Playing is more than just a way to have fun; it’s also an essential part of healthy childhood development. As parents, you can adapt any space at home and design a playroom where your kids can explore, get creative, and learn. When designing a playroom, it’s crucial to think about it from a kid’s perspective. Our guide shows you how to create a fun and functional kids playroom that your children will love for many years to come.
Brainstorming with Your Children
While you’ll have most of the say about the design of the playroom (after all, this is your home), it’s important to let your children provide some input before you set up their new playroom. Ask them about their favorite subjects in school and what type of things they’d like to have in the room. From furniture and toys to kids’ entertainment, sit down and write out a list of all the most important things to your child. When you brainstorm together, you’ll ensure that the final result is something you and your kids will both enjoy and appreciate. Make sure you design a space that’s “evergreen” and one that will grow and adapt as your child gets older. This is the best way to make the most of the playroom and keep it functional and useful over the years as they develop and mature.
Pick a Theme
Choosing a theme for your new playroom can make it fun and exciting, but keep in mind that certain themes might not be appealing to your child in a year or two. Try to stick with themes centered around their favorite activities rather than characters from movies or TV shows. Here are some tips to help you develop the perfect theme for your child’s playroom:
Theater / Dance
Add a small stage to the room where your children can practice their acting and dancing skills. Stock the room with various costumes so the kids can play dress-up and do a little bit of theater right at home. If your child likes to dance, install a large mirror on one wall of the room. Bring in a stereo system or a record player so they can enjoy their favorite plays and dance to music.
Fill the playroom with various instruments like a small drum set, a keyboard, and a tambourine. Stock your child’s playroom with sheet music if they’re skilled at playing the piano or other instruments, so they always have something new to learn. Display some music-themed décor in the room like oversized music notes, framed sheet music, or artwork of images like people or animals singing and playing instruments.
Set up a roomy, sturdy craft table where your child can paint, draw, and work on a variety of arts and crafts projects. Stock the playroom with watercolor and finger paints, an easel, paint brushes, scissors, glue, and construction paper. Find a place where your kids can display their art, such as a large bulletin board or a magnetic board for easy hanging.
Decorate the room with items that display your child’s favorite sports like a framed picture of a baseball field, a hockey stick hung on the wall, or a picture of their favorite player. If you’re feeling brave, install a ceiling-mounted cargo climbing net so your child can play and let off some steam indoors. Bring in some books about sports so your child can read about their favorite games and expand their mind whenever they’re not on the playing field.
From cards to board games, you can easily make your child’s playroom a fun game room by stocking it with a variety of games geared for their age group. Paint a tabletop in a checkerboard design so the kids can play a game of checkers or chess anytime they want. If you have space (and the budget), bring in a large game like a foosball table or ping pong table to serve as the room’s focal point.
Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’s time to pick out some furniture for your kid’s playroom. Here are a few tips to help you get started and ensure that this room is functional and fun to use:
Stick with neutral furniture that’s not too loud or colorful. The more neutral the furniture is, the better the odds are that your child will grow with it instead of out of it.
Choose furniture that’s durable and easy to clean and aim for multifunctional furniture that includes storage like an ottoman or storage bench.
It’s important to ensure that the entire family feels welcome in this room. While kid’s furniture is excellent for little ones, consider bringing in a full-size couch and table so your older children and the adults will feel comfortable in this space, too.
To add a pop of color, bring in some rugs, curtains, and décor to fill the room with bright and cheerful hues. Leave the wall color neutral so it’s easy to adapt the room as your child grows.
Make sure that this space has flooring that’s easy to clean and maintain. Linoleum and vinyl are both good options, and they don’t require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking new. Protect the floors (and your child’s knees and elbows) with some soft, machine-washable area rugs.
Your child must have fun in their playroom, but it’s also important that this part of your home stays clean and organized. With the right storage, you can keep everything neat, tidy, and in its place.
Use Mason jars with a lid to store and organize small craft items like buttons, beads, and spools of thread. Cubbies are perfect for larger toys and games, and you can easily put them on a shelf or stash them under furniture. Baskets and storage bins work well as a catch-all to toss stuffed animals and other toys in one place. Add a storage bench or ottoman, so the kids have a place to hide their shoes, board games, and other medium-sized items. Make sure your playroom has at least one bookshelf for reading material, sheet music, or art supplies.
Set up Different Zones
To make the most of your playroom, break it up into different zones. Each zone can be designated for a variety of activities your child enjoys. Put a small desk in one corner of the room for homework, and place shelving with art supplies and a craft table on the opposite side. Keep kid’s toys, games, and accessories in constant rotation so that there’s always something new for them to enjoy. As your child begins to outgrow certain items, donate them to a local nonprofit organization or your school. Make sure there is one part of the playroom designated for home use, such as a spot for a comfy sofa and TV set.
There are many fantastic add-ons you can bring into the playroom to make it more functional and fun to use. Here are some inspirational ideas to help you get started:
Add a swing. Hang a swing from the ceiling of the playroom so your child can swing as they listen to music or watch television. Make sure the swing is anchored securely and that you’re always nearby whenever they use it.
Add a nap station.Naptime is particularly important for younger children, so create a “nap zone” with a comfy mat, cot, or sleeping bag along with a blanket and some pillows so they can take a snooze after playtime.
