wall. Make sure to child proof the home with plugs to cover all power outlets.
Just like that, you’ve conquered the most common child safety concerns and created a home in which both you and your child can feel secure and comfortable. Once you have checked child-proofing off the list, it might be time to start consider protecting your child's financial future with life insurance.