Every milestone that a child hits brings excitement and celebration. When a child starts to roll over, shuffle, crawl and then eventually walk, adults can be seen jumping for joy, thrilled with the huge achievement. Ten seconds later comes the realisation that the house is a potential ‘death trap’ and that with their new found skill, children can get into all sorts of mischief through their explorations and adventures. Making these everyday places and situations safe can be a challenge but rest assured, small changes can make a significant difference.
Unfortunately, when it comes to toddlers, danger is everywhere. The curious nature of an 18 month old will ensure that every item that you would like them not to touch is the key thing that they are aiming for. They can sense your fear as they edge closer and it becomes an obsession until they have touched or pushed said object. Having said this, removing absolutely everything from their grasp will not teach them that there are certain things that one should not touch. Instead, encourage them to develop their own risk assessment. Think carefully about how far you go when it comes to baby proofing the house and which things the child should simply get used to.
Dangers and what you can do..
There are a multitude of things to consider and minor alterations that you can make to help keep little ones safe:
☑ Doors and windows = opening and closing doors is a great game for children but one that can end in trapped fingers or toes, quickly followed by tears. Door stops or door cushions which can be placed at the top of doors to prevent them closing can be a great help when this game begins.
☑ Chemicals/cleaning products = Making sure that these are placed either in a locked cupboard or up high will protect a child from being tempted to pull them all out and start chewing the lid. Remember, these toxic chemicals can be extremely dangerous so locking them away and moving them out of sight is the best solution.
☑ Cupboards and drawers = there are a variety of options when it comes to preventing little ones from opening these cupboards. When choosing whether to put internal locks, external locks or latches on these, consider the types of doors in the kitchen and any permanent damage you may do to the cupboards.
☑ Sharp corners = as children begin to pick up speed, they never seem to look where they are going and often furniture is just at the right height for a bump on the head. Applying some corner cushions to these will help to protect children from these sharp edges.
☑ Plug sockets and electrical wires = Socket covers are a great way to prevent children from trying to post things such as hair grips, sticks or their own fingers through these holes. Tidying wires and taping them to the floor underneath furniture will also stop little hands pulling on the electrics.
Choose carefully which elements you decide to baby proof and which you will use to help teach the child about every day dangers. Living in a cotton wool house is no fun; making sure that serious dangers are removed will allow you to remain calm and teach your little one the ins and outs of safety.