Create a dress-up corner. Use a rack to hang costumes and accessories in the playroom and add a freestanding mirror in the corner of the room so your kids can have fun playing dress-up.
Add a slide. Bring a sturdy, small slide into the playroom for your younger children. If you really want to go all out, install a tube-style slide that will whisk your child from one floor to the next for a great entrance.
Create a chalkboard wall.Paint one wall with black chalkboard paint so your child can sketch and doodle to their heart’s content. If you’re not keen on painting a wall this way, bring in a large freestanding chalkboard and place it against one wall.
Make a slime station. Playing with slime is lots of fun, but it’s also messy. Make a special “slime station” with all of the supplies so your child can have some slimy fun, and then put everything away when they’re done.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to design a fun, functional kid’s playroom. There are plenty of ways to DIY and get creative by using items you already have lying around your home. The key is to make sure that you’re having fun while you plan and decorate the playroom. Use these kid’s playroom ideas as inspiration to help you create the perfect space. When it’s finished, everyone will want to come over and play at your house.
This article was originally published at Porch.com
Whenever a child starts growing up, he or she has numerous structural reforms. And one vital sign is when children begin developing adult teeth. Depending on your child’s body and behavioural patterns, there are chances that they may develop crooked or misaligned teeth. That is the time when they need our attention, care and support, to ensure that they have a healthy dental structure for life.
When is it ideal for your child to see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that it is ideal for children to have their first orthodontist treatment when they reach 7 years of age.
Warning Signs That Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment
Children who have a prolonged habit of sucking their thumb may pull their front teeth either inwards or forward. And when the teeth undergo this shift, they may develop gaps between each other. This is known as diastema.
Diastema also develops when the child’s jaw is too big, and the teeth are relatively small. This disproportion of space causes gaps between teeth which need treatment.
Crooked or Crowded Teeth
Kids sometimes tend to have twisted, slanted or overlapping teeth. This occurs when their mouth is too small or narrow for their teeth.
The crooked or crowded teeth result in misalignment and plaque formation. This can further lead to bad breath, tooth decay or gum disease too in the future.
Misalignment of Abnormal Growth of the Jaw
If your child faces jaw alignment issues which are causing problems like cheek biting or difficulty in biting any food item, it is best to visit an orthodontist at the earliest. Because when the teeth and jaws don’t meet, your child will face problems with chewing their food. Moreover, it can affect their appearance and their long term health too.
Unusual Bite or Jaw Structure
Children who have a habit of sucking their thumbs are very prone to a condition known as malocclusion, where the upper and lower jaw do not synchronize well to form a bite. These are teeth that surely need braces. It is best to see an orthodontist in this condition because treatment is much more comfortable as a child. A jaw misalignment, if ignored, can have harmful side effects in the long run.
Mouth breathing occurs when there is some form of blockage in the nasal passage. This results in a change in the tongue’s natural position, which should ideally touch the roof of the mouth. During mouth breathing, the tongue does not affect the roof but drops lower to allow for the passage of the air. The child can thus develop a protruding lower jaw, receding chins, flat cheeks, or even narrow jaws which do not have enough space for all the teeth.
What braces suit kids the best?
There are different types of braces for kids; some of the popular ones are as below:
Metal Braces – Also known as traditional braces, these are the most common and standard braces used to shift teeth.
Ceramic Braces – These braces have ceramic brackets which are made to match the patient’s teeth colour and texture, and hence less visible as compared to metal braces.
Lingual Braces – If patients don’t like wearing visible braces, lingual braces can be used. They are mounted on the inner side of the teeth but may take some time to get adjusted to.
Invisalign – This is an advanced technology of removable braces that do not contain any metal components. They are practically invisible.
How long will your child wear braces?
Like any medical treatment, teeth alignment and correction is also custom for every child. How the child’s teeth respond to the alignment structures and any issues they may develop in the process are the key determiners of the duration for kids getting braces. However, that being said, patients usually take somewhere between a little over a year to two / two and a half years for the complete alignment procedure.
How should we take care of the braces?
Kids getting braces must have a routine of brushing after every meal. This removes the food which gets stuck in the wires and prevents the consequent formation of plaque. Daily flossing is also a must to mental dental hygiene.
Braces for children’s teeth is your investment in your child’s beautiful smile and it is truly worth the effort.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!
Having a baby for the first time is a wonderful experience, but it can be stressful. That is why some new parents want to hire a newborn care specialist Los Angeles to make the process easier at first.
But what should you look for in your newborn care specialist? We asked the experts and this is what they said.
First, the specialist should be skilled in how to establish a schedule for the baby that includes feeding and sleeping times. She should be able to show you how to fit baby’s schedule into your family schedule so that everything runs smoothly. For the new baby to be healthy and happy, it is essential that she is well fed and gets plenty of sleep, so your specialist should be comfortable setting this up for you.
Second, a newborn care specialist should be able to handle common minor baby issues, such as diaper rash, colic, soothing methods, reflux problems, and swaddling. They also should know a lot about breastfeeding and formula. Ask detailed questions about these matters when you interview your specialist.
Third, your specialist should be good at educating you about caring for your new baby as well as neonatal issues. It is very important that she be a good, patient educator with you. She also should have knowledge of useful resources in your city and give you referrals and insights about problems that arise.
