Whether you’re building a new house or just revamping your current home to make room for children, safety should always be your top-of-mind concern.
When you think of safety, you often think of home security systems: locks, alarms, cameras, and the like. But with children in mind, safety shouldn’t be limited to external protection—it should also take into account the internal features of your home, to ensure that every corner of your home is hazard-free.
Remember: the way you evaluate whether or not something is hazardous for you as an adult is completely different from how hazard should be evaluated for children.
You have the knowledge and lived experience to know which objects are dangerous when touched, while young children only have pure curiosity and will try to play with anything within reach.
As such, we’ve prepared a checklist of things that you need to consider when designing your home for maximum child safety.
1. Electrical wiring and sockets
These days, homes are filled with wires, cables, and sockets because of our electrical appliances and gadgets.
For adults, sockets are meant for one thing: plugging devices that require electricity. For children, however, these look like slots in which they can plug-in keys, coins, and practically anything they think that can fit in that slot.
For added protection, you’ll want to add socket covers to make sockets less visible.
Adults also know that electrical wiring or cables shouldn’t be touched. But for children, anything that’s exposed is up for grabs.
For any exposed electrical wiring, you may use cable concealers to ensure that your wires just blend in with your walls. For chargers and your work space, having cord protectors will organise cables to reduce their exposure to your children.
One of the things we take for granted as adults is the presence of chemicals in the house. It could go from very toxic items like bathroom cleaners, flammables, but even the less obvious ones like shampoos and soaps.
One of the easiest things to do is put them in high enough places that your children won’t be able to reach. An additional step is putting them in locked cabinets and ensuring that these cabinets are indeed locked at all times to limit access from your children.
3. Sharp edges
Countertops, beds, and other furniture often have sharp edges. With children running around the house all the time, it’s easy for them to bump into these objects and hurt themselves.
To address this potential problem, it’ll help to use foam edge protectors to ensure that sharp edges are not exposed and to lessen the impact to children in case they bump into these objects.
4. Small toys and items
As your children grow older, they learn to not put non-food items in their mouths. But while they’re still in the process of learning, it’s best to keep away small toys and objects (e.g. keys, screws, batteries) out of reach to ensure that they won’t have access to these things and not be at risk of swallowing these small items.
5. Plastic bags
Plastic bags may be ordinary things for adults especially when we shop or do groceries. But for children, plastic bags may also become a plaything. It’s dangerous and will cause suffocation if they decide to play with these bags.
It’s best to dispose of them immediately or lock them in high cabinets as well.
Whether it’s for reaching high cabinets or home repairs, most of us will have ladders or stools in our homes. Children are easily fascinated at climbing things, and the presence of these ladders will easily encourage them to indulge their curiosity toward heights.
With ladders and stools, there’s always a tendency to go off balance, especially if they’re not as stable as we want them to be. This tendency is even greater for children who may not think every step through.
To avoid any fall-risk, it’s important for parents to be mindful when using these items and putting them away in storage after use.
We were all children once, and are no strangers to fingers bruised by doors shutting accidentally. To prevent this from happening to your children, you may opt to use door stoppers to make doors heavier and ensure that strong winds won’t slam your doors easily.
You can pair this up with finger pinch guards for extra protection for your children.
As parents, you’ll want to protect your children from injuries and risks at all times. Implementing these safety features in your homes is not the end-all. It’s important that they learn the harms and risks of doing certain actions so they can avoid these risks as they grow older.
But while they’re still getting there, having these safety features in place will do a great deal for your peace of mind.
As your kids age and are almost ready for schooling, our School Catchment Area resource is a great start to research schools around you.
Also published on Medium.