When other parents find out that I have triplet boys, they often exclaim, “I don’t know how you do it!” The truth is that there is no magical secret to living with rambunctious triplet boys. From the moment that we discovered that we were having multiples, preparation became a big part of our lives. This is particularly true with babyproofing and childproofing the home. The first few years of the boys’ lives we spent most of our time at home, and we went through great lengths to make it a safe space for them. With three little ones running around, it was impossible for me to see everything that they were doing all the time. Securing safety hazards around the house was imperative for me when they were small!
Spring is the perfect time to refresh living spaces and review safety hazards. While there are safety hazards in every room, I’m focusing today on 6 Living Room Safety Hazards that all parents face when childproofing their living space.
Tip: Get down on their level! When childproofing your home, begin by crawling around the living space on your hands and knees like a little one would. Look around for safety hazards that you may not have considered. We discovered cords and other hazards that we had previously overlooked by seeing things from their point of view.
Childproofing: 6 Living Room Safety Hazards
Kids and window cords don’t mix! Little ones are drawn to cords. Imagine yourself as a little toddler, looking up at a swinging cord with a little bell shape on the end. Their inquisitive mind just has to know what it does! Yet window cords are a strangulation hazard. Never fear! Parents of young children can easily remedy this hazard with cordless window covering products or those that have inaccessible cords. Perhaps you have a set of older corded blinds that do not meet today’s safety standards. Replace them with sets that have the Best for Kids™ certification label.
While doing my own crawling tip above, I noticed an electrical cord peeking out from underneath the couch. I thought that it was securely under the couch and didn’t realize that it could be pulled out so easily! Kids can pull down items that are connected to electrical cords, and little ones who are big chewers may find an electrical cord as a temptation. Use cord covers to hide these from a little ones’ grasp.
Do you kids have those shape sorters? You know, the ones where they insert shapes to see if they fit? There’s a reason kiddos like those toys! Little ones like experimenting to see what happens when they places objects into another object, and electrical outlets pose a danger when it comes to this tendency. Electrical outlet covers are inexpensive but worth using in the home. Companies now provide a larger range of electrical outlet cover options that will allow for easy access for parents but still protect little hands.
Be sure to look for electrical outlets even in conspicuous areas. For instance, while reviewing home hazards recently, I realized that I had electrical outlet covers on outlets near the play area but not in another area across the room.
Kids love to climb and hang onto furniture. And, if you have rambunctious triplets, jumping onto and off of furniture is fun, too! Furniture (and electronics such as a TV) pose a serious tip over hazard. Fasten furniture securely to the wall to help prevent these injuries. Find supplies and even kits for this at your local hardware store.
Floor lamps and table lamps are pull-over hazards. Little ones not only can pull a lamp over onto themselves, but the glass from the light bulb itself can break with lamp falls. We did away with floor lamps until our boys were five. For table lamps, we replaced our end tables beside of the couch with end tables that had a built in lamp. I have some friends who have also used velcro to adhere table lamps.
Even if your fireplace has a screen, fireplace screens can get extremely hot and pose a burn risk. Brick surrounding the fireplace can pose a hazard, too. My sister actually suffered a deep cut that required stitches from falling onto the brick when she was a child. We still use a gate around the fireplace to prevent burns and other safety risks from our fireplace.
What other areas of your living room have you childproofed?