Fourth, you should check to see how long you can have the specialist stay with you. Most newborn specialists can stay with you up to the first three months of baby’s life. But some new parents use the service just until the baby is sleeping through the night.
Fifth, you should check if the specialist is certified or non-certified. If she is certified, this means she has been approved and certified by the Newborn Care Specialist Association. This organization requires several criteria to be met for the person to be certified, including passing a test, completing reading requirements, professionals references, knowing CPR and first aid, completion of breastfeeding classes, and completing an internship.
It is not required for your specialist to be certified, but it gives some new parents peace of mind.
Now that you know more about what to look for when you bring in a newborn care specialist, you should be more comfortable that your baby is going to get the care that she needs.
Celebrating a birthday at home can be a dream come true or a major let down. For most kids, an at-home birthday may seem boring, but with the right themes, decorations, and activities planned, you can create an at-home birthday experience your child will love and cherish for years to come!
Start the Parade!
If you’re stuck at home for your child’s birthday party, raising a rally and getting friends and neighbors involved will make your child feel special and really show just how much they are loved.
If your child leans toward the artistic side of things, a craft party is a great way to let their creativity flow and get the fun going! Try making custom frames with their names on them, or provide decorations of their favorite show or animal.
This is a great idea for kids with a love for reading! Your little bookworm will love a journal or book to read. Plus, it’s easy to get other kids involved! Have friends write short stories or do drawings that they want to share, so your child will always have something to remember this special birthday party by.
For the adventurer! A scavenger hunt is a fun, easy, and creative way to get the kids involved and working together. Whether it’s in your house or outside, a scavenger hunt is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday at home. The kids will entertain themselves, and you’ll have time to relax…but it’s more likely that you’ll have time to clean up after cake!
Camping in the Backyard
When nature calls, you answer! A backyard camping trip is a cheap and safer alternative to going into the woods for camping. A small backyard tent, a bonfire, and some s’mores are all you need to make this birthday a hit with your child!
Video Game Party
If your kid is hooked to the TV and loves gaming, give them exactly what they want–but just for today! A video game party is something kids can lose themselves in and do for hours. Plus, you may even have the opportunity to show them some classics like Super Mario Smash Bros and Sonic.
On your mark, get set, bake! Whether your child is ready for a real oven or still on the easy-bake, a bake-off is great for the baker at heart. All you need is some cake mix, frosting, and sprinkles. The kids will be able to go for hours and show off their skills all while learning something new! Plus, you won’t have to worry about dessert…well, maybe have some backups just in case.
This one may be better suited for the older kids, but a building-themed celebration will give you and your child an experience you can enjoy together. Building a custom chair or even a simple table is a bonding experience you both will cherish, all while helping you and your child learn something new.
Sit back and relax! A spa night is an ideal way to spend a birthday, right? Even for kids, relaxation is a crucial part of the day. This is an easy and fun way to celebrate any child’s birthday and will leave them feeling like a pampered princess or prince. All you need is some nail polish, lotion, and cucumbers to turn your home into a place of rest and relaxation.
Strike a pose! This is for the fashionista in your life. Set a runway, get some lights, and don’t be afraid to accessorize! Boas, gloves, tiaras, sunglasses, and jewelry are just some of the things you can get to help your child be the style icon you know they are!
Don’t let your home limit you–a birthday is special no matter where you celebrate it. Just remember that a birthday party is supposed to be fun and the gifts aren’t nearly as important as the memories.
Baby proofing is a matter of making a home safe for your baby now and into the future as they grow. Babies begin their life at home relatively safe because their limited mobility. In early infancy, babies can barely see and have no ability to move around independently. They can’t roll over, can’t support the weight of their own head and don’t have full control to unclench their own fingers! However, some may be surprised at how fast that all changes. By about 3 months old, babies can grab onto things and around 6 months old, many are able to sit up. As your baby changes, your house and surroundings must change as well. Babies and toddlers love to learn about and explore their world. They learn by picking things up, moving around, putting things in their mouth and by poking or touching things within their reach.
As babies turn into toddlers, they develop more physical ability, but remain unaware of the consequences of their actions. As a parent, it’s up to you to protect your baby. While many parts and places in the home may seem innocuous enough, it’s important to consider things from a non-adult perspective. Baby proofing makes your baby’s environment safe to explore as they learn and grow. You can also do this with Jersey Shore rentals to help others stay safe as well! Consider the following when preparing a home for a new member of the family.
Each room has its own unique hazards, but some hazards that can be found consistantly throughout the home. Windows – for example – are found in multiple rooms and may lead to falls, bumps, or cuts. Some may also pose as a strangulation hazard, as the cords on blinds can easily become wrapped around a child’s neck. These hazards are ubiquitous in modern residential architecture: nearly every room has windows and electrical outlets. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive and practical solutions for parents with small children.
Doors and Door Knobs
The problem: Children who are old enough walk or toddle can open doors and let themselves into rooms and even out of the house. And when doors close, they can get their fingers caught in the hinges, or smashed between the door and the frame.
Doorstops are a product often made of foam or rubber, that attaches to the door and prevents it from closing completely or too quickly.
