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Child-proofing your home

Keeping your child safe in the home is a real challenge for parents. It’s in their nature to be nosy, and they see even the most mundane household objects as something to be explored.

Accidents, slips and spills around the home will always happen, but you need to remove as much of the danger as possible. In an ideal world you’d supervise your children every minute of the day, but in reality that doesn’t happen so here are ten tips to make your home as childproof as it can be.

  1. Do it early
    Babies can take you by surprise, and one day the baby who was happy to lie still will be rolling, crawling and investigating everything around them. To avoid the chaos this brings, it’s worth child-proofing before they get the chance to let you know that they need it.
  2. Put yourself in the child’s place
    It sounds ridiculous, but crawl around and check what tempting household objects are at eye level and within reach. If you move something, keep it far away so you won’t need to do it every time your child makes a grab for it.
  3. Say goodbye to your valuables
    If you have any objects of sentimental or monetary value in your home, you may need to put them away for several years. Look at things that could topple over, such as heavy vases, mirrors and large ornaments. Put them into storage and look forward to the day when peace returns to your home and you can enjoy them again!
  4. Secure your furniture
    To you, it looks like furniture, but to your child it’s a climbing frame. Toddlers will use anything to pull themselves up with as they start to walk. So make sure shelving units or cabinets are fixed to the wall. When children are finding their balance sharp corners can be a hazard, so invest in some corner cushions like these John Lewis Baby Soft Corner Cushions, pack of three, £9.
  5. Keep your cupboards closed
    Little fingers love to explore cupboards, but they can be a world of danger. Not only can doors slam on children’s hands, but the contents can be hazardous too. Take a “belt and braces” approach – move poisonous products such as cleaning products to a high place, and also fit cupboard and drawer latches to keep the little culprits out. Try John Lewis Baby Cupboard and Drawer Latches, 3 packs, £9.
  6. Beware the kitchen
    The kitchen is one of the easiest places in the house to get distracted, and also one with many dangers. Be vigilant when the oven’s on, and fit covers on the knobs. As your child grows, move anything sharp (such as knives), hot (your cup of tea, kettles, toasters) and small (choking hazards) away from the edge of the worktop. Keep your dishwasher closed, and consider fitting it with a lock, along with the fridge and bin, which is especially interesting to little explorers.
  7. Fit stair gates
    Once your child starts to crawl, stairs are fascinating. Fit a stair gate before you think you need one, as it’s amazing how quickly babies get the hang of moving up stairs. The Babydan Swing Shut Safety Gate £20.99 closes automatically, reducing the risk that visitors will forget to shut it.
  8. Check windows
    Make sure that windows can’t be opened easily and remove any blind cords as it’s easy for young children to get caught up in them.
  9. Move electrical equipment
    TVs, DVD players, laptops and remote controls are extremely popular toys for babies and toddlers. If you can’t move them out of the way, fit protectors on controls and plug sockets and make sure that cables are hidden.
  10. Explore the garden
    Ponds are a notorious outdoor hazard, but also check for open gates, gaps in the fence and poisonous plants. If there’s an escape route available an inquisitive toddler will find it, so prevent a moment of panic with some detective work before they get the chance.

How can John Lewis Home Insurance help?

You’ve made your home as safe as possible for your children, but accidents can still happen. Accidental Damage Cover from John Lewis Home Insurance provides cover for accidents like your child accidentally knocking over a prized vase. Find out more about what’s covered in our Home Insurance Buying Guide.

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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