The world from a toddler’s point of view: Everything is new, unknown and exciting. Everything is worth trying to touch or pull up or down. Small children are not only very inventive, but also clever and quick. Unfortunately, the apartment or house not only represents an exciting field of research for your little ones, but also a source of danger that should not be underestimated. This is where child safety devices come in handy.
The older and more mobile, the more comprehensive the security precautions
In the first few months after birth, a baby’s living environment is still limited to the children’s room, which is usually lovingly furnished by the parents during pregnancy and equipped with numerous cute details. As soon as the offspring starts to crawl, the radius of action expands. At this point at the latest, the entire apartment or house should be baby-proofed. It is less about freeing the home from all sources of danger and more about recognizing risks. Parents should therefore ask themselves in good time where the greatest sources of danger lurk, which rooms are secured and what security measures need to be taken. Depending on the age, size, mobility and strength of the child, different aspects need to be considered: Babies who have just learned to crawl cannot open drawers yet. When the offspring starts to walk, however, everything that is within reach and reach must be secured.
1. How to protect the little ones from the deep fall
Steps and stairs are a source of danger for children even when they are still crawling, as they cannot assess the height and the associated dangers of a fall. Stair gates are the simplest and most common form of protecting your little ones from falling down. These can be installed with just a few screws and a few simple steps. However, don’t underestimate your children’s inventiveness! Since they often find out quite quickly how to climb over the trellis, it should have a minimum height of 60cm. You have the choice between different locking systems for the gates: Models with handles are less recommended, as children quickly figure out how to open the gate by the time they are two years old at the latest. Sliding mechanisms are therefore the better choice, since children are not familiar with this form of locking. However, once the little ones have figured out how the mechanism works, the baby lock is no longer effective.
Stair gates The prices for the different models of stair gates are between 30 and 100€. In addition to the price and the locking system, you should pay particular attention to the mounting options when buying.
Play it safe with baby gates that can be locked with a key. Of course, this also means that only people with a key can open the gate. This is not usually a big problem for adults, as they can usually step over the fence without any problems. However, this is difficult for older children in the household or older people with restricted mobility. One possibility is to keep the key on a hook next to the gate, which of course must be attached high enough that your offspring, whom the baby gate is supposed to protect, cannot reach it.
2. Pinched fingers and bumps on the head – the risks of doors and windows
Doors that slam shut easily in a draft are a major source of danger for children’s hands. Door stops prevent little ones from pinching their fingers. Large glass surfaces, such as sliding doors to the terrace, should be clearly marked for the child – for example with colorful stickers – to avoid denting. Hanging cords from curtains or window shutters often tempt the little ones to pull on them. If these are not optimally fastened, there is a risk that they will fall down.
3. The child’s spirit of discovery knows no bounds – creative uses of furniture and furnishings
Not only knives, forks, scissors and lights are not for small children – as a well-known saying goes – corners and edges of cupboards, tables and other furnishings can also pose a source of danger for small children. Special edge protection accessories or a do-it-yourself covering made of foam or cushions offer protection. Pieces of furniture such as shelves and cupboards are also often converted into climbing frames, which is why they must be fixed to the wall so that they cannot tip over. The same applies to floor lamps, vases or the like – stability must also be ensured here. What is hidden inside cupboards and drawers is of course also particularly interesting for the little ones. Above all, places where cleaning supplies, medicines or sharp objects are kept must be protected from children’s access.
Child safety locks Child safety locks for cupboards and drawers are available in different versions. They are available both as a screw-on model and as an adhesive lock and are fixed on the inside.
So remember to lock cupboards and drawers with a small childproof latch. Objects that get hot during use, such as stovetops or irons, must also be secured accordingly. Above all, stove grilles should be fitted around old ovens that heat up quickly. Also remember to run some cold water after you have drawn hot water from the tap. Be careful with plants too! Since children not only like to explore the world with their eyes and hands, but often also test their sense of taste, find out in good time whether your indoor plants are poisonous if eaten. In addition, supposedly harmless furnishings such as carpets or loose floor mats can also pose a tripping hazard for your offspring.
4. Energized – the danger from the socket
The professional operation of electronic devices is often a challenge for adults. You should therefore keep your little ones away from it and secure all of the electronics in the household accordingly. Child safety locks for sockets consist of a small plastic plate that is placed over the contacts and thus blocks free access to the power source. Of course, the socket can still be used. Electrical cables should be laid in such a way that children cannot reach them, i.e. hide them behind furniture or fix them accordingly. Also, keep in mind that any cords that are hanging down will invite your child to tug on them. Never leave hair dryers, toasters or other appliances that are easy to turn on plugged in or lying around.
5. Seeing the world through children’s eyes
Finally, a tip that may seem a bit strange to you, but is very helpful if you decide to make your apartment or house baby-fit: try to see the world through the eyes of a child! Sit on the floor and see from a child’s perspective what looks particularly interesting in your environment and where potential sources of danger lurk.