Door latches prevent toddlers from opening doors they should not open.
Door knob/lever locks can be attached to door knobs or levers to prevent them from operating the lever or knob.
Door latches or locks are especially important in homes where the door is opened and closed by a lever instead of a handle. Door levers are very easy for young children to operate. Door knobs are more difficult and require dexterity that many toddlers do not have yet.
The problem: Many children love to stick their fingers into holes and, for that reason, they may find electrical outlets very enticing. They also love to stick other things like sticks, toys, or bits of debris they find on the floor into holes. Electrical outlets present a very real threat to children, who can easily be electrocuted as they explore.
Outlet covers range in price and sophistication. Parents have many options based on their needs and level of convenience.
Plastic outlet plugs are inexpensive and can be safely inserted into any electrical outlet.
Sliding outlet covers slide into and out of place, to allow adults access to outlets as needed.
Power strip covers give adults the ability to cover up their power strips while it’s in use.
Window Blinds and Cords
The problem: The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that a child is strangled in window cord blinds every two weeks, and most of these children are three years old or younger. The solutions mentioned below vary in price, each having their own pros and cons. Parents should explore the options (including the advantages and disadvantages of each) before deciding which is right for them.
Cut the ends of the cords, so they are no longer looped.
Tie up the cords, so they cannot be reached from the floor.
Cordless blinds are excellent, especially for homeowners who can afford all new window treatments.
Blind cord windups allow homeowners to wind up their blind cords in a device that keeps the cord neatly out of reach.
Cutting the cords reduces the risk, but does not eliminate the possibility of strangulation. Tying up cords can be effective if the cords stay tied, but cords can get loose and begin to dangle. Using blind cord windups is typically more effective.
Stairs and Floor Vents
The problem: Stairs are an obvious hazard for children of all ages. Children who are too young to traverse the stairs must be kept away from stair cases. Older children who are just learning must be taught safe strategies for going up and down stairs independently.
Floor vents are also a problem because they can be sharp and metal. Very old floor vents also have bigger holes where children can throw down toys or even get their fingers caught.
Install baby gates to prevent toddlers from accessing stair cases.
Teach older toddlers how to scoot down stairs on their bottoms, to prevent them from falling when moving up and down stairs independently.
Have talks about stair safety with children who are old enough to understand that stairs must be walked safely and isn’t a place to play.
Practice going up and down stairs while holding the railing.
Model appropriate stair use, by taking stairs one at a time while holding the railing.
Arrange pieces of furniture to block children from accessing these vents.
Replace metal or old fashioned vents with plastic vents to prevent children from cutting themselves.
When moving furniture to block vents, be careful not to cover vents entirely. Covering floor vents can make rooms cold and may even prevent your furnace and air conditioner from working properly.
Heavy Furniture and Decor
The problem: Children can easily try to climb and pull heavy furniture and large decor down on top of themselves. This problem goes beyond the commonly thought of dresser and TV stand and extends to docirative items such as sculptures, big mirrors and other things that aren’t secured to the wall.
Move large pieces to make them inaccessible.
Secure large pieces, such as TV’s, using straps or wall mounts
Strap heavy or bulky items to the wall with earthquake or baby proofing straps.
While you’re strapping things and moving them to inaccessible spaces, take the time to check your walls, baseboards, the condition of your windowsills and so on. Look for peeling paint, loose baseboards, peeling caulk and other maintenance problems that could cause accidents. Make small home improvements as you go, or start a list of home improvements to make when you’re finished with the rest of your baby proofing.
The problem: Many everyday items like clutter, pet food, litter box material, purses and bags are all interesting to young toddlers. Walking around your house, you may see a variety of hazards like stray scissors, toys for older children, puzzle pieces, pens, markers and little coins. Guests who visit may unknowingly bring hazardous items with them such as medications, hair pins and sewing needles.
Declutter before your child is able to walk.
Install modular organizational systems that keep clutter off the ground and make organization easy.
Install hooks where your purse or bags can get hung, and children cannot access the contents.
Protect the litter box with a door latch that allows the cat to enter the room with the litter box and pet food, but which keeps your child out.
Install a smart dog water and food dish that will enable your dog to access food and water, while keeping your little one out.
The problem: Trash cans are a safety hazard and a mess hazard! They’re also a source of fascination for toddlers who see their parents putting things in there all day long. Think about all the things you throw away or recycle in an average day, like used cans, toothpicks, broken items and food – then imagine your child going through all that. It’s also worth noting that children will throw things away that should not be thrown away, as they try to mimic their parents.
Safety latches keep children out of trash cans until they are old enough to understand what can and cannot be put in the trash.
Move the can to an area under the sink or in a pantry, where your child cannot access it.
Place the trash in an area that’s behind a baby gate to prevent your child from accessing it.
Cleaners and Toxic Products
The problem: Poisons can be found throughout the house in the form of cleaning products, medicines and other household chemicals. The most common poisons that affect children include cosmetics, houseplants, antihistamines, vitamins, pesticides and cleaning products. Poisons can be found in the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, basement, garage and nearly anywhere else that might be decorated with a houseplant. If you’re cleaning your Belmar home for sale, you’ll want to keep all of this out of reach.
Keep poisons in high cabinets where they cannot be reached.
