Many grandparents do not realize how dangerous their homes can be for young grandchildren. Our homes are usually not as safe as we think they are. We have coffee tables with sharp edges, breakable knick-knacks within reach, cabinets filled with poisonous cleaners, and window treatments that could easily strangle a toddler. Fortunately, most common hazards in your home can be fixed through some simple changes. Below are ways that you can make your home safer for your beloved grandchildren:
Keeping Things Locked: One of the best ways to keep your grandchildren safe is to keep them out of the most dangerous places in your home. You can easily find locks, latches, and doorknob covers that will keep you children out of areas that could be hazardous.
Protecting from Poisons: Make sure to move all your medicines to a place that children cannot reach and be sure to store them in child-resistant packaging. It is also a great idea to install safety latches and locks on cabinets where you store dangerous cleaners.
Watching for Sharp Objects: Make sure that you move all breakable objects out of your grandchildren’s reach. Close and lock the dishwasher to prevent children from grabbing any knives. Make sure your trash can also has a secure lid.
Putting up Safety Gates: Young children have a tendency to fall and tumble easily. You cannot prevent all of these, but you can help prevent serious falls like tumbling down the stairs. By putting a safety gate across the top and bottom of your stairs, children cannot explore this area. You can also install guards that will keep children from falling out of windows.
Avoiding Burns: Hot water burns thousands of children each year. You can prevent this by turning your hot water heater down to 120 degrees and by installing anti-scald devices on your faucets. These devices either prevent children from moving the handle too far towards hot or turn off the water when it gets too hot.
Preventing Shocks: Electrical outlets and plugs can cause serious injury and even death for toddlers. Make sure to use special covers and plates on all your outlets. The covers will fit over your outlet and plug so that a child cannot reach them. The plates will cover unused outlets.
Making furniture safe: Small children can easily fall and bump their head or eye on the corner of coffee tables or other furniture. To prevent these injuries you can put corner or edge bumpers on the sharp corners of your furniture. Also make sure that your window blinds do not have pull cords that could strangle a child. Blinds made since 2001 are much safer, but you can get kits to fix the cords of older blinds.
Childproofing your home does not always mean that your grandchildren will not get into trouble or get hurt. After some time children may figure out how to disable your safety devices. Make sure you test how study the devices are. If they do not hold make sure to take them back and try a different brand. It is also important to always keep a watchful eye on your grandchildren at all times. Between your home’s safety devices and your supervision, you can protect your beloved grandchildren from danger when coming to visit.