When you start a family, it can be one of the most joyous times of your life. Everything changes when you transition from “adult” to “parent,” with the first step of that journey, often requiring home alterations.
Welcoming kids to your apartment means you’ll need to take steps to keep them safe. If you have newborns, infants, or toddlers coming to visit or part of your family, the first step should be to protect your electrical receptacles.
You can purchase plastic “plugs” that fit into both receptacle areas to prevent curious minds from sticking metal objects into places where electricity flows.
Once you’ve covered every accessible outlet, you’ll want to take these additional measures to kid-proof your home.
Best Ways to Have a Safe Apartment for Kids
1. Get to know your water heater.
If you have access to your water heater, it should be set to less than 120°F when little ones will be in your apartment. Once toddlers get beyond their first birthday, they want to explore their world. That means they’ll turn on the hot water faucet, and you don’t want them to get scalded when that happens.
When you share a water heater with other units, talk to your landlord or building manager about adjusting the settings to prevent an injury.
2. Keep the bathroom secured.
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in the home for kids. It only takes a few inches of standing water for them to drown. Since toddlers and little ones are drawn to toilets and sinks when playing, the easiest way to maintain this environment is to keep the door locked.
When that option isn’t available, please remember to store chemicals in cabinets outside of their reach. You can also use cabinet and toilet cover locks to prevent most access.
A doorknob cover works well for most toddlers if you don’t have a lock to use. It installs over the existing mechanism and requires a specific opening methodology to get it to work.
3. Get the nursery ready for the little one.
About 40 kids die each year because of issues in their crib or trying to climb out of it. You’ll want to know what an appropriate rail height is for your child’s age.
Most new parents have the lowest rail settings for babies and the highest ones for mobile toddlers, but it should be the opposite. When you have a high railing for babies, you can prevent them from accidentally rolling out of the crib.
If the rail is lower for toddlers, they won’t injure themselves from climbing out.
You’ll also want to avoid having pillows and blankets in the crib. Although the items seem comfortable, they can also be a hazard. Even crib bumpers are something to avoid.
4. Find the heavy objects in your home.
Once kids start moving, they roll around on the floor without stopping. That’s when you need to see your apartment from their point of view. Anything that could topple and pin your child to the floor should get removed from the environment.
Don’t underestimate the power of a determined child to see what is inside a cabinet. Even if they cannot walk yet, you’ll want to get locks on all of your storage areas.
The item that gets overlooked most often in an apartment is a television sitting on an entertainment center. If you have little ones, try to mount the TV to the wall directly or by using brackets.
5. Keep track of your window blinds.
This safety concern applies to kids of all ages. Even though you tell them not to put anything around their necks, they still end up doing it. If you have blinds in your apartment, you’ll need to keep those cords out of reach.
If possible, try to replace the looped cords from your window coverings with the cordless options. Since two children go to the emergency room each day because of injuries related to these events, installing a high hook that they cannot reach could be worthwhile.
Should you rent instead of own your apartment, you can remove this hook and patch the hole when it is time to move out.
What Are the Hidden Dangers in Apartments for Kids?
If you have stairs in your apartment, you’ll need safety gates at the top or locking doors that lead to the stairwell. You don’t need these safety features for newborns, but when the little ones start crawling, it is time to get them out and installed.
Every apartment has a hidden danger of its own to find. It could be a sharp corner, loose flooring, or exposed wiring. Our team can inspect your apartment or property to ensure that you can provide a safe experience for kids or provide the upgrades you need. Contact us today to set up an appointment so that you can have the peace of mind you need.