Research common household poisons, so you know which ones are present in your house.
Install baby latches on all cabinets that are within reach for your toddler.
Educate guests to ensure they keep their medicines out of reach.
Move houseplants to upper shelves, or take plants known to be toxic to your workplace.
The problem: Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors alert parents and homeowners to fires and the presence of carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, these alarms only work if they’re in working order and have fresh batteries. Sometimes parents disable alarms without heeding them because they believe the alarms are going off without reason. Sometimes this happens with disastrous results, never ignore a sounding alarm.
Test alarms monthly.
Replace batteries once or twice per year, according to manufacturer instructions.
Replace the entire detector by the expiration date.
Do not ignore alarms; exit the house and have it inspected before going back inside.
Carbon monoxide is a problem that occurs because of poor combustion. Any appliance, product or part of the house that requires combustion to function (from the car to the heater, gas dryer and fireplace) is a possible source of carbon monoxide. Have your appliances routinely checked by a professional, and fix any maintenance problems as soon as they occur.
Living and Play Areas
Your baby or toddler will no doubt spend a lot of time in the living and play areas of your home, like the living room, toy room, family room or nursery. These parts of the house must be thoroughly baby proofed.
After baby proofing is finished, your living room might look and function a little differently for your child’s first few years. Safety comes first. Pick and choose the most necessary baby proofing steps depending on your child’s behavior and habits. Know your child and know what they’re likely to get into.
The problem: Many living room pieces have sharp corners that can easily become a hazard for a toddler just learning to walk. While other pieces of furniture can be climbed on and tripped over, causing falls and sometimes serious accidents.
Arrange furniture strategically to prevent your child from accessing dangerous pieces.
Install corner covers to soften the hard corners of coffee an side tables.
Use soft rugs to create a cushion beneath any furniture your toddler likes to climb upon.
Teach your child how to use furniture appropriately and safely.
Remove furniture that is not safe and cannot be made safe through baby proofing.
Use baby gates to block your child from parts of the home that are full of hazards and are not essential.
Baby proofing is also a good opportunity to redecorate. Get rid of any rickety furniture that isn’t worth keeping. When your child is older, you can replace these pieces with something sturdier.
TV and Electronics
The problem: Kids love flashing lights and buttons. They’re attracted to anything that is bright, shiny or even a little bit noisy. The risk of electrical shock, cords, sharp edges and places where fingers could get stuck are just a few of the risks that electronics could pose. Not to mention parents who do not protect their technology from their children could find themselves replacing handheld devices worth thousands of dollars.
Keep remote controls out of reach.
Strap the television to the TV stand or fully mount on the wall.
Store computers and other gadgets on desks too high to reach.
Bundle cords neatly, use surge protector covers and keep out of reach
Educate your little one from early on, teach them what’s off limits.
Many parents have stories about children who have accidentally ordered expensive products or made expensive problems by playing with a smartphone. Never give your toddler a working smartphone that is connected your accounts and networked household devices. Remember that even just pushing the buttons for your passcode over and over again could lock you out of the device.
It’s easy to use technology as a quick babysitter, but it’s very important to limit unsupervised “screen time” and to watch your child when they’re close to the entertainment or computer areas.
Fireplaces and Hearths
The problem: Fireplaces and hearths are dangerous for a variety of reasons. Hearths that rise up from the floor can have very sharp corners, and children who fall onto the hearth can hit their head easily. And once more mobile, toddlers can burn themselves if they can reach the fire, but simply keeping the glass doors shut isn’t good enough. The glass itself can heat up to hundreds of degrees when a fire is burning.
Crib or coffee table bumpers may be used to cover sharp hearth corners.
A fireplace gate prevents your child from accessing the fireplace and hearth altogether.
Some parents stop using their fireplace in the years when their toddlers are very young. If you choose not to use your fireplace, fill it with unlit candles, firewood or creative seasonal decorations. As soon as your child is old enough, start teaching them about fire safety.
Baby gates aren’t a one-size fits all product. They now come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose the right baby gate based on the layout of your home as well as the needs and abilities of your child. Baby gates can be used to block the stairs, create an off-limit area, cut off a whole room or box your baby into a safe space.
Tension Mount Gates
Tension mount gates require no tools to assemble. They use tension to stay mounted to the wall, and when they’re not needed, they’re easy to remove. Tension mount gates are the classic baby gate. They come in standard doorway sizes and in extra-wide sizes for hallways and large doorways.
Hardware Mounted Gates
Hardware mounted gates attach to the wall using screws. They’re perfect when you need a little extra strength and durability, like if you’re preventing a toddler from falling down the stairs.
Self Closing Or Not?
Some gates are spring operated and will close on their own, others must be closed deliberately. Spring operated gates are especially helpful in locations where accidentally leaving the gate open could be disastrous.
Multi-Paneled Gate with Moveable Hinges
Use your multi-paneled hinged baby gate to create an enclosed play area, or open it up and stretch it across an extra wide entrance. These flexible gates can be used indoors and out.
Toys and Toy Box
The problem: Toys and toy boxes are critical to have around the house, but not all products are 100% safe, especially when left with an unattended baby or toddler. Toys for older children can have little parts that they can easily swallow, while some toy boxes can smash little fingers. Old toys can harbor germs, not be safe for today’s standards or just plain get in the way.
