After moving into a new home with young children, you need to childproof the place as quickly as possible. Accidents are more likely to happen after an address change if you don't prioritize creating a safe environment for your household. Follow this guide to quickly and easily setting up your new home to meet child safety requirements.
1. Protect windows
Even if your children are closely monitored, it only takes a second for them to fall out of a window that's not properly equipped. Close and lock all windows in rooms that aren't being used, and open the top half of the window if that's an option. Parents magazine suggested installing guards on all windows in your new home or using devices that only allow them to open three inches. If the window uses a crank, unscrew it and keep it in a different spot so your child isn't able to open it when you're not around.
2. Put up gates
Placed strategically, baby gates can keep your child from dangerous situations. Baby Center suggested using them in front of stairways, kitchen entrances and doors to the outside to prevent little ones from escaping when the door is open. Make sure you use them properly and that they're not outdated. Also, you must be able to easily open and close them, otherwise you may be too lazy to shut them again when you're in a rush.
3. Practice dishwasher safety
While it's best practice to keep the entire kitchen sectioned off from your young children, it's not always possible to keep them from entering. Parents magazine recommended locking the dishwasher at all times and running it as soon as the detergent is added, as ingesting the chemical is a major safety concern.
4. Secure cords
Dangling cords that are attached to blinds can be a safety concern because children can get tangled up in them. When decorating your new home with window coverings, Baby Center recommended opting for those that don't require cords. If the blinds in your home include them, try cutting them or using wind ups to shorten them and make them less likely to cause an accident.
5. Lock up hazardous items
Cleaners and other household objects often use dangerous chemicals as their main ingredients. Make sure that these are stowed away in cabinets that are equipped with locks or gates so your child can't get into them, advised Parents magazine. Another alternative is to keep them up high where your child can't reach. However, it's possible that he or she could still access hazardous materials by climbing on chairs and countertops, so it's best practice to keep them locked away.
6. Use caution with heavy items
Special care should be taken when deciding on where to place heavy items like the TV, as it could pose a hazard to young children who could possibly bump into the stand and cause it to knock over. Baby Center recommended mounting the TV and moving larger items as close as possible to the wall to prevent accidents. When stacking items on a bookcase or table, place the heavier objects toward the bottom to provide extra security.
7. Set parental controls
The Internet and TV are great sources of entertainment and information for your child, but certain sites and programs can be inappropriate for their young age. Set up boundaries on the Internet by restricting Google search results and blocking websites that you deem improper. According to Time Warner Cable, there are ways of setting up restrictions on everything from specific TV programs to certain channels, and you can even set boundaries on time slots to make sure that TV doesn't interfere with dinnertime or sleep. Check with your cable company on how to make sure your Internet and TV can be safe and fun for the whole family.