Any Age Child, Any Room
§ Properly assemble furniture, periodically checking for loose nuts and bolts.
§ Install childproof locks on drawers and cabinets.
§ Install smoke alarms.
§ Securely tack down all carpet; place non-slip pads under area rugs.
§ Never run electrical cords under rugs, instead keep all cords hidden from view behind furniture; never use frayed or damaged cords.
§ Cover unused electrical outlets with childproof caps.
§ In children’s rooms, use wall sconces instead of lamps and never use halogen bulbs due to extreme heat they generate.
§ Keep fabric away from all lights, even night-lights; all lights should bear the UL seal.
§ Examine all accessories for sharp points that can injure or small parts that can be loosened.
§ Secure all blind and drapery cords well out of reach; avoid looped cords.
§ Place safety locks on windows to prevent kids from falling or climbing out.
The Baby’s Nursery
Most of your baby’s time in the nursery will be spent in the crib or in your arms so creating a safe environment here is easy in the beginning. But, babies grow fast becoming busy toddlers before you know it, so you might as well prepare for the “age of exploration” when designing the nursery.
§ Install crib rail protectors to protect teething babies from swallowing paint or varnish chips.
§ Once the baby can stand, remove the mobile.
§ Keep the crib far enough away from windows, draperies, decorations or other items they can grab.
§ Remove all small objects that can be swallowed and frequently check toys for loose parts.
Toddler’s and Kid’s Rooms
Before they begin to crawl, then walk, (mine skipped walking and went straight to running!) you should get on your hands and knees to survey each room. From this vantage point, you can determine dangers lurking you might not otherwise notice.
§ Use slide-locks to prevent opening and closing of bi-fold doors.
§ Install doorknobs without locks; use Digit Savers or foam doorstops to protect fingers from slamming doors.
§ Safety hinges on toy chests and guardrails on beds.
§ Secure heavy furniture to walls with straps or brackets to prevent toppling by little climbers.
§ Make toys in view accessible instead of placing on top of high shelves.
§ Keep floor area cleared of toys at night.
§ No furniture placed under windows; for furniture large enough for a child to get into, dismantle or remove locks.
I know some of these are no-brainers, but sometimes we need reminders of the obvious….and some of you may be grandparents who have forgotten how to childproof a home! Children differ in physical abilities and inquisitiveness so effectiveness of safety gadgets will vary but are never a substitute for adult supervision. No matter how old your child is, take the proper measures to ensure their environment is safe.
(For more on kids’ room safety, see the October posts on KidSpace Stuff Blog.)
Watch for next month’s post: Using Room Décor to Teach Kids Gratitude.
Jeanette Simpson, ASID is an Interior Designer and owner of KidSpace Interiors where she specializes in commercial and residential design of children’s spaces. A graduate of Brigham Young University, an author, and furniture designer, Jeanette is mother of six, stepmother of five, and grandmother of 17. Read more of her articles on her KidSpace Stuff blog.