PROPERTY NEWS - For many young couples, the prospect of starting a family is what prompts their first home purchase but if you’re about to bring home a new baby, you need to make sure your home will provide a safe as well as a loving environment.
So says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, who lists the following top 10 tips for making your home child-friendly as your baby starts to crawl, walk and run:
• Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairways and keep them properly closed at all times;
• Install plastic safety guards in all unused plug points to keep out curious little fingers and put snap locks on all ground-level cupboard doors;
• Make sure any nappy or cleaning buckets have lockable lids, and install snap locks on toilet lids too. Small children are top heavy and can easily drown in very little water.
• If you have a pool, it’s best to have both a fence with a locked and alarmed gate and a safety net. Small children should also not be allowed to play in a paddling pool without close supervision, and the pool should be emptied immediately after use.
• Make sure all bookcases and storage cabinets are firmly fixed to the wall with brackets so that they cannot fall over if used as standing aids by a child learning to walk;
• Make sure deck or balcony railings are close enough together that a child can’t squeeze between them. If they are not, plastic mesh at least 1m high should be firmly fixed to the vertical railings and the floor.
• Store medicines and chemical cleaners in closed, preferably locked cupboards, well out of reach of any climbable furniture.
• In the kitchen, be careful not to let pot and pan handles project over the edge of the stove, and never leave a climbable chair or stool near the stove.
• If you have glass sliding doors, place bright stickers or decorative decals low down on the glass so that children can easily see when they’re closed.
• And finally, keep children out of tool sheds and garages, and keep your car locked even when parked in the driveway.
Issued by Chas Everitt International
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