The first few years of your child’s life is full of milestones – and with each new achievement, you’ll face challenges of your own, especially when it comes to childproofing your house. Sometimes it will feel like, in order to keep your kids safe, you need to wrap them in bubble wrap, or at least cushion every edge. That’s not really a sustainable approach, though, and it’s certainly not attractive. The good news is that, with these 3 tips, you don’t have to compromise your decor to childproof your home. You can keep your style and your sanity!
Focus On Their Space
If there’s one room where it makes sense to take every childproofing precaution, it’s your child’s bedroom. As a kid-focused space, your sense of fashion doesn’t matter nearly as much, and going all out on safety means that you can comfortably let them play and explore without too much interference. With that in mind, then, watch out for common products like bed rails – the portable ones shouldn’t be used for children under two-years-old. Skip the standard plug-in nightlight as well, in favor of a small, lamp-style piece, as small nightlights can be tempting for little hands.
Across the board, opt for minimalism in your child’s room. While you should always anchor furniture, consider foregoing the bookshelf in favor of floor level bins so they won’t be tempted to climb the shelves. As for window dressings, choose cordless blinds or simple curtains. Though many people think they’ve changed the design of blinds so they aren’t a strangulation risk anymore, those changes are actually optional.
Style Your Fireplace
One of the most dangerous places in the home for small children is near a fireplace. The flames are so attractive, especially to younger children who don’t have a sense of danger; most children injured in fireplace accidents are between the ages of eight months and 2.5 years old.
There are a couple of options when it comes to childproofing your fireplace; you’ll definitely want to choose a sturdy fireplace screen. You’ll want to avoid glass shields, though, even if you have a gas fireplace, as the glass heats up and can cause serious burns. Luckily, there are many cover styles, so you’re sure to find one that matches your décor.
Some parents choose to retire their fireplaces during their children’s early childhood because it’s less stressful that way, and this is also a good option. If that’s the case, you might consider repurposing your fireplace, using it as a place to store toys or creating a faux log stack to cover the unused space.
Adapt As They Age
As children get older, they have the potential to get into more trouble, but they also grow in their understanding and ability to grasp danger. That means you can adapt your childproofing as your child grows, rather than just adding layer upon layer. Focus on age appropriate childproofing and remove protections from items that are no longer of concern. You may need a toilet lock if you have a toddler who has just started walking, but that’s entirely unnecessary with older children. Similarly, you can ditch the corner bumpers once your children are steady on their feet. Many of the more-unsightly childproofing tools are only necessary for very young children and you’ll be able to remove them before you know it.
The degree to which you childproof your home will depend on what kind of furniture you have, the size of your space, and your child’s age, but it’s also important to acknowledge that there are limits when it comes to your ability to keep them safe. Children get hurt sometimes, no matter how vigilant you are. That doesn’t mean you should skip all the precautions, but it does mean you can relax a little. Be cautious, but be true to yourself and your aesthetic.