Once your child is up and on their feet, your home suddenly becomes a very dangerous place for them to be.
A large proportion of all injuries sustained by children between the ages of 1 and 15 are caused by accidents. Most of those incidents are injuries sustained during leisure activities or from around the home. That makes childproofing an issue we all must pay close attention to.
One area of the home in which childproofing is especially important is the bathroom. With running water, warm pipes and maybe even the medicine cabinets, the bathroom can be one of the most hazardous places in your home for a child.
We’ve put together a handy list of tips for childproofing from parents and articles across the globe to keep your bathroom safe.
Install High Cabinets
Young children can’t read labels and are unaware of the dangers of medicine and other products. This why a child safety guide for Australian parents emphasises the importance of making sure any cosmetics and medications are out of reach. The best way to do that is to install a cabinet high on the wall. Ideally, make it a lockable cabinet so as they get older and begin to climb it doesn’t become a hazard.
This is a great place to store any dangerous items you might have in the bathroom, such as nail clippers, tweezers or razors. Putting these under lock and key is another way on ensuring they don’t find their way into small hands and mouths.
Box in Pipes
Some bathrooms have exposed pipework and it is important to make sure they’re not within reach. One obvious option is to box them in, building a plywood protector around them to prevent mild burns. This is crucial as the British National Health Service notes how a baby’s skin burns much more easily than an adult’s.
You might want to take the opportunity to remodel your bathroom and put the pipes within the wall, as boxing in can look unsightly. If you do opt to make significant changes to your bathroom, you might also want to think about possible future costs. HomeServe suggests UK homeowners get insurance for their heating system, and during a renovation is a perfect time to do this as everything will already have been checked for faults. Therefore, you won’t likely need any repairs done in the near future. Plus, if you’re covering future costs by way of insurance, you’re making sure that your child’s welfare isn’t impacted by financial hardship if things do go amiss with the plumbing and heating in your home.
Lock the Toilet Seat
It may seem like a small thing, but locking the toilet seat is hugely important. It’s a source of sitting water and with a flush could become very hazardous to small people, especially if they end up going in headfirst. This is why the Editor in Chief of US parents guide Lucie’s List highly recommends a toilet lock. This simple safety device may be very cheap, but it should be an essential piece of equipment for every family with young children.
Make sure any slips, trips, or falls are prevented by installing rubber mats in the bath, shower and even the drying area. The water in a bathroom makes a hard floor very slippery and whilst adults are aware of the danger, small children are susceptible to falls.
Whilst this applies to carpeted bathrooms in the bath and shower, it is especially important when dealing with bathrooms with hard floors as they offer little protection to tumbling toddlers.
The most important childproofing technique you can use is supervision. Never leave a child in the bathroom unattended. Supervise bath time and teeth cleaning and try to ensure, where possible, that they cannot gain access unless you’re there. A simple lock on the outside of the door will suffice, even if it is temporary.
If you liked this and would like some further reading, why not check out our article Bedroom Makeover Cool Ideas for Young Boys?