As a parent, you worry endlessly about protecting your kids but you may be overlooking a major problem area. Your living room is a kid hazardous zone. That glass coffee table or that ultra-modern media centre with the slick TV and sharp corners may look great to you, but to a toddler they represent danger .
Household injuries account for millions of hospital trips each year and most of these are preventable. A little caution and a few safety measures put in place can help make the living room a friendlier place for your kids.
Children are naturally curious and don’t easily recognize or avoid hazards, so it’s up to you to think of these risks when childproofing your home. Here are a few simple tips to make your living room a safer environment with less worry for both you and your kids.
A kid’s eye view
A child’s world is different than an adult’s. They have active imaginations and they’re a lot closer to the ground. So not only do you need to think like a kid, you should even act like a kid. Get down on your hands and knees, crawling around in search of potential problems. Look for hard pointed corners and edges which could harm your child during a fall or if running around in excitement. And keep an eye out for footholds that could allow your furniture to be used as a ladder to reach unsafe heights. Falling furniture is one of the biggest household dangers for small children.
Strap and sturdy
With falling furniture in mind, take another look around your living room. It may be a bookshelf to you, but to a kid’s wild imagination it’s a magic beanstalk begging to be climbed. Make sure your furniture is sturdy enough to prevent it from falling or anchor it to the wall with a furniture safety strap or a brace. That goes for your fancy flatscreen as well. Thousands of kids are hurt by pulling down or tipping over TVs. So make sure they’re securely fastened down and cords are neatly tucked away and out of reach.
Soften the living room
Look for areas of your living room that you can soften up. For example, cushioned edges and corners will prevent your child from an unintentional injury while playing a game of hide and seek. Having small children means it’s time to put away or sell off the modernist living room set you had during your carefree single years. Look to replace glass tables and sharp-edged furnishings with rounded edges and softer materials, or even better store the sharp edged furniture until the child is older and hazard proof.
Secure the rug
Rugs can provide a safe and comfortable place for your child to play, but they can also slide around and trip up a running toddler. The easiest way to childproof a rug is through the use of a non-slip rug pad. This gives your carpet a better surface and prevents it from slipping.