Child Proof Decorating for Your Home
Whether you’ve got a bun in the oven and you’ve started the nesting ritual that overtakes most women who find themselves in the family way, or you’ve already got a couple of rug-rats underfoot and it’s time for a remodel, you’ll want to make sure that any changes you implement in your décor are going to be safe for your little bundle of joy. And truly, all it usually takes is a little common sense (a glass coffee table with sharp metal edges may not be the way to go with a tipsy toddler wandering around the house). But besides the obvious, there are a few tips and several products on the market that could help you child-proof your home when you decide to redecorate. Here are some of the things you may want to consider before you install a new living-room suite.
1. Consider your paint. The quickest way to refresh a room is with new paint, but did you know that most products contain harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can linger in the air for years? Because VOCs have been known to cause headache, nausea, and even some forms of cancer (amongst other possible side effects), opt instead for low- or no-VOC paints to protect the health and safety of your whole family.
2. Go for soft surfaces. Wood flooring sure does look nice, but the first time you watch your child take a spill, you’ll wish you had opted for carpeting. On the other hand, carpet fibers are well known for trapping allergens (your kid is going to be crawling around on the floor, and anything on their hands is going straight in the mouth). So what’s the safest route? In general, you can expect that any flooring is going to get dirty over time, and with all the responsibilities of new motherhood, you’re not going to be cleaning it every day. Since you can now get carpeting with fibers that are less likely to hold allergens, pile is probably a safer bet for less bruising.
3. Opt for plush furnishings. Sure, those craftsman-style sofas look great, but do you really want toddler-height wooden projections populating your living room? Think about how many times your newly-walking child falls or runs into furniture and you’ll see that plush furnishings are really the way to go (unless you want to pad out everything with bumpers).
4. Avoid climbable furnishings. Kids who are learning to walk will use any object handy to pull themselves up, so you need to try to avoid objects that they can climb (shelving units, small tables, and so on). Additionally, make sure every scrap of furniture is either sturdy enough to support their tugging without toppling over or else secure it to the wall with a safety strap. The last thing you want to see is a full bookcase crashing down on your little tyke.
5. Secure loose objects. Many new redecorating projects include some kind of artistic bric-a-brac to add color and interest to your space. Or maybe you want to replace lamps, or get a new television. All of these loose items are a potential hazard to your child, but these threats can be easily overcome. Small, lightweight objects like lamps, vases, and candle-holders can be fastened to surfaces with double-stick tape or Velcro. And your new flatscreen can either be affixed to the wall with mounting hardware (eliminating the danger of being pulled down) or attached to the wall with a safety strap.
6. Safety features. Last, but not least, be sure your remodel includes covers for electrical outlets, latches on cupboards, a CO2 sensor, and new smoke detectors and fire extinguishers strategically placed throughout your home. Preparing for possible safety issues will go a long way towards protecting your child.
Sarah Danielson writes for Sofas and Sectionals where you can find an assortment of high end furniture like a Palliser sofa and a Berkline sofa.