Childproofing your home can be a monumental task. Here are 7 tips to childproof your living room today. These tips will get you started on childproofing the rest of your home – but for now – try these baby steps:
1. The TV
Nearly every living room has one. Wall mounted televisions are the safest way to go. Most newer televisions are relatively light compared to older models, and easily mounted. If wall mounting your television is not possible, or your television is in a cabinet or on a stand, use straps to anchor it to the wall.
2. The Fireplace
The “granddaddy of danger zones” can be tamed with a few changes. If your hearth has sharp edges or hard, exposed stones or tiles, purchase padding made specifically for fireplaces. There are many relatively inexpensive options that will work for most dangerous surfaces. Consider installing a heat-resistant baby-safe hearth gate to your fireplace so when you do have a fire going, toddlers keep a safe distance from the hearth.
3. Candles and Matches
We all know toddlers and matches are not a good fit. Make sure all candles and matches are out of reach. Even when unlit, scented candles are can be an inviting treat for a toddler. Check out flameless LED candles available online and in many stores. These LED candles mimic flickering candlelight and can be just as inviting as the real thing!
4. Picture Frames
Put photo frames up and out of a toddler’s reach. If you have family photos is glass, keep in mind they can easily shatter in a carpeted room. Either hang your photos or replace them with updated plastic picture frames.
5. Power Cords and Outlets
Another way to childproof your living room is to keep power cords and strips securely hidden behind furniture. If outlets or power strips are exposed, purchase a power strip cover. Also, cover exposed outlets with outlet covers.
6. Small Objects Out of Reach
Small toys or other objects that are smaller than about 1″ in diameter are a choking threat. Parents advisor Gary Smith, M.D., Dr. P.H., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio., suggests that children should not play with items this size until they are about five years old.
7. Glass Coffee Tables
Glass coffee tables can pose a serious hazard to toddlers just beginning to walk, especially on the forehead and eyes. If your glass table is not tempered glass, put it away in a room that a toddler cannot access. If your table is tempered glass, it is still a good idea to buy edge guards for low tables with sharp edges.
So, here are 7 tips to childproof your living room today. Take it room by room. Even if your children are no longer toddlers, it’s a great idea to take note of the little things that visiting toddlers or grandchildren can get into.