Check the recommended age range for toys that are given to your child before they’re allowed to play with them.
Put away toys for older children until your child is of the appropriate age.
Get rid of old toys when they’re no longer being used, or wash them and put them away for future siblings.
Research toys before choosing products for your child; toys should be of sturdy construction, and made with lead-free paint.
Classic wooden toy boxes are attractive, but they can hurt your child’s fingers if they slam shut. Choose a toy box with a lightweight, removable lid, especially for those who enjoy climbing inside.
Kitchen and Dining Room
A high chair is safest when you want to keep your toddler close to you in the kitchen. Once your child starts to walk, they’ll want to follow you around everywhere on foot. The kitchen is a room full of hard surfaces and dangers, from foods and kitchen tools to hot grease and open flames.
There are many ways to keep your child safe even while they’re under foot in the kitchen. In this section, we’ll discuss some tools and methods you can use to ensure that your little one is protected.
Cabinets can contain all kinds of hazards, including the cleaning products and other toxic products mentioned above. Breakable items like glass vases and jars present their own kind of hazard because they’re breakable, and little shards can make big problems. Keep these cabinets latched with one of the many types of baby proof cabinet locks on the market.
Many kids will ignore the majority of the cabinets if they’re allowed to play with objects in at least one cabinet or drawer. Put some toys, plastic storage containers, measuring cups and other harmless objects into one cabinet, and make it clear to your little one that they’re only allowed to use that cabinet.
Rotate objects in the cabinet if your child starts to get tired of what’s always in there. Playing in their cabinet will keep them busy and you’ll be able to keep an eye on them while you cook. Keep the cabinet out of the general flow of traffic, and away from the range of grease splatter around the stove.
Refrigerator and Pantry
The problem: Children see where their snacks come from, so it doesn’t take long before they’re ready to explore those parts of the house themselves. Toddlers who are able to access the refrigerator and pantry can make a mess for you to clean and create need for yet another shopping trip. Worst-case scenario, your child might climb into a space where they can’t get out, or ingest something dangerous.
Restricting access to these areas may be the simplest solution, since this cuts off access to everything dangerous in the kitchen. However, if restricting access to the kitchen is too untenable, install latches or door knob coverings on the pantry and refrigerator door.
Baby proofing companies make latches specifically for restricting access to the refrigerator, however many multi-purpose straps will also do the trick. Style of refrigerator will affect the type of baby proofing device needed.
Oven and Stove
The problem: Children like knobs and buttons. They also like to play with anything they see their parents using frequently, so the oven and stove are an obvious source of fascination. A toddler who is able to reach the knobs could inadvertently turn on the oven or stove. Towels hung on oven door handles also give little ones the ability to open the oven, which could lead to a variety of serious hazards.
Parents who carry their babies in a wrap, carrier or on their hip while using the stove could potentially burn their baby inadvertently through hot food splatters or fire burns. Finally, pan handles that face out could be grabbed and pulled down onto a little one standing beneath.
Oven and stove knob covers prevent your child from accidentally operating the appliance without your knowledge.
Remove towels from the stove handle to prevent your child from pulling them down and opening the stove.
Use the “self-cleaning” locking mechanism to lock the door between uses.
Get in the habit of turning all pot and pan handles in toward the counter or stove.
Do not carry your child and use the stove simultaneously.
Baby proofing oven locks keep the oven door closed if a self-cleaning lock does not work.
When purchasing a baby proofing lock for your oven, check item specifications and consumer reviews to ensure that the lock you purchase is heat-resistant, since it will be near your stove.
It’s very important to educate your child about the importance of stove and oven safety. One of the ways that you can emphasize the dangers of the oven is to make your toddler move to the other side of the room before you open the oven door. Explain to your child that the inside of the oven is very hot and even just touching the inside of the door could cause a burn. Never playing in the kitchen, being consistant and using a serious tone will help your child understand the seriousness of the situation.
The problem: The dishwasher is another source of fascination because of the buttons, lights and noise that the dishwasher produces. Dishwashers tend to be self-locking, requiring a button or sliding handle to be pushed or used to open the dishwasher door.
Still, some are easier to open than others, and easy to open models will give toddlers access to dishes inside. Some toddlers may hurt themselves by climbing onto the rack, others may climb onto the door causing costly damage to the appliance. Finally, toddlers may accidentally turn on the dishwasher, which could lead to wasted water and inconvenience.
Keep the door locked whenever possible.
Install a multi-purpose baby proofing latch.
Avoid using the dishwasher until your child is older.
Educate your child about dishwasher safety and boundaries in the kitchen.
Some dishwasher models have a child-locking sequence. Pushing a combination of buttons on the dishwasher will activate the sequence. Instructions can be found in the owner’s manual that came with the dishwasher, or look up the model online.
Dining Room Table and Chairs
The problem: Tablecloths and placemats are fun to grab and easy to pull down. Children who play around the table can easily pull dishes and even hot bowls onto the floor or onto themselves. Sharp corners on tables and chairs can lead to injuries, while food left on the floor under the table may find its way into your toddler’s mouth.
Stop using tablecloths and placemats for a while.
Install bumpers on sharp edges.
