You’ve likely spent months of enjoying your little one, cuddling them and keeping them close to you as they learn how to sit up, scoot, and crawl. And now that your baby is growing up, they’re going to want to spend less time snuggling with you and more time moving and exploring.
With your child’s mobility comes a new and even greater responsibility for you as the parent. And it’s not just your baby or toddler that you need to watch out for – it is your older children as well! It’s true that you will never be able to completely shelter your little one from harm, but childproofing your home, especially your furniture, is one of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe. It’s up to you to provide them a safe environment to learn and explore in, and here’s some tips on how to do just that.
Nail it down!
No matter what kind of furniture you have, whether it’s a beautiful Milano oak furniture piece in your living room or a small book shelf in your office, your furniture fixtures must be anchored or bolted to the wall. When your child starts pulling up on things, he’ll likely pull up and reach for things like tables, book cases, desks or other places that are within grasp. It doesn’t matter how big or heavy it is, it can still be wobbly and unsteady when pulled on. Thousands of children are treated daily in emergency rooms all over the world because of accidents when furniture tips over. And unfortunately there are thousands of deaths related to this every year as well. Visit any hardware store or the baby section of your local department store – there are furniture wall straps or brackets that you can buy that will help you secure the piece of furniture into the wall and keep it from tipping over.
When you’re shopping for new furniture, consider finding pieces that have round edges. When your child is learning how to walk, they are usually very unsteady on their feet and may topple over easily. If they’re tumbling near sharp edges of furniture often, there is an increased risk of them bumping their heads or eyes, which could cause serious injury. For furniture that you already have in your house with sharp edges, buy clear corner cushions. These are soft and rounded and can help protect children from injury.
Sturdy is safe;
Buying sturdy furniture is important. While that super cute antique table might be perfect for your room, the wobbly, petite legs that it has might not be a good option with a kid in the house. Look for furniture that has wide legs or solid bases. This means they will be heavier duty and you’ll have less likelihood for a tip-over issue.
Never put items that are appealing to kids (like a toy or favourite doll) on the top part of a shelf or dresser. Toddlers especially may not understand the danger of climbing a shelf to get to their special toy.
Even if you watch your children every second of every day, accidents can still happen, but accidents with furniture tip-overs are almost always preventable. Being prepared as much as you can, having your house free of potentially hazardous situations can help prevent tragedies from happening.