Moving into a new home is one of the happiest moments in a young couple’s life, especially if it is their first house together. It is a dream come true, and at that moment, the world is full of possibilities. The glass is definitely more than half full and everything is coming up roses.
Then again, there are the loan papers you just signed reminding you that you just went $250,000 in debt. There are a few repairs that still need to be made. And you are still unsure of where all that furniture in storage is going to fit. It is an emotional roller coaster ride that whiplashes from one extreme to another.
It is perfectly understandable that you may not have considered everything involved in fully childproofing that home so that your little one is as safe as possible. You probably didn’t envision that gorgeous staircase blocked off by an unsightly baby gate. New houses are fraught with little dangers that have to be handled if you have small children. Here are a few tips for making the new house experience a joy for everyone:
Develop a Strategy for Medicine
Not every new house has a medicine cabinet. And those that do seldom have safety locks attached. So one of your first considerations should be where you are going to stash the family meds. Even if you don’t take a lot of maintenance pills, there are always the meds prescribed after emergency room visits.
You also need to deal with pills that have escaped their child-safe bottles. Children have a way of getting into things they are not supposed to. If you find an open bottle with the label missing, and your child looking a bit glazed, you need to have a way of knowing exactly what it was she took.
You don’t need special software. You can find pill identifier sites online. inputting a little information such as size, shape, color, and markings can provide you with the information that can save your child’s life. Find a site that works well and bookmark it. Part of childproofing is knowing what to do after something bad happens.
Watch Them Even When You Are Away
One way to protect your loved ones at home is to watch them even when you are away. If you have a baby, you can install a baby monitor (or three) in the nursery. That way, when they are down for a nap, you can still monitor them on your tablet while you are in the kitchen.
The same applies to older kids with a babysitter. When you are out on that rare romantic dinner date, you can look in on everyone with your in-home monitors via your smartphone. Bad things can happen even inside the most childproof homes. So part of your strategy needs to include the ability to look in even when you have to step away for a moment. A lot can happen in those moments when you are not looking. Now, those moments can be greatly reduced.
Childproof the Computers
Every computer, tablet, smartphone, and game console has parental controls. Your child should not have access to any internet-enabled technology that has not been set up by you. Even before they are old enough to be online unsupervised, they need to be taught the value of privacy, personal information, and things that are inappropriate to talk about.
Talking about your vacation plans on social media can get you robbed, if not worse. Your work schedule is also off-limits as a topic of conversation. You need to know who they are chatting with and what is being said. There is plenty of software out there that can help you do that. But using the parental controls on all devices that have them is a good start.
Childproofing a house involves more than baby gates and cabinet locks. It also means having a strategy for medicine, keeping a watchful eye even when you are not there, and using parental controls on computing devices.