From stairs and doors to kitchen utensils, cleaning solutions and furniture, items that you may never think of as dangerous can pose a serious safety risk if they’re left around young children.
One of the most important aspects of taking care of children is ensuring they have a safe living environment. In the home, this means ensuring the spaces your children spend their time in are safe, healthy and free of hazards.
From small items that present a choking risk to sharp furniture corners, utensils or poisonous solutions, how many potentially dangerous items are there to be found in your home’s living room, kitchen or bedroom?
The answer might be higher than you think. Luckily, it’s possible to make your home safe and suitable for young children by implementing some simple child-safety ideas and techniques.
Would you like to make your living room a safe environment for children? Read on to discover seven easy ways to remove hazardous items from your living room and make it a child-proof space.
START BY VIEWING YOUR ROOM FROM A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE
Think you can see all of the potentially dangerous items in your room? Since you’re significantly taller than a toddler or young child, it’s often easy to miss items that sit close to the ground.
From discarded pens and pencils located under the sofa to sharp furniture corners that just can’t be seen from a normal adult’s height, many of the dangerous items in your living room are more easily seen from a child’s perspective.
Instead of searching your living room on your feet, try walking on your knees to see if you can locate hazards. As well as looking for dangerous items, check for sharp or pointed corners that your child could fall onto or scratch themselves on.
SOFTEN SHARP FURNITURE CORNERS WITH CHILD-PROOF PADDING
Is your living room full of sharp corners? Certain pieces of furniture, such as coffee tables or television cabinets, often have sharp corners that are easy to cut yourself on accidentally.
Since young children are so much closer to the ground than adults, scratching on a coffee table corner doesn’t mean a sore shin – it can often mean hitting their head and becoming seriously injured.
Make your living room furniture child-proof and safe by softening any sharp corners that could lead to injuries. You can either purchase special corner padding or simply tape padding to the corners of your furniture to turn sharp corners into soft ones.
It's not that hard to child-proof ur house. Can buy foam corner guards for furniture with sharp edges. Cheap only #childsafety— Inbaraj lah (@Inbarajs) 26 October 2014
REMOVE (OR LOCK AWAY) SHARP UTENSILS AND POISONOUS SOLUTIONS
Do you have an open plan living room and kitchen? If your kitchen is a part of your living room, it’s extremely important that you lock away sharp utensils and kitchen solutions that could injure your children.
From steak knives to bottle openers, potato peelers and other seemingly innocent kitchen utensils, many of the items found in a typical kitchen can cause injuries in the wrong person’s hands.
Secure your kitchen utensils using a child-proof drawer lock, or move all of them into a drawer that’s out of reach of your children. It’s also important to lock away any poisonous solvents such as kitchen cleaner or dishwasher detergent.
KEEP SMALL ITEMS THAT PRESENT A CHOKING HAZARD OUT OF REACH
Small items like kitchen coasters and batteries may not seem dangerous, but they’re a serious choking hazard for young kids. From USB cables to pens, lots of items that seem harmless can potentially become lodged in a young child’s windpipe.
Choking is a serious risk for young children, since small and bright items can appear to be very appealing for toddlers and attract lots of attention. Make sure you keep all of your living room’s small items locked away to remove any choking hazards.
As well as removing small items that are a choking hazard, it’s important to remove cables such as smartphone chargers. Take an inventory of your living room and put any potentially hazardous small items in locked storage, or in a separate room.
MAKE SURE PHOTO FRAMES CAN’T BE KNOCKED AND BROKEN
Photo frames may not seem like risky items, but they can present a serious risk to a child’s safety if they break open.
If you store photo frames on top of tables or on the wall, a single bump could be all it takes to fill your living room with broken glass. If you have hanging picture frames in your living room, make sure they’re fixed to the wall firmly and unlikely to fall and break. If you store photo frames on top of a table or cabinet, consider moving them to another room where they aren’t a risk.
It may seem overly cautious to remove items like photo and picture frames, but it’s not uncommon for children to bump into side tables or cabinets and cause them to fall down and break on tiled or wooden flooring.
DOUBLE CHECK THAT POWER OUTLETS ARE COVERED OR HIDDEN
Does your living room have exposed power outlets? If you have unused outlets in your living room, it’s important that you cover them to prevent them from turning into a safety risk for young children.
You can cover electrical outlets using childproof caps – thin plastic caps that cover the electrical outlet and prevent children from accidentally inserting forks or other objects.
It’s also important to secure loose electrical cables and multi-outlets. Use zip ties to secure the electrical cables from your TV and entertainment consoles to the cabinet ensure children can’t pull them loose.
Today, I'll mostly be fixing stair gates, making safe plug sockets, and generally child-proof our house against an ever mobile daughter.— Mark Boulton (@markboulton) 4 January 2009
ARRANGE FURNITURE TO MAKE CLIMBING ONTO SURFACES IMPOSSIBLE
Is your couch within jumping distance of your kitchen counter? Is your armchair a short distance from the bookshelf? If your living room furniture is close to cabinets, tables and other surfaces, it might be a good idea to move it further away.
Young children can easily climb onto armchairs and sofas, using them as a path to a different surface. By climbing from one piece of furniture to another, young kids can access out-of-reach areas and come into contact with potentially hazardous items.
From your child’s perspective, look for furniture that could be used to climb onto a higher surface. Then, rearrange your furniture so that it isn’t possible for your kids to climb onto the kitchen counter, dining table or other dangerous areas.