Kids love nothing more than to run around playing make believe, whether they’re Batman chasing the Joker or James Bond hunting Russians, or even the more outdated Cowboys fighting Indians, children love running around and it’s all good fun until they hurt themselves… which they do a lot. Now as parents or guardians you can’t watch them all the time as you have things to do and they just never, ever stop and so you have to ensure that your home is a safe as possible to try and limit the amount of injuries they receive to the bare minimum.
When child proofing your house, a lot of it is common sense, however even the most switched on parent in the world can slip up and over look something simple and so I will mention some of the basics. Now look around your house from the prospective of a child.
Depending on their age the first thing you need to do it block off the stairs with a gate. This isn’t necessary of course if you child is old enough to use stairs. After that you have to make sure everything harmful is completely out of reach of their grabby little hands. This means medicine, alcohol, cleaning products, knives, and anything else that is potentially harmful if mistreated.
Another advice is to have carpet. When kids fall over – and they will – it’s much better if it is onto carpet and not polished wood (which is also slippy increasing the risk that they might fall). Now the carpets are in, I want to go back to what I said earlier about seeing the house from the child’s perspective. Look at the things they are going to want to play with and the areas of the house they are likely to play in. Also pay attention to how tall they are and see if there’s anything that can run into and seriously hurt their head or eyes etc.
In the warmer months, children are going to want to play in the garden. It’s also a perk for you as during the six week summer holidays you can kick them out into the garden where they can’t be a bother in the house.
Similar rules apply in the garden as the house. Make sure you hide all gardening chemicals and make sure there aren’t branches at head height to run into. They are the two basic things, but after that it’s a simple case of getting rid of anything poisonous and thorny as kids love to touch everything.
As with the carpet, I’d make sure that your garden had as much grass as possible as it provides a soft area to play in and they won’t hurt themselves when they dive around like they would don concrete or decking. If you do have decking, make sure they have a steady supply of outdoor furniture cushions to use as dens and padding. When I was a kid, my brother and I used to play on them so much that all the stuffing would fall out of the seams and my mother would have to order more and fix it herself.
As I said earlier, it’s really about common sense and being alert to what’s going on around you and your kids. I don’t want this article to be your kid’s joy breaker. Kids should be able to run around and playmake believe and so safety concerns shouldn’t prohibit that, just make sure that they are safe and happy when doing so.