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Toddlers are very eager to walk, crawl and climb, and they attempt to do it at every chance they get. Your home is basically a danger zone with all the sharp corners, toxic products, electrical cords and strings, and tiny objects that may seem like a mouthwatering buffet for your little one.
Fire, drowning, poisoning and falls are major causes of child fatality. It is often missed out, but if you scope your child’s territory by getting down on all fours to see how your home looks from their point of view, you will see what’s tempting to hold or put into their mouths and where they will crawl or toddle. Act fast and stow away items with buttons, beads and batteries, or things your child can pull and choke on.
Living room and kitchen – If your furniture does not have rounded edges and corners, use corner and edge bumpers, or cut foam pool noodles to fit into and cushion the legs and bases of furniture. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases, front door, kitchen door or any room with potential hazards. Use doorknob covers and door stoppers. Latches are your best friend and help you store household products in cabinets. Keep knives away from countertops and turn handles or any other appliances away to keep toddlers from grabbing them.
Kids’ bedroom - Use detachable rails to prevent falls and install padding on the floor. If the child usually gets up at night, place the bed mattress on the floor instead.
Bathrooms - Install safety latches to keep children from getting access to medicine (even vitamins), cosmetics and grooming scissors in cabinets or drawers. When not in use, unplug hair dryers, rollers or shavers and cover the electrical outlets. Use anti-scalding faucets and shower devices to prevent burns. Toilet seat locks are also necessary as climbing toddlers can fall in and drown in just a few inches of water.
Windows - Look for cordless window coverings, and either tie or cut off any dangling cords from drapes. Use colorful stickers on sliding glass windows to avoid bumps. Never rely on screens; use window guards instead to prevent falls.
The most important rule is to never leave your child unattended, even just for a moment.
• Cover power strips to prevent your toddler from getting electrocuted
• Broken doors and windows should be repaired or replaced immediately
• Secure heavy furniture, like a bookshelf, to wall to prevent it from tipping
Source: Cleofi-Krista Capili, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer