Is childproofing the most effective method of keeping toddlers safe?
Toddlers and infants, at their stage of life are very curious to discover everything around them. They exercise a sense of admiration over everything around them. This includes doors, windows, curtains, potted plants and just about everything else. It is also important to understand that children develop their sense of surroundings and learning about the concept of physical space by moving around and exploring the world around them, which at that point, is restricted to the house. This means that its impractical to restricting the baby’s movement by keeping him or her in a crib, it might hamper or slow the growth of the toddler even if it is done so to keep the child safe. Childproofing the rest of the house to keep the baby safe while allowing them to explore and learn about their surroundings and themselves is the best option.
Is childproofing the curtains and blinds at home necessary?
Childproofing curtains is essential to a toddler’s safety. Although rare, strangulations by curtains and blinds can be life threatening. However, most curtain related accidents are minor such as the curtain rods falling and hitting the child or the sharp hooks used to hold the curtain causing pain.
Although all of these possible ways of harm being inflicted upon a child is unlikely. It is always better to be prepared for every situation and eventuality. Also, parents and caretakers cannot always be in the presence of the child. When toddlers are unsupervised for brief moments at the house it is always better to have taken additional measures to childproof the house. It can also give the parents and caretakers a sense of peace of mind when they are not around. They will always know that the baby is safe and sound.
What is the first step in childproofing curtains and blinds?
The first step is to prioritise which rooms need to be childproofed first. It is recommended that every room in the house be thoroughly childproofed. However, childproofing the whole house might take time, especially with bigger homes. Prioritising can be done by determining which rooms the child is going to primarily stay in. Once these rooms are childproofed, the other rooms can be taken care of. If it is certain that a child will not venture into certain parts of the house, there might not be a need to childproof it to save time and effort. It’s a personal call depending on the opinion of the parent.
Perhaps the bedrooms, playrooms and the primary living space must be on top of the list. Bathrooms also, naturally are suited candidates for this list. Once these rooms have been tended to, attention can be given to other rooms.
How are curtains and blinds childproofed?
The following step by step process can be incorporated and will remain largely consistent regardless of what type of curtains or blinds are in the rooms. However, it is always better to be ready for minor preparedness and change of the listed methods and tips –
- Shortening the length of the blind cords – The highest form of risk exists when a child pulls the cord which can result in an injury if they curtain rod falls on the toddler. What is a bigger risk is that the curiosity of the child leads to wrapping of the cord around its neck, which can result in strangulation.
Shortening the length of the cord by either cutting it or tying it up enough times to make sure it is out of the reach of the toddler is the first order of business when it comes to childproofing curtains.
- Using cleats – Cleats, however, are a more permanent solution to this problem. Cleats can be used to tie the cords to the wall. It need not be necessary that cleats are the only devices used. Chains perform a similar function as well. There are other ‘tension’ devices that perform just as well as cleats and chains.
It is possible that even if the length of the cords are shorting by cutting them or tying them up, that the child might be able to reach the cords if he or she gets up on a stool, chair or table. This can also be a problem if the window or glass pane door covers the length and breadth of the wall. In situations like these cleats and chains provide an iron clad defence against yanking of the cords.
- Finding the correct position of the bed or cradle – It is essential that attention to detail is given to the place where the bed or cradle is to be. It cannot be too close to a window. The additional height and support that a cradle or bed gives might allow a child to reach the curtain cords or yank the curtains itself. However, it is also not advisable to keep the child away from windows entirely. Access to sunlight, ventilation and natural source of vitamins are extremely crucial during the formative years of development of a child. Parents have it tricky in trying to find a compromise between both these requirements. Usually, this problem is dealt with by placing the bed in the middle of the room which is equidistant from all windows, while still allowing access to natural light.
On the other hand, if one wall is entirely dominated by windows, the bed or cradle can be positioned on any of the other three walls. Since one full side is occupied by windows, there is no shortage of sunlight.
- Controlling blinds via remote control – Another option one might consider is to invest in electronic blinds. These blinds are controlled by motors. Blinds can be drawn by using a remote control. The same can be used for curtains. This essentially means that there are no cords at all for the child to yank and play with. It might be a steeper investment when compared to the conventional blinds and curtains. But it is worth it. These are by far, the safest childproofing method for curtains. It still means that kids can yank at the curtains, so parents must make sure that the child stays away from the curtains as it is. This is just a precautionary measure.
What are the other objects that require childproofing besides curtains?
Aside from curtains, there are other objects that also pose a threat to the safety of the child. To prevent furniture from tipping over, it can be stuck to the walls behind them. Corners of walls and furniture are obviously extremely hurtful spots in a home. Purchasing corner guards and fastening them to the corners eliminates a large portion of childproofing basics. When children are crawling or slowly learning how to walk, they are susceptible to slipping and falling. This can take place especially in places where there is a tendency of the floor to get wet (kitchens and bathrooms, for instance). Door mats and mattresses that cater to preventing kids and adults from slipping and falling can be used. Lastly, keeping little safety gates to block the stairs and the main door is also extremely beneficial.