Switch chairs for a while (if they have too many sharp edges).
Block access to the table with a baby gate.
Clean the floor under your table after every single meal. If a dish or glass is broken, clean under the table several times and clean over a wider area to catch pieces that may have landed many feet away from the site of the accident. Just because your Point Pleasant home’s kitchen is beautiful, doesn’t mean it can’t present hazards to children.
It’s estimated that about 87 children in the United States die annually by drowning at home, and many of those drownings happen in the bathtub. Bathrooms are the source of many accidents in the home, including slips and falls, electrocution and poisoning.
Many bathrooms are as dangerous as the kitchen in terms of hard surfaces and hazards that children encounter there, but it’s much harder to keep children out of the bathroom. Between bathing and using the toilet, children spend a lot of time in the bathroom. This makes baby proofing this area of your home even more important. Observation and careful planning makes it possible for you to keep your child safe while they use this room.
The problem: Toilets are not made with young children in mind. The hole for the bowl is as wide as a child’s body (and then some). Children who fall head-first into the toilet can drown, while the toilet lid can be heavy and capable of pinching your little one’s fingers. Toilet paper is also attractive to children, who may stretch it around the room or even eat it.
No matter how many baby proofing devices you keep in your bathroom, you should always monitor your young child while they’re using the toilet and in the bathtub. Being there to help your child the moment they run into trouble can prevent a tragedy like a drowning.
Child-proof locks keep the toilet lid shut until you open it for your toddler.
Toddler toilet seats fit over standard toilet seats and prevent your little one from falling in while using the toilet.
Hide the toilet paper or place in an unreachable location.
If you do hide the toilet paper, put a sign up somewhere in the bathroom to indicate its location, this will help guests when they visit. While you’re hiding the toilet paper, stash the toilet brush under your bathroom sink, or in an out-of-the-way location. This will prevent your little one from playing with it or putting it in their mouth.
Medications and Toiletries
The problem: The vast majority of medications and adult toiletries (including makeup) are toxic. Unfortunately, many medicines and even makeup can resemble candy, which makes them very enticing for children around one or two years of age. Toiletries are often spread all around the bathroom on counters and shelves, so they’re easier for us to access. But even if your bathroom is organized and well baby proofed, it’s easy to accidentally leave something out when getting ready in a hurry.
Keep the phone number for poison control in your country on hand.
Do research and become very familiar with common bathroom products that that you may not realize qualify as a poison.
Keep all of your medications in one location, so you’ll be able to spot something that goes missing right away.
Install baby proof latches on all of your cabinets and drawers.
Use your medicine cabinet heavily, where your toddler can’t reach.
Keep all toiletries and medications in their original bottles. These bottles usually have instructions about what to do in the event it is ingested inappropriately. Bottles also have product specs and ingredients, which can be helpful when making a toxicity diagnosis and treatment plan. Bring the bottle with you if you need to make a rush to the emergency room.
The problem: As already mentioned, the bathtub is a place where children unfortunately drown every year. A drowning can ven happen in just an inch or two of water! Aside from this very real threat, the bathtub can present problems in other ways as well.
Slips and falls are common in the bathtub, and children who play close the faucet are very likely to hit their head on it. Oddly enough, young children have been known to get their mouth stuck around the faucet. And children who turn on the water to refresh or fill the bathtub can easily burn themselves.
Covers on the faucet prevent head bonks and also prevent your child from fitting their mouth around faucet.
A non-slip mat for the bottom of tub prevents slips and falls.
Toys with built-in temperature gauges make it easy to determine when water is too hot.
Teach your toddler not to stand in the bathtub. Sitting only! Turn down the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees or lower, to prevent your child from getting scalded.
Most important, supervise your child while bathing until they’re at least 6 years old. Older children can bathe alone, but remain close by in case something happens.
Your baby’s room should be a place where they can spend time alone safely. Although baby rooms are mostly filled with safe baby stuff, they can also contain personal hygiene products such as diaper rash cream, lotions, ect., and tools like thermometers or humidifiers. Sharp furniture corners can cause head injuries, just like in other rooms of the house.
It doesn’t take much to ensure that your baby’s room is a safe space, but you will need to spend some time looking at the room the way your child would. Sit on the floor and glance around. What do you see? What’s within reach?
The problem: Safety codes for baby furniture changes conctantly as time goes on. Used or hand-me-down furniture may not meet current safety standards, which could result in your child getting their head stuck, fingers pinched or some other kind of injury. Heavy, oversized pieces of furniture can be a falling hazard and sharp corners can result in injuries.
Buy new major pieces of furniture (if possible).
Read safety ratings or do research before purchasing the crib and other major pieces of furniture.
Use earthquake straps or baby proofing straps to secure heavy items to the wall.
Remove unnecessary, bulky furniture that could be a danger to the baby.
Put bumpers on sharp corners to protect toddling little ones.
A nursery is a room where an adult can care for an infant. It has all the furniture and equipment required to care for the baby. As the baby gets older and develops the ability to move around independently, the nursery turns into a bedroom for play. As this happens, keep the room decor basic, free of excess furniture. Purchase small furniture your toddler can use safely while learning to do more things for themselves.
