From the desk of Leslie and Kay, Founders Grandparentslink.com
There is a great jingle that brings all the family through the woods and over to grandma’s house. Can you hear it? But, what they don’t say in the lyrics is everything you need to do BEFORE your visitors arrive. Safety is a critical key anytime the family is together and we would like you to take a moment and consider childproofing your own home in order to relax and enjoy the grandchildren. Be safe and get smart.
While parenting is an all-encompassing job as we grandparents know, so is grandparenting an all-encompassing RESPONSIBILITY. Keep your grandchildren safe from unnecessary accidents in your home. Yes, you do need to do this even if they don’t visit often. It only takes a nano second for an accident to happen – so why wait, when you can avoid injury.
Keep in mind that wee ones to toddlers, to tweens are all at risk. Take a moment and consider these suggestions to keep everyone, at all ages, happy and safe; they may be simple as suggested, but pretty darn important.
If your grandchild requires a crib or port-a-crib, think about location, location, location. Do not put the crib near a wall with electrical outlets, curtains, windows, or tabletop accessories. Is the surrounding area safe for napping or sleeping?
Be sure to buy safety covers for all electrical outlets throughout your house. Remember a crawling baby is on the move – both curious and observant.
Do you need to move/fasten/or anchor items so they won’t tip over if pulled or yanked on? Are safety straps needed? Take a look. Even bottom ovens can be a problem. And for the younger ones, you may want to secure the toilet bowl lids.
Put safety locks on utensil drawers holding sharp knives and forks. What other drawers in the kitchen or bathroom, or anywhere else in your home, need safety locks?
Make sure electrical and accessory cords are not in areas where anyone can play, trip, or get tangled. Remember that the hair dryer needs to be unplugged and put away.
Be careful of what plants you have in your home. Be sure they are not poisonous!
Do you need to purchase ‘Safety Gates’ to keep the little one from tumbling down the steps or landing, or trying to go up somewhere? Can sliding doors be securely locked so an inquisitive hand won’t flip a latch? Are the upstairs’ windows secure?
Are there sharp corners that need to be covered?
If you have a staircase, balcony, or terrace, use mesh netting or Plexiglas to cover any dangerous openings or guard railings.Have you put away all your pills, medications, and household cleaning products and tools? Are they up and out of reach?
Does the bathtub have nonskid strips or appliqués? Is there a bath mat?
Keep glass items out of the bathroom.
Keep doors closed on the washer and dryer.
If you allow the grandchildren to jump on the furniture, be sure to look around and see what is accessible? What can be grabbed or knocked over?
If you have a pool, is it fenced, with a locked gate?
Is your fireplace area in your home safe? What about the area around the outside barbeque?
Make sure dog food, cat food or litter boxes are stored and put away. Need we say more?
Is there an area that’s off limits? Secure it, and make it inaccessible.
Whew, this list could be endless, and that’s just the point. If you take the time to look around, or get down just as a little one would, you’ll be amazed at how danger can present itself. Creating a safe environment adds to great family time together, no matter how long or how frequent. Most importantly, never leave a child unattended!
Need some help with childproofing products? Visit your local hardware store, or go to: