Toddler Proof Your Living Roomby Alison Wood | February 28, 2013 12:00 AM
Let's face the music. Toddlers can be dangerous. That beautiful, white vase that has been in the family for 50 years can end up crashed in a thousand pieces on your living room floor as a cherub-like toddler looks up at you innocently. Photo albums that hold some of your most precious memories can become shreds of unidentifiable noses, ears and landmarks. How can you prevent your living room from disaster as well as protect your toddler from possible danger?
Anchor floor lamps to the ground, or simply remove them to another room. These lamps can easily topple over onto an unsuspecting toddler and can cause damage to the child, lamp and home. Also, secure table lamp cords so they cannot be pulled down onto the ground.
Watch the edges.
Toddlers are not so sturdy on their feet. They can easily trip and hit their head or face on the sharp edge of a coffee table, piano bench or hearth. Pad these down with cushions or corner covers(available at baby supply stores.) Also consider simply packing away the coffee table until your kiddo is a little older.
Got some special candles or porcelain figurines? Consider displaying these in a glass cabinet or packing them away for a few years. With all the running, giggling and playing, little toddlers are infamous for breaking small, decorative items that may be special to someone's heart. Little pieces of glass or porcelain are also choking hazards as well as can cause cuts and puncture wounds to your small child.
Kids like dirt. Place some real plants in your living room, and there is bound to be dirt Not only is dirt a messy problem, but with little ones around, it can be a hazardous problem. Small children like to taste everything, dirt included. Some of your favorite plants may be poisonouse if consumed. Opt for replacing the real thing with artificial plants and then bring back the real plants in a few years.
If you enjoy a fireplace in your harm, ensure there is a safety screen around the hearth. Ashes, and of course, fire are all a danger to roaming, curious toddlers. If you enjoy lighting candles around your home, keep them out of reach of your kiddos to prevent possible fire.
If you use window blinds in your family room, check all the cords to make sure they are out of reach small children. These can be a dangerous choking hazard.
Keep it clean.
Throughout the busyness of the day, the living room can become littered with toys, books and shoes. For safety reasons, keep this area picked up and clean. Small objects can quickly become choking hazards. Keep all balloons stored away from little hands. All toys that come with batteries should be monitored as well. Batteries can develop a dangerous acid to little one's skin and the battery compartment also contains small parts that are choking hazards as well.
Cover it up!
Keep all outlets covered with child-proof covers. Little fingers can quickly fit into the small holes before you can say, "Don't touch!"
When rearranging your furniture, avoid placing chairs, tables and couches near a window. Toddlers are climbers and may be tempted to open a window or two.
Put up some baby gates to keep your little one away from stairs and from exploring other potentially dangerous places in the house. These can be purchased at almost any store that carries baby products. You also may have a friend that doesn't need her gates and is willing to lend them to you until your toddler is a little older.
Pack it up!
If you enjoy viewing your memories that were captured in photos, you may want to pack away these precious items for a later date. In just a few minutes, toddlers can have these off the book shelf or coffee table and rip some of the only visible records of special moments in your family's life. Or better yet, keep your photos in digital form to still enjoy but protect from possible destruction.
As your baby has grown into a toddler, she has become more adventurous and mobile. Ensure that her days of exploration are full of fun and not danger. Take time to child-proof your living room for safer, happier days ahead!Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.
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