Whether you are expecting and looking to plan ahead, or you have a little one who is gaining her mobility, childproofing your home is probably something that has crossed your mind, but that you are not terribly excited about. Childproofing your home can be a tedious job. Some individuals hire childproofing experts to come into their homes and consult with them about specific needs and concerns. Other parents think that they must spend a lot of money buying as many childproof gadgets as possible. After all, you cannot put a price on the safety and well-being of a child.
There is no doubt that childproofing is a wonderful thing for responsible parents to do. There are countless books and articles that you could research to find out what specific dangers exist in certain areas of your home. The bathroom and kitchen are usually the two most dangerous rooms in the house and therefore deserve more attention during the childproofing process.
Set some rules of conduct. Both parents and children need to have safety rules in place to ensure that childproofing methods are used properly and in a way that they are most effective. Children should be taught safety rules such as that it is not appropriate to play in the trash can or that you should always sit, not stand, while in the tub. Simple safety lessons like this can be taught and understood when your child is still very young. Parents will have more things to remember when it comes to ensuring that your home remains childproof.
Of all the latches, locks, covers and pads available for childproofing, none of them will work if you do not install them properly and make sure to re-secure them if you need to access the off-limits content. Parents need to set safety rules that they will stick to. One common rule that should be in place is that as a parent you should never leave your child unattended in the bathtub for any amount of time, no matter how short. Other rules include using the safety belt on the high chair, turning the pan handles to the back of the stove, and not using tablecloths that are low enough for your child to tug on. Sometimes it is the everyday events that make our homes less child-safe and in addition to buying the right gadgets, some common sense and regular effort is needed.
Childproofing your home was never meant to act as a substitute for supervision. As parents you have the responsibility of protecting your children when they find their way into a dangerous situation that you may not have thought of. Childproofing your home is meant to give you the peace of mind that at least the most potentially dangerous situations can be averted, not that you can eliminate the possibility of your child ever getting hurt so long as you childproof your home perfectly.
Some people may tell you that there is no such thing as over-doing your childproofing. However, there are others that argue a balance is needed between keeping your child safe and allowing for them to have the flexibility to explore, be creative and learn from experience. It is terrible when your child gets hurt. However, the only way for a child to fully understand why something is off-limits is to experience the negative consequences themselves. We never want to subject our children to dangerous situations just to prove a point, but on the same hand kids cannot be locked in a padded room all of their lives because their parents are afraid that they might get hurt.