All parents are well-aware and well-prepared when it comes to making all the necessary changes to their homes and their lives when getting ready for baby. But once your baby is old enough to be left with a sitter, you might not know if the sitter’s home is properly child-ready or not. Babysitters and home day care owners are responsible for protecting your child when in their care. One of the most important aspects of running a home day care, or simply babysitting from your home, is to child-proof it properly to make sure your premises is safe for kids and babies.
If a child is injured as a result of your negligence in this area, then you are legally accountable for their damages. It is also vital to have liability insurance, and all the proper insurance for running a company from your home. Continue reading to learn how to properly child proof a home or space, and prevent injuries and accidents to our beloved youth.
You can find countless “child-proof” and “child-safe” products on the market, online, and at your local baby stores. Gates, locks, electrical outlet covers, corner rubber bumpers, and more that can be purchased at a reasonable price. With all this possible merchandise, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to implementing safety features around your home. The key here is to not go overboard, because there are really only four important areas of a home that you need to take proper initiative and child-proof. Here is a description of each:
The kitchen is a popular hang-out area that becomes common-ground in a person’s home. It is also one of the most important areas to child proof because there are so many areas that can be hazardous for a child. In the kitchen, it is important to purchase cabinet and door locks. This prevents the kiddies from being able to access kitchen cabinets with potentially harmful products or appliance inside. These locks are also necessary for appliances like stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators.
Along with protecting children from harmful or toxic products, it is important to store cleaning solutions and item in an above cabinet, rather than below the kitchen sink like most of us. This also includes pesticides, detergents, batteries, vitamins, and any other types of medication or chemicals. All of these items, and one’s similar, will cause serious injury or death. Also, if you use your stove or oven while in the presence of children, it is best to mount stove barriers so that open flames, hot grease, water, and oil cannot splash off and burn a little one. And do not forget to cover electrical outlets with sliding plastic covers to protect curious fingers from electrocutions or shocks.
General Living Area
These type of area can be the living room, family room, playroom, or any other room that experiences the most traffic. This room needs the same type of kid-proofing as the kitchen, but also some additional methods. The first thing you need to do is install plastic covers on any exposed or accessible electrical outlets. For those who have raised kids, you know they like to stick their little fingers inside! This can be very dangerous and cause electrocution and electrical burns, like we mentioned when we discussed kitchen-proofing.
Also, it is important to install rubber bumpers on corners of furniture to prevent cuts, bruises, gashes, and more. It’s a wobbly world for some tots, and keeping their balance around the edge of a coffee table might be difficult. Hang rubber bumpers will protect the eyes and the head from serious impacts. These are simply little rubber edges that make sharp corners softer in case a fall or stumble occurs. Another safety feature for furniture that you’ll need for a home daycare is furniture straps. This bolts top-heavy furniture to the ground, like tall televisions, bookshelves, liquor cabinets, and armoires.
One of the most obvious safety feature is baby gates! Use these to block off staircases, hallways, and more. Now, the last and most-often overlooked, child-proofing feature for a home babysitter has to do with curtains. We are talking about curtain cords. It is important to purchase a cord-shortening device or a wind-up bracket so that tots are not able to choke or strangle themselves.
Bathrooms and Outdoor Play Areas
Don’t forget about the bathroom and outside play area as well. Be sure to lock toilet seats to prevent drowning, turn down water thermostat temperature levels to prevent scalding, and install ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI) outlet covers to prevent water-induced electrocutions. For outdoor playtime, install netting in between deck and patio posts to prevent falls, and be sure pools are properly covered and locked. For pools, also consider gate locks and drain covers. Unfortunately, the leading cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 4 is drowning. You can prevent this with proper preventative maintenance and child-proofing.
If your child was injured at daycare as a result of negligence, it is recommended to consult a licensed personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Do this before the statute of limitations runs out! You may be entitled to compensation for yours and your child’s damages. Damages include medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages from time off work, pain, suffering, prolonged rehabilitation, paralysis, mental trauma, wrongful death, and much more. Talk to an attorney to see if you qualify for legal recompense.