When raising small children, it’s astonishing how much differently you see your home. There was a time when you saw a luxurious and harmonious space. A space adorned with little flourishes that gave guests a hint at your personality while also giving you joy whenever you set eyes on them. A space that gave you refuge from the harsh realities of the world outside when you needed it. A place where you could forget about the pressures of work or the inherent drama of your social group. As soon as you brought that baby home for the first time, though, everything changed. Now you see a scarcely veiled death maze full of choking hazards, slip, trip and fall risks and precariously pointy edges upon which a vulnerable young head could get banged at any moment.
Fortunately, however, with a little planning and a lot of vigilance, even this obstacle course of peril can be navigated by a growing mind that’s slowly but surely learning to pilot its growing body through the world. Here are some ways in which you can make your home safer for young kids…
Teach yourself to realise… There’s no use crying over spilled milk
Believe it or not, one of the most effective things to adjust for a safer home… Is you. For the house proud Mum it can be infuriating when drinks get spilled, jam covered hands leave prints on eiderdown or when half a Farley’s rusk winds up in the DVD player. However, it’s important to learn to reign in your emotions. Of course, you want to teach kids the value of respecting their space, but you can’t have them walking through the home in a perpetual state of terror for 18 years either. Managing your emotions goes a long way toward perpetuating a safe atmosphere. There’s no point crying over spilled milk, or blackberry cordial, or nail varnish.
How fall friendly are your floors?
Trips, falls, bumps and booboos are all part of growing up. They are what helps developing minds to learn spatial awareness. However, while we can’t stop our kids from taking a tiny tumble every now and then we can ensure that they fall onto a softer safer surface. Hard wood and stone can be damaging to young bodies. Instead opt for softer flooring where kids are likely to be at play. If you’re not into carpet sheet vinyl is a nice option. It can be made to represent wood, tile or stone and is soft and bouncy to the touch.
Keep it all away from the edges
Little ones are consummate grabbers. If it’s within their reach, they’ll grab it and try and pull it towards them for a closer look. That means anything that you’d rather didn’t land on their heads should be kept away from the edge of the shelf, cabinet or coffee table where it’s placed.
Keep the bathroom door closed
Did you know that drowning is the second most common cause of accident infant fatalities after car crashes? For that reason, little ones can never be allowed in the bathroom unattended. Keep the bathroom door shut and get into the habit of ensuring that the toilet lid is closed.
Finally, if you’ve been watching Marie Kondo’s amazing series Tidying Up on Netflix, you know the value in finding discrete little boxes in which to store all the little things that can easily become clutter… Or choking hazards. From odd earrings to half used wax crayons, make sure that you have a neat little box in which to place anything that a little one could stuff into their mouth.
It’ll make your home a neater, tidier place too!