A number of recent reports have highlighted some really important child safety issues with a number of standard home furnishings including a couple of toddlers deaths by strangling on window blind cords so this topic seemed like a good one to cover on the site.
Before I tackle some of the other childproofing areas that you may wish to consider for your home (of which there are many on top of this covered in this article) I wanted to give a couple of blind and window blind specific safety tips.
As you might expect it is the sometimes accessible window blind cords that seem to be the main potential health issue surrounding children who by nature will, of course, look to grab and play with anything within their immediate vicinity.
With regards to mitigating these risks, you can complete some basic tasks like having the cords tied up beyond the reach of small children (small hooks on the wall are ideal for this in the same manner as curtain tie hooks). The Consumer Product Safety Commission is also looking to incorporate rulings for manufacturers so that blinds will incorporate means to cover the cords completely. Although this potential new ruling is in early stages initial indicators are that the cords may be a house in small panels to the front, back or sides of the window blinds to completely obscure them from view or access.
Of course childproofing a home goes far beyond the remit of just window blinds and as you might expect (with some recent exceptions) window blinds and shutters (or any other furnishing for the window) tend to be low down on the list of priorities, however; you cannot over prepare your home for a new child.
Some other child-friendly home improvement tips include:
1. Incorporate easy to access storage in every room of your home (be innovative here as there are many ways to achieve this) so that any toys left unattended can easy be tidied away with minimum or no real effort.
2. Assess all existing furniture for the potential harm that it can cause to a small child – you can buy corner covers to reduce the effect that a sharp or pointed edge can have should a child fall onto it.
3. If you have rugs deployed over the house on hard surfaces like kitchen tiles, laminate or wooden flooring or other areas like a conservatory ensure that these are non slip. Again, you can use tape to keep the rugs in place and help prevent children slipping.
4. If like many people you have lots of cables strewn around for televisions, DVD players, computer consoles, home PCs and more (the list is nearly endless) look to utilise cables ties and cover the cables wherever possible so that they are not trip hazards.
Get creative with your childproofing, get on your knees and try looking at each room from a toddler’s viewpoint and enjoy making your home safer.