How to Child-Proof Your Home

Image by: Sherif Salama

Grandparents, godparents and babysitters, step forward. If you’re called in to look after the kids for a week, a few days or even a few hours, there are important steps you need to take to ensure your home is safe and child-friendly.

If you don’t have a garden…

Do your research in advance – where are the nearest parks and playgrounds? Can you walk to them safely, or would you need to drive? Preparing in advance means you don’t need to panic when the children want to play outside. Make a day of it by taking some ball games and picnic with you, and don’t forget the sunscreen and umbrellas!

If you collect antiques…

Young children and breakables don’t mix, so move any valuable ornaments, trinkets and objects out of reach.  The same applies to any furniture, artwork or books you are precious about. Looking after a child for a few days can feel quite disruptive, but taking the steps to safeguard your home – and your belongings – is better than a tearful trip to A&E when Sophie cuts her arm after knocking over an irreplaceable vase.

If you own a dog…

If you look after the kids regularly they will hopefully be familiar with any pets you own, but if not then introduce them ahead of the visit where possible.  Dogs and children can enjoy wonderful relationships, but it’s important that both parties are happy and relaxed. Even the calmest dog – or child – can be unpredictable, so it’s essential that small children and pets aren’t left alone together.

If you have a pool…

Investing in pool safety could save lives. Pool enclosures are a must if you’re looking after young children or those who can’t swim, along with a lesson on pool rules for the kids. Make it clear when they come to visit that the pool can only be used when you’re present, no running near the pool is allowed and (if required) appropriate floatation devices, such as armbands, must be used while they are in the pool. The same rules apply if you have a pond or any water source in your garden.

If you grow your own…

If you grow your own fruit and vegetables in a garden or allotment, involve the children. Showing them where their food comes from can be both educational and fun, especially if you cook together using the fresh produce they’ve planted or picked. Tending to your garden is also a great way to keep an eye on the children while they play outdoors.

Do you have any tips on child-proofing your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Louise Blake is a new mum and an aspiring writer. When she’s not child-proofing her kitchen or taking her puppy for walks, she blogs for David Salisbury. As a child Louise loved building forts in the back garden, and always wished she had a pool of her own.

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