Child-proofing your apartment
If you’re getting ready to entertain friends or family members – and their small children – for the first time, it’s probably a good idea to take a look around your place at least a week before they arrive for their visit. If you’re childless and don’t have friends with babies or toddlers who visit you regularly, there may need to be some changes you make in order to help everyone have a safe and happy visit to your home.
Start the process of child-proofing by giving your home a rigorous cleaning. Most small kids are apt to put anything that’s at their eye and reach level into their mouths, so during your cleaning process, start putting away objects that could look like tasty teething items for babies or toddlers.
Next, assess your living spaces from the eye level of someone who is just a few feet tall. What can they grab, get their hands on, or might confuse for a toy when it’s actually a piece of art, knick-knack or edible substance? To be very safe, remove everything that’s within grabbing distance on shelves, tables and from open cupboards. If you don’t have baby locks on your low-level kitchen cabinets, consider installing them. Kids who bang pots together are only cute if you are deaf.
Now that you’ve dealt with the most likely rooms you’ll be hanging out in, don’t forget that kids can travel, fast, especially if they’re left unattended. Check the places you might not expect them to be – like bathrooms, laundry rooms, even offices, removing any products that a child could grab and try to eat or grab and break.
Next, it’s time to think about sharp corners. Do you have any furniture in your home that is truly dangerous? It may not be dangerous to you, but what if a running two-year-old fell toward it and hit their head? Watch out for glass pieces, coffee tables, lamps and any modern furnishings that could result in a trip to the emergency room.
When your friends arrive, be sure to alert them to potential danger spots. If there’s a room in the house that kids could do major damage in, be sure to close it off and let the parents know it’s off limits. But remember, it’s your home, so if the baby gets into trouble while exploring, it’s probably ultimately going to be your fault.