Moving with small children is a big deal, especially when you need to baby-proof your new home. Our blog discusses some ideas to help you get on top of it as soon as your Removalists have moved you in.
If you have an infant, and you are moving, the process can be doubly and triply stressful. Not only do you have to worry about packing up a nursery and managing the “small one” on the run while Removalists are picking up and delivering your goods, but you have to contend with what the new place will be like to fortress against accidents. Particularly if you little human is mobile!
We have compiled a list of things you can think about when you move into a new home to create a baby proof environment, so you can be as confident as you can be. Little fingers combined with a curious and inquiring mind can find things you may never think of but thankfully, many have paved a parenting path before you to guide you with experience. The baby market is a thriving industry and there are plenty of services and products around to help you get it right.
(and no... Removalists can't transport your kids away when they're being a bit naughty ;-)
Insert safety plugs in any electrical power-points that are not in use so nothing can be shoved in them, such as a knife or fork, which can encourage electrification.
Consider installing a safety cut-out switch (at the switchboard) if you don’t already have one.
Keep electrical appliances out of reach and ensure chords aren’t able to be pulled from a height where an appliance may fall onto a child.
If you can’t lock cleaning products and poisons away, make sure they are well and truly out of the reach of children and that there is no way for a child to climb to reach them.
Choose to purchase products that are toxic with child-proof containers.
Never store poisons in bottles that are unmarked or resemble something that may be a fun consumable, such as soft drink bottles. In general, this is a dangerous practice.
Always dispose of unwanted or unused poisons straight away, in a safe and appropriate manner.
Always keep the poisons information number visible and accessible.
Cords – curtains and blinds
Sadly, it’s a tragic fact that there have been many young children perish at the end of the chords of venetian and other curtain or blind pulling systems. You should never place a cot or change table close to blinds where there are hanging and looping cords. Try to avoid window coverings that have these types of systems at all if you can.
Consider purchasing safety toggles for them if it is unavoidable to have them in the home.
Glass – windows and sliding doors
If you live in a high-set house or an upper floor of an apartment, don’t leave windows open more than 10cm, children can fit through smaller gaps than you may initially believe. If you must leave windows open in the warmer months, consider installing safety screens or bars. Fly screens will not prevent a child falling from falling through a window.
If you have the financial ways and means, consider installing safety glass that is shatter resistant on all windows and sliding doors.
Be aware of the child that climbs and don’t place furniture or items that allow access to windows where a fall could occur.
If you have glass panels or doors at ground level add stickers at “little person height” so that they are obvious to view and not seem like they aren’t there at all so as to prevent accidents.
Balconies, verandas, porches and stairs
Restrict access where-ever possible.
Install child-proof gates at entrances and exits where there may be access to a height and possible falls.
Ensure there are no items placed next to railings where a child can climb up and fall over the edge.
Make sure that whenever a child is exposed to stairs or heights that they are supervised.
Set the hot water system to a temperature that will not scold if it accidentally comes into contact with young vulnerable skin.
Don’t ever boil water on a stove with the handle hanging over the edge where it can be reached by a child and pulled onto them.
Don't leave hot food products and beverages near the edge of benches, tables or anywhere within reach of tiny hands.
Fit guards to taps to prevent a child turning them on.
Install smoke alarms.
Have a fire safety plan and keep a fire extinguisher and blanket handy in the kitchen.
Install guards around fire places or heaters.
Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
Never, ever, EVER keep button batteries where a small child can ingest them. They are very, very, dangerous if swallowed. Make sure all toys that contain button batteries are secure and that they are thrown away when broken.
Anything that is small and can fit in a child’s mouth can become a choking hazard, secure small items out of the reach of little hands and mouths.
This is by no means a complete list, and the unique features of your home will determine what you need to do and how you can do it. We recommend you seek further professional advice to help reduce the risks relevant to you.
If you have a pool, you can refer to our Moving House Pool Safety article here before you go about booking in your Removalists.
Some of the products you can purchase to help you:
Cupboard door baby locks
Plastic power-point plugs
Corner guards to covering sharp corners of furniture
Cord shortening devices
Door knob covers
Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and blankets
Toilet lid locks
Hire a child-proofing professional
If you don’t feel confident that you can cover all the bases, you can find a consultant that can come to your home and provide a safety assessment and plan for you. They will charge a consultation fee and possibly help you source the items you need to proof the home.
Consider a baby sitter or child minding to make for a better Removalist experience on moving day
Another good idea on moving day is to consider having an extra set of hands to help baby sit whilst Removalists are loading and unloading. Whether that's in the house you're moving from or to or in Childcare somewhere else, it just means one less thing to worry about on the day.