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Child proofing your home

Child-proofing your home is an essential requirement to keeping your new baby safe from injury. According to the HSE, most injuries in the 0-5 age group occur in the home. All new babies are budding Indiana Jones’s or Ernest Shackleton’s and their new home is a whole unexplored lost continent.

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One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to child-proofing, is to try and see the world from your child’s perspective. Get down low on the floor and look around your home at all the things that can be tugged, pulled, climbed up on, pulled down on top of, or even worse, can burn.

As your child gets older, so does their curiosity and reach so it’s important to keep appraising your home from your child’s perspective. Window blind cords and draws suddenly become hazardous, saucepan handles protruding over the front of the hob are most certainly an unwanted attraction and that scratch post for the cat not secured to the wall? If the cat climbs it you can be sure your toddler wants to as well.

Make sure your child is safe and follow our child-proofing checklist

Before your baby arrives:

  1. Install and check smoke detectors are working on a regular basis.

  2. Ensure there is a working fire extinguisher on each floor.

  3. Install carbon monoxide detectors if you’ve gas or oil and ensure you check batteries twice a year.

  4. Prepare a first-aid kit for your baby.

  5. Post emergency numbers next to your phone, including your baby’s GP.

  6. If paint is flaking or peeling, it should be removed or sealed.

  7. Cover sharp edges with padding.

  8. Set your water heater to 48 degrees celsius or below, as a baby’s skin is more delicate than yours.

  9. Install window stops so they open no further than 4 inches.

  10. Shorten blind cords to ensure they’re out of reach of a child.

  11. Install covers on electrical sockets.

Before your baby begins to crawl:

  1. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.

  2. Keep hot food and plates away from the edges of tables and counters.

  3. While cooking, turn handles towards the back of the cooker.

  4. Once your baby can get up on their hands and knees, mobiles and hanging toys should be removed from the cot and the mattress should be set to the lowest setting.

  5. Use doorstops to protect your baby’s fingers.

  6. Keep electrical appliances such as hair dryers out of reach.

  7. Never leave your child alone on beds, couches, bouncy chairs, high chairs or changing tables.

  8. Use rubbish bins that are fitted with childproof lids.

  9. Secure fridges, cabinets and presses with appliance locks.

  10. Attach corner and edge guards.

  11. Never leave your child alone near a body of water, regardless how small for any length of time.

  12. Ensure all blind cords are out of reach of a child.

To really know your own home’s dangers, take a minute to get down on your hands and knees and go through room-to room from a child’s vantage point. Yes, really! You might feel a bit silly, but you’ll be able to spot hazards easily. Don’t forget the garage, garden and driveway too.

To protect your home and the belongings within, get a Home Insurance quote here.


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