Living Room

Creating a Safe Space for Play

Keeping babies and toddlers safe at home is naturally something that new parents focus on. Whether you have a curious crawler or a toddler on a mission to explore your home, having a designated play area they can call their own makes it easier to have other rooms, like the laundry room, be off limits. This area can be in a separate room in your home or use an existing room, like the living room. Following these tips will help get you started.

Quick Tip

For higher traffic areas of your home, a walk-through gate allows for easier parental access to the rest of the house.

SEE THE WORLD THROUGH A CHILD’S EYES

If you want to use a high chair with your young baby, be sure to purchase a reclining high chair or low chair. Reclining chairs support little bodies, and are the only chairs that should be used before a baby can sit up alone. Reclining chairs allow you and your baby to gaze at each other – a delightful part of the bonding process. Babies should be stable sitters before being placed in non-reclining high chairs. This means they should be able to hold their heads and spines up by themselves. Many babies begin to sit up between four and six months of age. This creates a perfect match of child development and parenting because it is the same age range the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends for starting solid foods. Using a high chair at this age gives you freedom of movement while you help your child discover healthy first foods. Many parents also wipe their babies’ gums or brush their toddlers’ teeth while children sit in their high chairs. Using your high chair for several tasks makes it easier to care for your baby.

MAKING FURNITURE SAFE 

As your child grows, they’ll love to peek at the world outside. Be sure that toddlers cannot open any window more than four or five inches. If you have windows in your home that fling wide open, secure them with window locks that allow only a few inches of opening. This allows air to circulate, but keeps your child safely inside.

It is important to note that the necessity of window locks extends even to windows with screens. Although a screen may provide a visual barrier, they can easily be pushed out by small children and may result in an accident. Windows that act as emergency exits should not have an additional lock installed. These should stay locked with their standard equipment and not be opened except in the event of an emergency.

TODDLERS AND ELECTRONICS 

Keep all cords from electronics out of reach of children. Use flat outlet covers for all unused outlets, and use box type plug covers, such as the Safety 1st Outlet Cover, to protect toddlers from outlets that have electronics plugged in. It is also beneficial to strategically place furniture so that it blocks visibility of outlets. Take care to keep little fingers away from portable fans and heaters, or keep these items out of the areas where your toddler is free to play.

CHOOSING TOYS 

Another safety measure you can take is to keep the area directly in front of the window clear. A child can easily pick up an object near a window and bang it against the pane which could break the glass. Additionally, objects a child can climb onto in front of a window could lead to a fall if the window is open.

Children are naturally curious and it’s exciting to watch them discover new things. Following the above tips and tricks, you can easily make your home safe and fun for babies and toddlers alike.

CHECKING IN

It’s impossible to be with your child 100% of the time, but nothing is better than supervision where safety is concerned. Consider a second baby monitor for use in the play area. This gives you the freedom to be in another area of your home and still keep in touch with what’s happening with your little one.