Before having children, it’s unlikely you’ll have made many home improvements with safety in mind. Our guest poster Cristi Waterson has compiled a great list that really tells how everything changes when you have kids. It brings on a strong desire to protect our children from any and all dangers. The problem is that many of these dangers exist in our own homes, but that’s not to say your home can’t be a safe haven for your family. Read on to discover a host of simple home improvements that can make all the difference.
#1 Think long term with appliances
Every home is filled with useful appliances that can make our everyday lives easier. From fridge-freezers to dishwashers, they are all safe to be in any family home- when they’re in working condition. Many appliances can become dangerous when they are broken or old, meaning they can pose more risks for your children. Keep this in mind when you invest in any new appliances and make sure not to go for the cheapest option as this may end up costing you more money in the long run for repairs. Whichever option you go for, remember a home warranty can benefit your home. This isn’t just for appliances, but for structural damage in the home, too.
#2 Invest in a home security system
It is not just dangers inside the home that you’ll need to protect your children from. Often, family homes can be the target for burglaries and other crimes, which can be the cause of much distress in any household. That being said, it is reassuring to know that burglaries are in fact falling across the United States. Even so, there are some areas that have a higher rate of crime, so you may wish to invest in a home security system to add an extra layer of security and help you feel more safe.
#3 Keep on top of cleaning
It’s true that many dangers lie outside the home, but there are some children can encounter every day inside the home. These dangers are often referred to as hidden hazards, and many are masked by clutter. For example, exposed wires or sharp materials are easily hidden by clutter in any room. Although it’s difficult to stay on top of cleaning as a busy parent, try and commit to a few minutes of cleaning every day. Not only will this help remove the risk of hidden hazards, but it will also enable you to keep the air clean and free of dust. Remember there are more ways to keep the air in your home clean if you are invested in making your home a healthier space for everyone.
#4 Cover any electrical outlets
It may be that you uncover some exposed wires while doing the daily cleaning round that you need to tackle, but that’s not the only risk electricity can pose to children. Uncovered electrical outlets can cause electric shocks when children become curious, and upturned plugs can also hurt a child if they trip over one. In some cases, they can even cause house fires. Avoid these risks by making sure every uncovered outlet in your home is protected with a plastic cap, and by storing any unused appliances that attach to the mains supply out of reach. If you are tripping breakers on a regular basis, it may be worth having an electrician visit regularly to make sure everything is safe for use.
#5 Block off the stairs
Homes come in a variety of different styles. Some families have the pleasure of living in a single story home. However, some families aren’t in the same position, and recent studies have shown that a child falls down the stairs every 6 minutes. Some children end up with a minor scrape, while others can wind up in the hospital. The thing is that this is an entirely preventable issue. If you install a stair gate at the top and bottom of your stairs, you can provide an extra barrier of protection for younger, more curious children.
#6 Make your windows child-safe
Safeguarding isn’t limited to stairwells and electricity; your windows could be another place to lookout for curious children. Most homes are fitted with windows that open wide, which can be great in the summer months, but can also lead to unfortunate accidents. Luckily two possible solutions to this are installing windows which are limited in how wide they can open, or simply adding window restrictors to your current ones. The first option is more expensive, but is ideal if you are already in the process of replacing your windows, while the latter option can save you plenty of time and money.
#7 Buy a baby monitor
Baby monitors are so helpful in any household with young children. If you haven’t already discovered the numerous benefits of baby monitors, it’s worth investing in a modern, high-tech model that also has video and recording features that are tied to an app. These are a far cry from more traditional models we grew up with, and some will even allow you to link your baby monitor to an app on your phone. Baby monitors aren’t limited to when your children are young. As they grow older, keep your baby monitor for other uses, like keeping tabs on your kids when they are playing in the yard.