What is child proofing?
Baby or child proofing means making the environment as safe for kids as is possible. Child proofing cannot guarantee that accidents will not happen, and nothing can replace constant supervision. Babies and small children cannot gauge risk and consequences. But we can, and it is our duty as carers to do so.
How to do it
There are various ways to baby proof your home. You can, for example, get somebody to do it for you. But it is more fun, more engaging, and more valuable if you do it yourself. Research it. Talk about it with friends. Join a mums’ group and share tips. Post your findings and experiences here.
Of course we can also visit you at home and help you to check out and discuss any safety concerns you may have, and maybe spot some risk areas you may have missed. Another set of eyes is always good. And we can supply and recommend child safety items for you, and install them, too.
But let’s start by making an action plan and doing it ourselves.
Doing it Yourself
First of all think ‘layers’ – layers of protection.
- Supervision: The first layer of protection, and the golden rule, is supervision. Promise yourself never to leave a little one unsupervised in an area where there might be danger. Promise yourself never to let sudden distractions, such as the phone or doorbell, make you forget this. If someone else is delegated to supervise for you, make sure that person has all they need to do the job properly including knowledge and training.
- Restrict Access: The second layer of protection is simply to restrict access to any areas which could present a danger. For example, windows have proved to be one of the most hazardous areas in the home for little ones. Restrict access to danger – make sure little ones can never reach or open a window or balcony door by themselves. Combined with supervision, simply prevent access to open windows with secure window locks or restrictors. And remove any furniture or other ways to climb up near windows.
- Get down on the floor: We often hear, from people we visit, the phrase “Oh, I never thought of that! It’s so obvious!”. Doing baby proofing yourself requires a little mind trick. Make a shift in how you view your home and view it from a new perspective. Get down on the floor! Look at the environment through the eyes, and mind, of your little crawler or toddler! What can you reach? What can you touch? What can you put in your mouth? What looks attractive? What can you explore? What can you open? What can you pull? What can you climb? Where can you go? Then, from your findings, you can start to implement your safety measures.
And don’t forget to share them, discuss them, and help to raise awareness.