Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Safety first!


When decorating your home, there is a lot to think about - budget, style, shapes, scale and colour but if you have little ones living in your home you really need to think about safety. Everyday, 60 kids in Canada go to the hospital due to injuries that occur in the home.
Here is a handy guide to childproofing your home like a pro, courtesy of the Bennett Real Estate Pros (http://www.bennettpros.com/)

IN THE KITCHEN
1 -- Organize your kitchen cupboards so that the items that peak your child's interest (cookies for example) are the ones that are farthest from the stove.

2 -- The 6 inch rule: keep sharp knives, the bottles of vitamins, your hot cup of coffee and anything else you do not want your child to reach, at least 6 inches from the edge of the counter top or table.

3 -- You do not have to lock up all of your cupboards, just the ones that contain breakable, sharp and poisonous items. Consider using magnetic locks rather than a latching system.

4 -- When you are cooking, use the back burners and turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove.

IN THE BATHROOM
1 -- Keep all medicines, cleaning products and personal care products locked up in a high place out of your child's reach. The toddler years are the peak time for accidental poisoning and medications are the leading cause. "Child resistant" caps are not childproof!

2 -- Use a rubber faucet guard to protect your little ones head from bumping and bruising. This product is dual purpose as it also creates a more gentle water flow.

3 -- A padded full length bathmat is the safest way to prevent your toddler from slipping in the bathtub. Those cute decals are just that, cute!

4 -- Make sure any door with a lock can be unlocked from the outside too, in case your little one accidentally locks himself or herself in the bathroom. Placing a towel over the top of the door will also prevent anyone from locking the door too.

5 -- Install a latch on the outside of the door at adult height so your curious little tot can't get into the bathroom without adult supervision.

6 -- Get in the habit of closing the lid on the toilet. This serves two purposes. By closing the lid before you flush prevents the spread of germs when you flush and keeps you curious little monkey from falling in! Consider investing in a lid lock, if your little one loves the water!

7 -- Lock the garbage can under the sink or choose one with a child resistant cover, so discarded razor blades and plastic bags do not become juniors new favourite play toys.

8 -- When washing hands, teach your child to turn the cold water on first and slowly add the warm water, as straight hot water can burn delicate skin.

IN THE NURSERY
1 -- Keep furniture including cribs or beds, away from the windows, curtains and blinds. Your best bet is to use cordless window coverings. Check out this link to the Window Coverings Safety council (http://www.windowcoverings.org/)

2 -- Install window guards to prevent curious little ones from falling out. Window stops prevent windows from opening more than 10 cm are a good option.

3 -- Size of toys. How small is too small? If it fits in an empty toilet paper roll, it's too small for a child under the age of 3 yrs old.

4 -- Don't allow a child younger than 6 yrs. old to sleep in the top bunk. At that age they do not have the proper coordination needed to safely climb up or out.

5 -- Choose a toy box with a lightweight lid and a hinge that will stop it from slamming shut or find a lidless toy box. Not only would a lidless option keep tiny fingers safe but it also allows toys to air out.

6 -- Once your baby is able to pull himself or herself up to stand (usually around 8 months) it is best to remove items such as bumper pads, pillows, stuffed toys as these decor items can be used as their "escape" tools.

IN THE FAMILY ROOM
1 -- Check your couch cushions regularly for loose change, buttons and other choking hazards.

2 -- Put up a barrier around your fireplace to prevent your children from searing their skin. It can take the window of a gas fireplace 45 minutes to cool down to a safe temperature. When the fireplace is not in use, turn it off completely including the pilot light.

3 -- Move furniture with sharp edges out of high traffic areas, especially if your toddler is just beginning to walk. You can also invest in edge protectors that stick onto furniture, just make sure they stay put as they could become a choking hazard.

4 -- Attach bookcases, tall dressers and other unsteady furniture securely to the wall with safety brackets.

5 -- Keep the TV in low sturdy furniture and push it as far back as possible (see the 6 inch rule). More than 100 kids visit the emergency room each year when TV sets fall on them. Many larger TVs come with safety brackets or braces, which is a good preventative measure.

MORE TIPS
If you are looking for more childproofing tips, check out these websites.

http://www.babyproofers.ca/
http://www.safety-council.org/
International Association for Child Safety http://www.iafcs.org/
http://www.safekidscanada.ca/
http://www.babyproofingplus.com/
http://www.kiddieproofers.com/

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