Moving into a new home is chaotic, but when you're moving with children, there are safety precautions you cannot overlook as you dive into unpacking, reorganizing, and decorating. An important area to focus on is your windows and doors. Are they child-safe? Follow these tips to ensure your child's safety in your new home.
Tip #1: Make sure windows lock properly.
Walk around the new house, and make sure that each of the windows does, in fact, lock properly. This way, you know that when you lock a window to keep your child from opening it, the lock is actually doing its job. To prevent falls, keep windows locked when you are not in the room with your child.
Some windows are capable of locking in place when they are open partway. If you're lucky enough to have this type of windows in your home and you need ventilation, only leave them open a crack when your child is in the room. Lock them in this position so that your child can't push the window open further and fall through.
Tip #2: Put child safety locks on your doorknobs.
To prevent your child from walking out the door and into traffic, place doorknob locks on the front and back doorknobs. Child-safe doorknob locks typically fit around the doorknob, and they make it impossible to open the door unless one squeezes both sides of the safety lock -- children cannot do this because their hands are too small.
Tip #3: Keep fire safety in mind when choosing where to place window air conditioners.
There may come a time when you or your child need to escape from a fire through a window. Think about which window is best suited for this. Perhaps one opens up over a porch roof or some bushes that would cushion your fall. Place your window air conditioner in the window from which you're least likely to escape. Talk to your child about the escape window, and make sure that he or she knows it is only to be used if there is a fire.
Tip #4: Keep furniture away from windows
Children love to climb. If you place furniture too close to the windows, they may climb up and accidentally crash through the glass. Make sure all of your furniture is pushed far away from windows to prevent this kind of accident.
Tip #5: Place shatter-proof film over sliding glass doors.
Sliding glass doors can present a real hazard to children. All it takes is a tumble, and they may crash through the glass and suffer serious injuries. Flying objects may also shatter the glass and cause cuts. To prevent accidents like these, cover your sliding glass door in a shatterproof film, also known as security film. You can purchase such a film at most home and garden stores and follow the package instructions to apply it to your glass door. It's a clear film that sticks to your window, and if the glass breaks, it keeps it from shattering and spreading all over the room.
Tip #6: Place toys and other children's items far from windows.
Accidents can happen when children are fighting over games, climbing on scooters, or bouncing on their blow-up toys. Reduce the risk of an accident by storing these items as far away from windows as possible. Place your child's play rug away from windows, so the majority of playtime takes place in a safer location.
Every home is different. As you look around your new place, keep your eyes open for other safety issues related to your windows and doors, and take prompt action to correct them before an accident happens. Start with these tips, and you'll be well on your way towards a safer home.