Top tips for a baby-friendly home

For many young couples, the prospect of starting a family is what prompts their first home purchase. If you are about to bring home a new baby, you need to make sure your home will be a safe environment for a curious new youngster.

Barry davies from Chas Everitt suggested the following tips for making your baby-friendly as your little one starts to crawl, walk and run:

* Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairways and keep them properly closed at all times

* Install plastic safety guards in all unused plug points to keep out curious little fingers and put snap locks on all ground-level cupboard doors

* Make sure any nappy or cleaning buckets have lockable lids, and install snap locks on toilet lids too. Small children are top heavy and can easily drown in very little water.

* If you have a pool, it’s best to have both a fence with a locked and alarmed gate and a safety net. Small children should also not be allowed to play in a paddling pool without close supervision, and the pool should be emptied immediately after use.

* Make sure all bookcases and storage cabinets are firmly fixed to the wall with brackets so that they cannot fall over if used as standing aids by a child learning to walk

* Make sure deck and balcony railings are close enough together that a child cannot squeeze between them. If they are not, plastic mesh at least 1m high should be firmly fixed to the vertical railings and the floor.

* Store medicines and chemical cleaners in closed, preferably locked, cupboards well out of reach of any climbable furniture

* In the kitchen, be careful not to let pot and pan handles project over the edge of the stove and never leave a climbable chair or stool near the stove

* If you have glass sliding doors, place bright stickers or decorative decals low down on the glass so that children can easily see when they’re closed

* And finally, add to your baby-friendly home’s safety by keeping children out of tool sheds, workshops and garages, and keep your car locked – even when it’s parked in the driveway.

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