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    Childproofing the home


    Summary: Learn how to childproof the home and install safety guards to protect your child from accidents.



    Protecting children from the many hazards within the home is always an important consideration for parents of young and vulnerable children. Whether you are a parent, or regularly have young children visiting your house, you may require a more childproof environment.

    Before purchasing any safety equipment, make sure it has the relevant safety certification and that it is suitable for your house. It is not advisable to use second-hand safety equipment, unless you are sure of its history.


    Safety guards and gadgets

    Safety fittings are usually easy to fit and most are adaptable to fit a particular design. However you may need to check dimensions to be sure of an exact and effective fit. 

    A Fireguard

    If you have an open fireplace that is used, you will require a fireguard to keep children at a safe distance from the flames and heat. The guard will prevent logs or hot ashes from falling out the grate and causing burns or fires. Fireguards can be screwed into the wall or just placed in front of the fireplace.

     

    Door slam stopper

    This device prevents a door from slamming shut, thus reducing the risk of children getting their hands caught in the door. The stopper is an egg shaped disk with a slot that slides onto a door edge. When the door tries to shut, the rubber object stops it from doing so by rebounding off the doorframe.

     

    Electrical outlet cover

    This instrument is designed to stop children from putting fingers or objects into power sockets, which could cause serious injury or death. The plastic cover that slots into the pinholes prevents anything else from entering the socket. 

    Cooker and hob guard

    This is a metal guard that surrounds the hob preventing children from getting too close to the heat. 

    Corner protector

    This is a clip that fixes onto the corner of a table transforming a potentially dangerous sharp edge into a rounded corner. This device can be used on other sharp corners around the home providing it fits securely and won't fall off. 

    Glass safety film

    Broken glass is very dangerous and can cause serious injury. To prevent this safety film can be applied onto glass surfaces such as coffee tables. The film can be smoothed onto the surface so it is unnoticeable. If the glass is broken, it will stay together rather than shatter into hazardous pieces.

     

    Safety gate

    A stair gate is usually fitted at the top and bottom of a staircase to prevent children from using the stairs unaccompanied. It is also possible to install a gate in other places such as entrances to rooms if you require control over a child's access around the home. Make sure you know the measurements of the stairway or doorway so you get the right sized gate.

    Some gate designs have pressure suckers, which attach the door to the wall, so you do not have to use screw fittings. Follow manufacturer's instructions, which will specify how the gate should be correctly set up including the required height.

     

    Safety locks and catches

    There are many gadgets, which are developed to prevent children having access to storage units or windows. It is important that children have restricted access to these potential hazards; many varieties are available to suit every situation. 

    Fridge locks

    This lock will stop small children from getting at the fridge contents and will also mean the fridge won't be left open. It works by wrapping round the corner of the door thus preventing easy access, however there is a release button so an adult can use the fridge. 

    Cabinet slide lock

    A clamp-like tool, the slide lock is used to wrap around cupboard door handles preventing either of them being opened. There is a slide mechanism, which adjusts to the various widths that may be required.

     

    Door and cupboard catch

    There are many varieties available. The catch is designed to fit most sized cupboards or drawers; however it is always worth checking dimensions for a sure fit. 

    Window limiter catch

    This device works by preventing a child from opening a window wide enough to jump out. It needs to be screwed securely onto the window frame giving the window a limited opening size.

     



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