A Safe and Child-Friendly Home
Starting in the living room, children love to build forts by pulling unattached cushions and pillows off the coach. To keep the living room looking orderly and prevent jumping on the furniture, buy sofas and chairs with fixed cushions.
Home is supposed to be where you feel safest and the most comfortable. But if you haven’t effectively child-proofed or set up a child-friendly environment, your children could be in danger at home. As much as we love children, they can create lots of messes, from the living room to the bathroom and everywhere in between. Here are some key features that can help you create a kid-friendly home that’s clean, organized, safe — and fun for all.
Walls & Floors
Children can be hard on floors and walls. Since wood flooring is easily scratched with toys hitting the floors or riding their scooter in the house, consider a good-quality vinyl floor. Vinyl floors are virtually impossible to destroy and look incredibly realistic these days. They’re almost guaranteed to last through the better part of your child’s growing years without having to replace them.
In order to ensure your children’s bedroom walls stay clean, think about painting the walls with semigloss paint. Semigloss paint come in many colors and washes up beautifully. Marker, crayon and chalk all wash off easily. Don’t be afraid to use semigloss on all of your children’s walls.
Another safety item in a child’s bedroom is to have cordless window shades. Most shades made nowadays have child-safety features on them, but the only 100% child-safe shade is one that has no external cords. If you have young children in your home, cordless shades are a smart idea.
We all know that children and carpets don’t mix well together. Spills can happen anytime and hopefully not leave a permanent stain. Instead of wall to wall carpeting, think about using carpet tiles. If something spills on a carpet tile, it’s easy to lift up the 18-by-18-inch square and bring it to the dry cleaner for a proper cleaning. If the stain doesn’t come out, then you need to replace only that one little square.
Since we are talking about spills on the carpet and providing a safe environment, children have a bad habit of eating and drinking substances that they shouldn’t! You’ll want to keep a close eye on how all the dangerous liquids and substances in your home are stored. Make sure cleaning supplies, medications, and other chemicals in places like the bathroom and the garage are locked and protected from prying fingers. Cleaning supplies in the bathroom can be dangerous, so ensure young children don’t find the toilet lid up and play in the water. Finally, if you keep a lot of plants, make sure you know which ones are toxic. You should eliminate toxic plants, or at least make sure they’re firmly out of reach of children.
It’s not just liquids and food items that can be dangerous. Cords for electronics can be both fire hazards and electrocution hazards if mishandled; cord protectors can keep them out of reach. Any small item is at risk of being swallowed, so watch out for how you store things like batteries, coins, nails, and other knick-knacks. It’s important that you’re prepared for emergencies. Make sure the numbers for poison control and your doctor are saved in your phone for easy access.
If a bathroom is used by children, it’s best to go with tiles for your bathroom walls. For some mysterious reason, toothpaste gets everywhere when kids brush their teeth. Not to mention, they’re not always so great at locating the toilet in the middle of the night either. They also love to splash around while washing their hands. Tile on the back-splash will prevent soggy walls.
A floating vanity in the bathroom is extremely helpful for young children. Not everyone loves the look of a floating vanity, but they really do make sense when your children need to use a stool to reach the faucets. It’s so great to be able to tuck those stools under the vanity and get them out of the way so no one stubs a toe. Or better yet, have a step stool built into the vanity. Also think about hooks instead of towel bars. The children can hang their towels up on their own, instead of letting them fall on the floor.
Once you have a child, their toys and equipment seem to multiply and take over the house. When it comes to choosing toys for your children, it’s important that you prioritize safety over all else. First, this means choosing toys that are age-appropriate and don’t have small enough parts to fit into their mouths. If the toy comes with a warning label, make sure to read it. Second, make sure that the toys remain in good condition. Sanitize children’s toys regularly and keep an eye on any toys that may be damaged in a way that creates new hazards.
You can also never have enough storage when you have children, but the best way to keep toys and stuff from taking over is to create ample closed storage. Make sure you have a mix of drawer and door storage to accommodate all the different types of toys.
Children usually prefer to remain close to their parents, so giving them a worktable or play counter where they can paint, and build would be ideal. Try to use a material that is durable and easy to clean, like quartz, as a countertop, as it will get a lot of use and abuse.
Hooks are not only great for bathrooms but also for your mud room. Children love coat hooks and are especially good at hanging up their coats when the hooks are mounted at a height they can reach. When creating a space for coats, don’t forget about creating a space for their backpacks and boots too. Giving them their own colored pillow helps them to know which cubby is for them.