Clever Ways To Childproof Your Home
Let’s face it, kids are masters of mischief! In the blink of an eye, your once white walls are laden with scribbles and scrawls of blue ink, the dinner’s on the floor and being hoovered up by the dog, and we won’t even get started on diaper disasters! Novel accidents are all part and parcel of parenthood, but as fast as they can happen, so too can something more serious. Just when you think you’ve childproofed every corner of your home, their curious hands uncover a new hazard for you to stress over. Thankfully, there’s a whole host of ingenious ways to childproof your home - no matter your budget or resources available.
With Child Safety Week just around the corner, our team has explored a wealth of nifty ways to keep your kids safe and sound, whether they’re at the crawling stage, the climbing phase, or just finding their feet. Simple yet incredibly effective, these tips and tricks will help to make your home a safe haven for your little ones.
What is Child Safety Week?
This year, Child Safety Week falls on the first week of June. Spearheaded by CAPT (Child Accident Prevention Trust), this annual event exists to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and ways that they can be prevented. It acts as a catalyst for thousands of safety conversations and activities UK- wide, and the work that they do is vitally important.
CAPT offers a vast range of free resources that’ll help you better childproof your home and understand the many dangers and hazards that you may have not even thought of. On their website, they have free downloadable guides and factsheets covering a range of risks, including burns and scalds, drowning, and general accident prevention. They even offer an array of short workshops and virtual sessions for those wanting to expand their knowledge of child safety further. For more information, head to the CAPT website here.
Your living room is your den of zen. It’s where you go to unwind after a long day, watch a bit of TV, and simply shut off from the stresses of everyday life. With no water basins, cleaning chemicals, or sharp knives to worry about, it can feel like a relatively safe space for your children to roam and play with minimal risks. While this may be true to an extent, there are plenty of potential hazards to look out for.
If you’ve decorated your living room with photo frames and candles, you’ll want to make sure these are kept well away and out of reach from your little ones. Consider getting a tall chest of drawers or a high coffee table to place these on - something that little hands won’t be able to reach or get to - as something as harmless as knocking over a photo frame could result in a trip to A&E. Another potential hazard is your TV. As most TV’s are at a relatively low level, there's always a chance of your child getting a bit too close and knocking it over. Thankfully, there’s a simple and clever way to combat this and prevent any accident happening. Anti-tip safety straps can be easily attached to the back of your TV in minutes, and they’ll stop the chance of your child tipping the TV over and potentially onto themselves. Even better, they’re really cheap and will last the test of time, so you can sit back and watch TV stress-free knowing that you’ve got a quality child safety product.
Another part of your living room (or any room in your home, for that matter) that could pose a profound risk is open plug sockets. While this isn’t a groundbreaking discovery, it's certainly worth a mention. To prevent accidents, get yourself some plug socket covers. They mimic a plug being attached to the socket, encasing the outlet to prevent any little fingers getting too near, and are easy to remove when the socket needs to be used. This is a simple solution that’ll cost barely anything and have a big impact on your child’s safety. We recommend getting one for each and every socket in your home - yes, even the hidden ones - as you never know where their curious nature may take them!
Your kitchen has potential to be the most hazardous room in your home, but don’t worry: there are plenty of simple yet effective ways to childproof your culinary cavern. When you’re cooking up a storm, it can be hard enough to keep a keen eye on your food, let alone the kids! If you want the freedom to move around the room and concentrate on other tasks without the worry of your little ones scalding themselves or searching through drawers that they shouldn’t be, install a child gate at the entryway. Baby gates can be a little tricky to set up and will require some DIY knowhow, but they’re crucial to stop children entering the kitchen. It’s a good idea to keep these gates shut at all times, as you don’t want your little ones to go on a potentially dangerous wander.
Another part of the kitchen that you’ll want to ensure remains off limits is the various low level cupboards that could contain various products of potential risk, such as washing up liquid, cutlery and cleaning supplies. For this, you’ll want to get some child locks that simply sit across the corner of the cupboards, preventing them from being prised open by any tenacious toddler. What’s more, child locks are wonderfully affordable and ultra-easy to attach, so it’s a simple solution for any budget or DIY skill level!
From cosy mornings cuddled up under a blanket to seeing your little lovely’s face light up when you enter their nursery in the morning, bedrooms provide some of the most magical moments for parents and kids alike. Making sure they’re childproofed from top to bottom won’t guarantee a full night’s sleep (night feeds, nappy nags, and teething troubles will see to that!), but it’ll certainly help you rest easier!
While windows may seem out of sight and out of mind for a little one, you’ll be surprised at how children can climb and get up to places you didn’t think possible while they’re exploring their surroundings! You’ll therefore want to make sure the windows can’t open beyond a certain amount - around 3” - and a perfectly simple solution for this is to add some window guards. These handy guards will restrict the amount a window can open, so there’ll be no room for any little explorer to try and get out. Even better, some guards come with a soft bumper design, so if your child was to fall and bump their head on the window, they’ll be protected from injury. Window guards are easy to attach and many come with a self-adhesive side, so you won’t have to break out the power tools! This is particularly beneficial if you live in rented accommodation and are unable to make modifications to your home.
On the subject of windows, be sure to check your blinds. Older models with looped cords or chains can pose a huge threat to children. To keep your little one safe, install a tidy, tensioner, or cleat to the adjoining surface to ensure the cord is permanently held tight. These should be positioned well out of reach of children (at least 1.5m from the floor). After every use, fasten the blind cord in a figure of eight, making sure all the spare cord is secured and can’t be pulled or loosened. Move all furniture away from the windows, particularly cots, highchairs, and playpens, as these can make climbing easier.
Take a look at your bedside table and drawers. Designed at just the right height for head bumps, these pieces of furniture are especially hazardous for kids who’ve found their running feet. Cover up any hard, blunt edges with edge protectors and corner guards. While they won’t entirely eradicate the chance of bumps, bashes, and bruises, they can certainly help to minimise the risk of serious injury. They’re super easy to attach and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit your units. If you take pride in keeping the pristine and clean look of your furniture, then why not just use a thick towel and place it over the corners of these potentially dangerous units while your kids are playing out of sight? This, of course, won’t be as foolproof as corner guards, but it’s still a way to reduce the risks without the need to purchase any equipment.
Home safe home
Kids are unpredictable and always seem to find new ways to surprise you, but by preparing for the unexpected, you can make your home as safe as possible for your little lovely. Of course, they’ll find new ways to keep you on your toes, but you should be able to rest a little easier with these clever childproofing tricks hidden up your sleeve! To find an array of nifty baby home safety essentials, check out our extensive selection here.
Speaking of expecting, if you’re preparing for a new arrival, why not take a look at our range of baby and toddler supplies while you’re here? From nursery furniture to changing supplies, nursing necessities to healthcare must-haves, our online shelves are bursting with everything you need to embark on the exciting journey of parenthood!