Moving house is never easy and moving to a new home with toddlers presents extra challenges, including the fact that your new home, however nice and suited to your needs, may be harboring all kinds of dangers to little people that adults may not always think about.
Toddlers are endlessly curious – and fast moving little folk. They also do not have a natural sense of fear yet, so what might scare the heck out of an adult or even of an older child won’t usually bother them at all (climbing up ridiculous things, eating whatever they feel like and looks interesting.)
Toddler proofing your home to the largest extent possible you will make it safer for your toddler to live in and your life easier and (slightly) less stressful. Here is a basic room by room guide:
Toddler Proofing the Kitchen
- Add childproof cabinet locks to every single kitchen cabinet door and all of the drawers. This should include all of those you think they cannot reach, because a toddler, a chair and the enterprising and fearless mind of a small child can often help them get anywhere they can, including place that should be too high for them to climb.
- Get into the habit of only making use of the back-burners of your stove when cooking and keep pot and pan handles turned backwards at all times.
- Unplug your small appliances when not in use and store them in a cabinet or in an appliance garage.
- Add childproof caps to all of the electrical outlets in the kitchen.
- Never leave plastic bags where a toddler could grab one. That means if you have one of those handy bag caddies on the wall unfortunately, as cool as they are, it is time for them to go.
Toddler Proofing the Living Room
- Add childproof caps to all electrical outlets
Remove all free standing floor lamps, or anchor them very securely to the floor.
Ensure electrical cords from TVs, computers, video game consoles etc are not left loose.
Move any and all pot plants out of a toddlers reach.
Toddler Proofing the Dining Room
- Add even more childproof caps to all electrical outlets
Keep dining chairs pushed close to the table when not in use to help prevent those nasty climbing accidents.
Ditch the tablecloths that fascinate toddlers so, especially when it comes to removing them, and replace them with place-mats instead.
Toddler Proofing the Bathroom
- ALL medications, cosmetics, razors and beauty products should be kept in a locked medicine cabinet.This includes shampoos and conditioners which are prettily coloured enough that a toddler could mistake them for a yummy drink.
Pad the taps in the bathtub
Add a generously sized slip proof mat to the bathtub.
Replace all of your ceramic or glass bathroom accessories with plastic ones (you can get some very nice ones if you shop around a bit)
Never leave the bath un-drained when no-one is there, even for a few minutes.Children can drown in just a few inches of water in just minutes.
Toddler Proofing Windows and Doors
- Keep screen doors locked at all times.
Add toddler eye height stickers or decals to sheet glass doors so that they can actually see that there is a barrier in their path.
Keep your windows locked and if you must open one in the summer ensure that you have a very secure screen in place.
Shorten the cords on blinds and curtains so that a toddler cannot reach them and possibly get tangled up in them, something that causes dozens of very tragic deaths every year.
Enclose the rails on any balconies or porches with fine but sturdy netting, so that children cannot try to squeeze between them.