Put on your grandparent glasses waaaay before the grandkids arrive and take a careful look at each room of your home. Is it safe your grandchildren? Look critically at your rooms. Maybe you should move the magazine rack that’s in the family room into a closet. Does that plant stand tip over easily? Are there small items which could be a choking hazard? You probably want your grandchild to enjoy many rooms of your home — but it’s up to you to make sure the rooms are safe.
Here are things we check for each visit:
- What tempting areas should be removed before a toddler visits?
- Breakable items should be placed out of the way.
- Each outlet should have a plastic cover.
- Non-slip material for the bottom of the bathtub is a good idea.
- Are any of the grandchildren old enough to open a room door but too young to be given that freedom? Baby-proof door knob covers are a good idea.
- Is there anything that can be easily knocked over?
- Do cabinets need child-resistant openers?
If the top or bottom of the stairs in your house are “open air” (no doors), you might consider buying or borrowing a gate or two. We have a stairway that goes up from our family room and we have found putting a gate at the bottom of the stairway is far less frustrating for a crawler than getting the ready-to-climb darling off the bottom step again and again. Today’s selection of gates includes pressure-mounted ones, easy to use on a temporary basis. Gates can also be used to keep the grandchild from wandering from the room-without-a-door where you and he/she are.
Shortly after the family arrives, I tell the parents that we’ve tried to child-proof our home but if they see any additional things that can and should be changed or removed, please speak up! They then know we welcome any input.
A good review of how to babyproof a home can be found at WebMD. Also, check out my blog posts about how to stock your kitchen, have diapers and potty chair, and figuring out sleeping arrangements … all when when your grandchildren make the journey to your home!
Have tips for baby-proofing or child-proofing your home? Please share in the Comments section below.