TOP 5 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR HOME SAFER FOR TODDLERS
Curiosity in young children is a precious thing. That is, until that curiosity has you chasing after them to keep danger at bay. From hot ovens to finger-pinching drawers, your home is a jungle of hazards with risks lurking around every corner. Childproofing is the way to go. Start off your mission by tackling all things electrical:
Install safe powerpoints
Young children and powerpoints – it’s an ongoing love affair. According to the Better Health Channel, approximately 16 Australians die or are injured in electrical incidents each week, with 13% of that being children aged 0-14 years. It’s a big hazard that can be easily avoided. Install child-friendly, tamper-resistant powerpoints that look as great as they are safe. If you can’t have them installed, apply plastic child-proof plugs that stop curious fingers from poking, as well as outlet covers that shield plugged-in leads.
Avoid overloading your powerboard
Piggy-back or double adaptor connections may be quick and easy, but they’re also dangerous. Use powerboards with in-built safety devices to avoid an overload as well as to keep prying hands safe. Place powerboards in locations that are obscure or difficult to reach.
Tidy up those cables
Keep electrical cords tucked away or as organised as possible. Use an extension lead cover on exposed cables that you just can’t find a suitable hiding spot for, or tape down cords to the floor with duct tape for a quick fix. There’s no shortage of safety cable-organisers on the market to suit your lifestyle and budget. Most importantly, always make sure your cords and cables are in good condition – any fraying or obvious wear should be attended to as soon as possible.
Call a licensed electrician
In Australia, you’re legally allowed to change your own lightbulbs and operate appliances, but anything else apart from that – regardless of how minor or easy the job – should only be done by a licensed, qualified electrician. They’ll make sure all installations are risk-free and they might even have bonus tips for childproofing your home.
Get some perspective
Get down on your hands and knees, then make your way through each room in your home. Seeing what your child sees will give you a better idea of what hazards are accessible. You’ll probably spot a few that you forgot even existed. Keep an eye out for electrical outlets and powerboards that are hidden by furniture such as tables and beds, long extension cords, hanging cords that loop, and cords that shouldn’t be unplugged (such as for the refrigerator).
Childproofing your house takes one solid afternoon of hard work, but it yields many, many afternoons of fun, free-roaming play. What a great gift for tiny developing minds.