We all know how curious and adventurous children can be, especially when they're young. And while the home may seem like a safe place for your little ones to explore, research has shown that around two million children under the age of 15 are injured or involved in accidents around the home each year, the majority of which are preventable.
So if you're expecting a new arrival, or your little one is beginning to crawl, by assessing your home for hidden dangers and undertaking some all-important childproofing, you can help gain peace of mind and focus on enjoying the moments that matter with your family.
Childproofing your home is quick and easy, and doesn't need to be a chore. There are various DIY hacks which can help; some are really simple, and others are ideal if you're feeling creative and want a crafty afternoon. Here are a few ideas you can try at home:
Homemade gripper socks
If your home has slippery wooden flooring, homemade gripper socks offer the perfect non-slip solution for children who love to race around. Using a glue gun or dimensional fabric paint, you can transform your child's socks into gripper socks by adding pictures of their favourite animals or cartoon characters to the soles. You can even give socks the Toy Story treatment by personalising with your child's name. Be creative - the possibilities are endless!
Pool noodle door stop
It's all too easy for young children to trap fingers in doors or get locked inside rooms, but a pool noodle (also known as a water float) can help keep doors ajar and prevent both from happening. Simply cut off a small section, make a single cut down the length of the noodle and wrap around the edge of the door. But be sure to keep your door stop as high as possible so it's out of reach of little ones.
While a fireplace can be a fantastic feature in any room, it can be hazardous with small children around. But instead of removing it completely, why not cover it temporarily with a magnetic chalkboard or whiteboard? It's a great way for children to learn the alphabet, practise basic numeracy, or simply get creative with a new and approved place to doodle!
We all know that children love to put things in their mouths, especially if they look edible. There are hundreds of hazardous substances lurking around the home, so remember to keep cleaning products out of reach and ensure your medicine cabinet is locked at all times. For a quick and easy way to keep little ones out of cupboards, simply place a hairband or rubber band over the handles. This simple hack is also great for holidays, and enables you to childproof temporary accommodation in seconds.
Toilet paper tidy
Have you ever gone into the bathroom only to find the toilet paper draped all over the floor? Even if it's not happened yet, you can avoid having to clear up toilet roll streamers in the future by creating a DIY toilet roll holder. All you need to do is trim the top and bottom off a two litre plastic bottle and cut a small slot in the middle. This will enable you to feed the paper through while keeping it away from prying fingers.
Nightlights are comforting for children and can help prevent bumps and falls during trips to the toilet in the night. Why not make your own nightlight such as this baby birdhouse lamp, which is perfect for nature-lovers. A slightly simpler option, and one which your little ones can help you create, is to dress up a mason jar and add an LED candle. This starry example is in keeping with the bedtime theme, and with any luck may encourage your children to go off to sleep sooner!
Non-slip bath mat
We've all been there, especially at bath times, when your little one gets all excited and runs around as you try your best to dry them off with a towel. To help prevent them from slipping on a bath mat or rug, why not try Martha's Stewart's slip proofing fix and apply some lines of acrylic-latex caulk to the underside of the rug to help secure it in place? It will help keep your youngster safe without damaging your floors.
Bespoke baby gate
Baby gates are a must-have for homes with toddlers or babies who are starting to crawl, particularly as many household accidents involve the stairs. But there are many ways that you can make your own DIY solution. This pretty fabric version is made from a PVC frame. There's no latch needed, you simply slide it to the side every time you need to go up or down the stairs. Plus, you can choose any fabric pattern and make the frame to your own measurements.
Stickered glass doorsPatio doors and windows can catch everyone out, and children are no exception. It's easy for youngsters not to spot patio doors or forget that they're there when playing outdoors, so to stop them from walking or running into glass doors, apply stickers, transfers or coloured tape to draw attention to potential dangers. This childproofing hack is particularly important if you're hosting playdates, as other children will be less aware of hazards in your home.