Starting as early as 10 months, your baby begins to transform into a toddler. He will start pulling himself up with his little strong arms and will climb, walk, and run everywhere with immense speed and curiosity. This is exciting and extremely exhausting at the same time!
You want your children to learn and grow. With that comes proper planning to prevent any mishaps that could possibly hurt the little ones.
Preparing your home for the toddler phase
Here are a few design improvements to consider:
Anchor Flat Screen TVs and Low Cabinets
Kids love getting up close and personal with their favorite TV and movie characters. They may think they can even touch them through the screen. This can present a hazard if your TV is sitting on a table or low shelf. Most flat screen TVs these days are lightweight and could easily be pulled down by a curious toddler, possibly toppling on him. It is highly recommended that you have your TV anchored to the wall so that your child cannot grab it.
The same is true for low cabinets, especially those with drawers that a toddler can easily pull out. To prevent the cabinet from falling over, secure the back of it to the wall with concealed anchors.
Choose Forgiving Flooring
Toddlers are often unsteady on their feet until their balance and coordination have matured. They tend to take plenty of tumbles, often hitting their heads.
When choosing flooring and stair coverings for your home, it is best to go with vinyl floors or carpeting. Vinyl is an especially smart choice. It is an easy surface to walk on without tripping hazards and it is much softer than tile or hardwood flooring.
Install Window Stops or Guards
If your child can reach a windowsill, you should consider installing stops or guards. Some toddlers are tiny enough to fit through a 6 inch opening that can lead to a fall.
You can purchase windows with child stops on them. Or, you can have stops installed on your existing windows. The stop prevents the window sash from opening more than 6 or 7 inches.
Another option is to install temporary window guards. A guard is a decorative metal grill that is placed on the outside of a double-hung window that allows light and ventilation to pass through. You will need to shop for attractive options if you go this route.
Adjust your Water Temperature
Kids love to play with tub faucets that they can reach. This can result in scalding and burns if the water temperature is not regulated at the source.
Your plumber can set the temperature to not exceed 118F/48C degrees at the water heater. Alternatively, you can have anti-scald valves installed at the tub location to automatically shut off the water supply if it gets too hot. While you’re at it, consider placing rubber faucet covers over the spout to prevent your little guy from bumping his head on sharp metal.
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Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Anica recommends vinyl floors to toddler-proof your kitchen or dining area. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks.
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