Child proofing your new home

If you have just moved house with your toddlers and small children, one of the first things you will want to do is make sure you childproof the new house. Most things are obvious for child proofing like latches on cupboards, drawers and high windows and covers for power points.

A good tip is to let your baby, toddler and small children wonder around while you follow them, both inside and outside and also one at a time. This way you can see exactly what is attracting your child and you can then follow up with any safety concerns you might have any particular place or object. This could be anything from holes in fences, to a body of water outside.

While unpacking and assembling furniture, don't leave sharp objects where little hands might get them, like scissors or knives for opening packing boxes. Also don't leave small objects like screws and batteries around, keep them in a draw on up high on a shelf until you need to use them to put your furniture back together. Watch out for cords and wires also, many a trip has been had by leaving cords lying across main walk ways in the home.

Here are some other hazards to think about when you move into a new house:

  • Check swimming pool fences and gates have no breaches and gates are in good working order with nothing in the garden they could use as a ladder.

  • Check boundary fences for any loose panels or breaches of one sort or another.

  • Make sure any other body of water such as outdoor fish ponds are safely covered or fenced off.

  • Avoid setting up beds and cots near windows as cords from curtains and blinds have proven to be extremely hazardous. Set the room in such a way that cords from blinds are out of reach.

  • Dishwashers are often forgotten about, but here is a nice cosy place a small child could climb into, possibly causing the dishwasher to tumble if it is unstable and not fitted properly. Also sharp knives could cut little fingers, always place sharp objects facing down.

  • Some older houses might have a laundry chute. Make sure these are sufficiently latched closed when not in use.

  • If you have large pane windows or glass doors and ranch sliders, check whether or not it is safety glass, if not and you can't afford to replace it, you can apply shatter resistant film over the glass. You can also apply safety stickers on glass to help children see the glass.

  • Fit out any stairs in your new house or other rooms you wish your children to stay out of with safety gates. Gates should be both at the bottom of the stairs and at the top.

  • Many homes still don't have smoke alarms installed. Check that each room has a working smoke/fire alarm. It's always handy to keep a couple of fire extinguishes spread throughout the house as well.

  • Install guards around any fire places in your new house.

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