Keeping Your Home Safe for Visiting Grandkids
As a grandparent, a visiting grandkid is usually a recipe for warm memories and building traditions. Even when you are spoiling the little one, things can go wrong at the drop of a hat. It only takes a minute for a baby or young child to find themselves in a dangerous situation.
But when they’re in your charge, it's your job to keep them protected. Of course, the best way to do this is to baby-proof or child-proof your home. Let’s talk about some ways of keeping your home safe for visiting grandkids.
Consider All Angles
Before your grandchildren visit, consider each room in the house. Above, we didn’t only mention the common term “baby-proofing.” We also mentioned “child-proofing.” This is because infants and toddlers can get themselves in just as much trouble as a baby.
With that in mind, different considerations need to be made for different ages. When you’re concerned about keeping your home safe for visiting grandkids, you still need to ensure a safe environment. With that, one great step is to look at the world from their perspective.
By this, we mean to get down on their level and assess the rooms where they will be spending time. From this angle, things that may otherwise go unnoticed can be flagged as a potential hazard. To do this, get low to the ground and look for sharp corners to protect, outlets to cover, cords to pick up from the ground and valuables to put away.
Keep the Cabinets Closed
By all means necessary, avoid letting the child gain access to any cabinets. These areas usually have cleaning solutions, chemicals and medications at reach. To prevent this, get a cabinet lock. This will make it easy for you to open, but difficult for a little one to get through.
Kitchen: Careful of Stoves and Knives
If your grandkids are at your home, it’s natural that you may be cooking. Perhaps you’re making lunch, or they are helping you bake cookies. No matter the situation, the kitchen can be a dangerous room for a child to explore. First, never leave things like sharp knives or hot water unattended. When using the stove, keep pots on the back burner so little fingers can’t reach up to them. You should also keep covers on the stove knobs and a lock on the oven door.
Mind the Stairs
Keep any doors than you don’t want the kids to access closed and locked. Where there are stairs, install a baby gate to block the opening. A stumble down the stairs can not only be scary for the child, but can also lead to serious injuries. Some baby gates are temporary and attach to the doorframe similar to a tension rod. However, if the grandkids will be over often, you may choose a more permanent solution. In this case, you can get a baby gate that screws into the wall for a more permanent installation.
Curious Is As Curious Does
Part of keeping your home safe for visiting grandkids is to never underestimate their curiosity. When a child wants something, they will often find a way to get it. They explore, wander and test limits. For this reason, you should also take a look at the following:
- Be sure that all furniture is stable. For instance, bookshelves or items that may topple if climbed on, should be bolted to the wall when possible. The same goes for standing televisions.
- Make sure windows are closed and locked. Even if it seems like a child can’t reach it, they can climb on nearby objects. On a related note, keep blind cords out of reach to avoid a strangulation risk.
- If you have a swimming pool, be sure there is a pool fence and multiple layers of protection so that children can’t get to the water.
Don’t leave safety to chance. If your grandkid will be sleeping over, make sure there is a safe sleep environment ready for them. For babies, this entails, among other things, a firm surface with no toys, pillows or blankets.
You may also want to consider the child’s development and respond accordingly. A step stool can help them brush their teeth independently; a potty-training toilet can help routines that the child’s caregivers have established; and having a high-chair or changing table can help with keeping a handle on the day.
Finally, it is always helpful to be prepared for an emergency. Being trained in CPR can safe a life. Additionally, you should have important phone numbers on hand for the nearby hospital and doctor. Installing a car safety seat is also a good idea, even if you aren’t planning to go out. In case of an unexpected emergency, you’ll be able to act more quickly.
Now that we’ve covered the bases, go have fun with that bundle of joy!