OTHER CHILD CONCERNS (HOME REPAIR GUIDE)

Homes are built by and for adults—a little child orientation helps

With children, accidents happen, but the aim should be to prevent the mindless and traumatic
accidents more than the bumps and bruises from normal play. Observe a child for a day, and you’ll
get a good idea what you have to lock up, limit access to, or ban from your kids.

Medicine looks like candy, and pediatric versions can taste appealing. It’s little wonder children
want to explore medicine cabinets. A good practice to keep pills out of the child’s reach is locking
medicine cabinets.

Space Heaters

Both portable space heaters and hard-wired individual room heaters can get dangerously hot to the touch as well as be fire hazards.

Select a space heater with a guard around the heating element or flame area to prevent children from getting burned.

Look for a heater with sensors that turn a heater off when objects are too close or if children or pets move too near.

Use heaters on the floor only and avoid hooking up with extension cords.

Safety gates on outside decks will keep toddlers from tumbling down the stairs, but decks that
aren’t built to current code can have openings in their railings large enough for a child to pass through
them (openings between pickets or othervertical members should be 4 inches or less).

Video and Audio Monitoring

Multipurpose baby monitors differ in built-in features, working range, and price.

Some monitors feature two-and three-way receiving, while others offer video monitoring of two separate rooms.

Monitor size varies from very portable—about the size of a home phone—to the size of a small TV set.

Some monitors sound alarms if a child stops moving altogether for longer than twenty seconds, and others offer night-vision
features.

Baby audio monitors aren’t new, but the newest generation of audio/video monitors allows you to
watch child activity from anywhere in the house using a monitor the size of a cell phone. These aren’t
a substitute for being in the same room, but like all safety devices, they’re a good supplement. Making
your home safe will keep the child out of trouble and ease your fears.

Cushion Edges for Furniture

Kids can often get hurt by sharp furniture edges, particularly shorter children who are at eye level to these edges.

Cushioning the edges with self-adhesive soft material protects without leaving marks on the furniture.

No tools are required, and the cushions are removable when no longer needed.

To prevent children from pulling over bookshelves and small cabinets, secure them to wall studs using angle brackets (a useful idea
in areas of earthquakes, too).

MAKE IT EASY

When time is at a premium, a home childproofer might be the way to go. A childproofer is a
specialty contractor who does a home survey, provides an estimated cost for labor and safety
materials, and does the installations. With online resources, you can do the same job if the
contract cost is too high.

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