Smart Ways to Baby-Proof Your Home
08/06/2016 03:33AM ● Published by Family Features
First-time parents quickly discover how little they know, especially when it comes to critical tasks like baby-proofing the home. When a tiny tot’s safety is at stake, the entire house can seem like one giant danger zone.
Before you pull out the hard hats and safety “bubbles,” take some time to sit down and assess where changes can be made. Tackle the project room by room and you’ll be surprised how quickly the chore grows more manageable. Be sure to give special attention to common safety pitfalls like open stairways, electrical outlets and cords.
When you’re decorating the nursery, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little touches that make the room feel complete. However, adding too much flair can create some safety concerns, especially when it comes to windows. The crib may look just right centered under the window, but once your little one can reach the curtains, you may be in for some problems. In fact, as your infant becomes more mobile, the same concerns apply to windows throughout the home.
Curtains are a temptation most young children can’t resist. They’re perfect for peek-a-boo and pretend forts, but can also pose a suffocation hazard, and if tugged on too hard, bring the whole rod ensemble crashing down. That’s why it’s a good idea to skip floor-length curtains and opt instead for valances or bolsters that still add a decorative touch but are well out of reach of curious hands.
For new parents desperate for sleep, blocking the light to create a darkened room may be a top priority. However, some light-blocking options also pose a risk to children. Window and door blinds are a common solution because they allow the versatility of being raised or lowered and opened or closed to create different looks and lighting filters as needed. However, many blinds have exposed cords, which not only present a strangulation and choking hazard but also can cut off circulation and cause permanent damage if wrapped tightly around extremities and limbs. Look for cord-free styles or opt for a semi-permanent film or tint instead.
Another concern is window-paned doors, which pose a similar challenge to windows when it comes to managing privacy and light. An option such as ODL Add-On Blinds for Doors is a low-maintenance and easy solution. The blinds are easy to install and use, efficiently block light and don’t have any exposed cords. As kids grow older, you’ll also appreciate the enclosed design, which eliminates the banging and swinging experienced with traditional door blinds.
For most families, it’s not practical to re-furnish your home before a baby arrives. Fortunately, there are ways you can baby-proof the items you already have and as your little one grows, work on teaching boundaries to ensure safety. Options like adhesive foam can soften the sharp edges of coffee tables, while anchors help prevent large, heavy items from being tipped or pulled over.
Find more information on safety options for your doors at odl.com/FFAOB16.