The problem: Older model cribs with drop-down sides are now banned because they are not safe for babies. And children who are older can get their head stuck between slats on some older cribs. Soft objects placed inside the crib can be a suffocation hazard for very young babies.
Finally, babies like to reach for mobiles. When they’re old enough to grab onto them it’s time to remove, they may drag down a ribbon or string that could lead to strangulation.
Replace any crib with drop-down sides, or (if replacement is not possible) secure the sides, so they cannot be dropped down.
Remove soft objects from the crib (including stuffed animals, pillows, blankets and bumpers) until at an appropriate age.
Remove the mobile from the crib when your baby starts to sit up.
Measure the slats of your child’s crib with a soda can. If a soda can fits between the slats, then the crib slats are too wide. If you must use a bumper, choose one that is mesh and breathable.
The problem: Babies can roll off of changing tables, leading to deadly falls or serious injuries. Parents who turn their back on their baby even for a moment could fail to protect their child from this kind of fall. While on the table, babies can reach for things that they should not have, such as baby powder, topical creams and other hygiene products as well as Q-Tips and other small objects.
Use the safety straps that came with your baby’s changing table.
Set up the area so you never have to turn your back on your child during changing.
Keep things out of your baby’s reach.
Reserve a specific toy or object that they can have to keep their attention when on the table.
Installing small shelves and drawers near the changing table makes it possible for you to reach everything you need while always keeping 1 hand on baby.
The problem: The laundry room contains a lot of toxic laundry products. If toddlers can gain access the cleaning products, they could accidentally poison themselves. The washer and dryer contain dials and doors that fascinate little ones. Toddlers can open doors, pinch their fingers, and even climb inside.
Lock the laundry room or use a baby gate.
Put cleaning products up high or use a safety latch to keep the cabinets closed.
Never reuse containers that once held cleaning products to hold toys, food or other objects.
The problem:There’s very little about the garage that isn’t a serious safety hazard for a toddler. Most garages are full of chemicals, power tools, automotive accessories, moving vehicles, bicycles, trash and so much more. Toddlers with easy access to the garage can:
Pull large things down on top op of themselves.
Be hit by a slowly moving vehicle.
Slip on a spill.
Make a mess.
Cut themselves on power tools.
Touch something like fertilizer that could cause skin irritation or even a burn.
Unless your garage has recently been converted into a safe play space, your toddler should not be allowed to enter the garage. The best way to baby proof the garage is to restrict access.
Use a baby gate, keep the door locked, keep the lights off (except when it’s in use), and use stern words to express the dangers of the garage. When you’re in the garage together, show your child the things in the garage that can lead to injuries.
Keep garage clickers out of reach, or place a small locked cabinet on the way into the garage where you can keep clickers, flashlights and other things you might need to access easily.
Outside Areas and Backyard
The backyard and outside areas should be a place of delight for your child, where your baby or toddler can breathe outside air, hear outside sounds, be loud and play. Children need to be supervised while outside until they reach a certain age, but even with supervision, some baby proofing is still necessary.
The problem: All backyard water features (pools, hot tubs, Koi ponds, creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, etc.) present a drowning danger for little ones. It takes children very little time to let themselves into the backyard, unnoticed, and fall into a pool. Children who spend a lot of time in the pool and who are comfortable with water may be more confident and likely to enter the water alone than other children.
Gates and fences prevent children from accessing the pool, even if they can get outside.
Alarm and alert systems come in different varieties to notify parents when a gate opens, when the back door opens or even when a person enters the water.
Hard covers prevent children from entering the water and can also be used to close up the pool when the homeowner leaves town.
If your child spends a lot of time in the water, start your child on swim lessons and start discussing the dangers early on. Even babies can take special swim lessons for thier age, and can be taught to float on their backs. Swim lessons can save lives.
The problem: There are some parts of the yard where toddlers and babies just shouldn’t go. This might be the grilling spot, the large outdoor air conditioner condenser or the storage area for lawn care tools. In these areas, children can get burns, can ingest poisons, can damage expensive equipment and can suffer other injuries.
Most of these kid-free zones can be protected by a fence. In some cases, the fence can be a portable baby gate, and in other cases, the fence can be an actual permanent fence. As a homeowner, you’ll have to decide which solution aligns with your future goals and aesthetic preferences.
Although most baby gate fences are not very attractive, they are easy to remove when they’re no longer needed. Permanent fences cost more to put in and more to pull out. In fact, a 4 foot high chain link fence can cost anywhere from $7 to $12 per linear foot to install.
Before baby proofing your home, get down to your child’s point view. See how an infant or toddler sees your space. Most of all, personalize your baby proofing. As your child grows, you’ll start to get a sense of your child’s personality.
It should be easy for you to predict what your child is likely to try, and where your child is likely to find trouble. All babies are different. Some babies just have to stick their fingers in every hole and push every button, others have to pull and climb on everything they see. Adjust your baby proofing efforts to your space at home, and your child’s interests.
Spend your time teaching good decision making skills and setting clear boundaries. Model good behavior. Use words from an early age to explain why something is dangerous and how to stay safe. Use repetition to drive points home. Having the tools you need to protect your child will relieve some anxiety and may save your child’s life.
Finally, don’t forget that baby proofing can provide peace of mind, but nothing should replace adult supervision. Watch your baby carefully.