Your room-by-room guide to a toddler-friendly home

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Your toddler is a bundle of energy, wanting to know all about their surroundings. From the sofa to the TV, to the bookshelf and the stairs, they want to touch and play with everything they find!

It’s all part of learning and it’s wonderful to see. But you want to be sure that your toddler can play and discover safely. So, to help keep everything as safe as possible, here’s a room-by-room guide to keeping your home toddler-friendly.

Family room/Living room:

  • Cover plug sockets with plastic safety plugs.
  • Put electrical cords out of reach of tiny hands.
  • Make sure floor lamps can’t be knocked or pulled over.
  • Cover any sharp edges on tables, chairs etc.
  • Keep controls for TV, CD players and games out of reach.
  • Place a fireguard around the fireplace.
  • Make sure books and ornaments can’t be knocked off shelves and tables.
  • Move any floor-standing plants.

Your toddler’s bedroom:

  • Replace the cot with a bed when your toddler is ready, sometime between 18 months and 3 1/2 years old.
  • While your toddler is getting used to sleeping in a bed you could put a bed guard on their bed to stop them falling out.
  • Cover plug sockets with plastic safety plugs.
  • Make sure ropes from blinds are tied up, out of reach
  • Put any medicines away in a cupboard they can’t get into.

Dining area:

  • Cover plug sockets with plastic safety plugs.
  • Put latches on cutlery and crockery drawers or cabinets.
  • Keep things like plants, ornaments and table cloths out of reach.
  • Discourage climbing by pushing chairs underneath the table.

Bathroom:

Consider making your bathroom a no-go area for your toddler by putting a child-proof latch on the outside of the door. Or just keep everything out of reach.

  • Keep toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, shavers, soaps etc in a locked bathroom cabinet.
  • Use a non-slip bath mat to avoid any slips or trips.
  • Fix a latch to your toilet seat to keep the lid closed when it’s not being used.
  • Swap any glass or ceramic dishes, bottles and cups for plastic ones.
  • Always supervise your toddler in the bathroom.

Kitchen:

Kitchens are never completely child-friendly places. So you might want to think about installing a safety gate to keep your toddler where it’s safe. Here are some extra precautions you could take.

  • Keep all detergents and other household cleaning stuffs in a locked cupboard.
  • Keep all pans and cooking utensils away from the edge of your cooker and kitchen units – out of sight and out of reach.
  • Turn pan handles towards the back of the cooker and cook on the rear burners.
  • Place a safety guard in front of the oven.
  • Put locks on your fridge, freezer and any other doors at toddler height.
  • Unplug small appliances and never leave electrical cords dangling.
  • Store away plastic shopping bags well beyond your toddler’s reach.

All stairs, windows and doors:

  • Install child stair gates at both the top and bottom of any stairway in your home.
  • If you have any glass doors, put stickers on them at toddler height so that your little one can see them.
  • Keep any sliding glass doors or screens closed.
  • Shorten cords blinds and curtains to keep them out of toddlers’ reach.
  • If your banisters are widely spaced, place netting or plastic screening along any banister rails or balconies to stop your toddler squeezing through.

Outside your home:

Don’t forget your garage and garden, just as a precaution:

  • Place things like paint tins, gardening tools and other implements on shelves or in cupboards.
  • Always supervise your toddler in the garden. If you have a pond, pool or other water feature, you may want to cover it over until your toddler is old enough to understand where it’s safe to play.
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