Kids Health states that household injuries are the leading cause of ER visits for kids under age three. Things that seem completely harmless to adults, like uncovered outlets or table corners, can be pretty dangerous for curious (and clumsy) little ones. If you’ve got a little one on the way or are working to toddler-proof your space, read on for some great tips.
Pick the Right Paint
If your home was built before 1978, there is a chance that the paint on the walls contains lead. If you have a curious child and chipping or flaking paint, that can be a big problem. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends having your home tested for lead and having a professional come in to safely remove the lead paint if needed.
If your home is newer and lead paint isn’t a concern, you still want to choose the paint you put on the walls carefully. Go for a brand that has low VOCs and a paint variety that has a semi-gloss finish. Semi-gloss paints are easier to clean up if your kid decides to create a masterpiece on a big, tempting canvas.
Go Round and Soft
The corners of your coffee table and other pieces of furniture can be particularly painful if a toddler who’s learning to walk falls into them. Although you can get protective bumpers, they aren’t exactly chic-looking. Another option is to pick round furniture, which has no corners, or to pick softer items. For example, you can replace your hard coffee table with a stuffed ottoman or opt for side cushioned stools instead of side tables.
Keep Things Out of Reach
Cleaners, medicines knives and matches; every home has a number of items that can be hazardous if little ones get their hands on them. The great thing about kids is that they are small and it’s easy to put things out of their reach. Put the dangerous items in your home on the highest shelves possible or in the tallest cabinets. You can also use a kid-proof latch or lock to keep those items securely out of reach to be on the extra-safe side.
For curious kids, the three holes found on an electrical outlet can be a great source of mystery. What happens if they put a finger, fork or a pencil in there? Keep your kids from finding out by getting socket covers for every unused outlets in your home. Also, take a look at the cords and plugs in your home. If you have cords running across the floor, find a way to push and secure them to the walls, to reduce the risk of tripping.
When child-proofing your home, it pays to think like a kid. If there’s anything you would have explored when you were five, it’s a good idea to make sure you put it out of your kid’s reach or replace it entirely.