Child Safety Latches
Some people will hire professionals to come in and completely childproof their homes, but in most cases, this isnt necessary.
Purchasing and installing the right child safety devices in the right places can be done in a matter of a couple of hours.
In those two hours, a childs life can be saved or protect them from serious injury.
Most accidents do not occur in the home until children begin to explore their mobility.
Newborns and infants are more often than not, in someones arms, sleeping or lounging in a safe device, and this age group does not require too much preventive measure when it comes to protection.
Lets look at the different developmental groups where child safety latches and devices are most necessary, and most useful.
As most children develop at their own pace, we will look at their developmental stages rather than age groups as some two year olds may not be as mobile as others and vice versa. What movements are your children making and what trouble can they get into?
Infants and Toddlers Crawlers and Cruisers
With the use of fine and gross motor skills an entirely new world is opened up to them, and it is exciting for them. They do not know what not to touch, open, and crawl into until something bad happens.
This is the age group where most accidents occur and where the use of child safety latches is most beneficial.
As your infant begins to get more mobile and explore their fine and gross motor skills, latches and safety devices are essential. What are the basics?
The very basics of childproofing are child safety bumpers on furniture corners and edges and outlet covers for all of your electrical appliances. As your child is able to cruise along furniture and move from room to room independently, they will start opening cabinets, drawers, and yes, even windows.
There are a wide variety of child safety latches that you can use on these objects, and each is different towards your own specific needs.
It would not hurt to see a demo in the store before you buy, as too often parents will come home fully equipped with devices and latches and not be able to get into the areas themselves.
Where do you need to install your latches? The first thing you need to do is get on the eye level that your child is at, and look around.
What looks interesting? Crawl on the floor and see what they can and cannot reach.
Do not keep cleaning supplies in a cabinet at floor level, even with latches these can sometimes be hacked into.
Ideal locations for child safety latches should be on your stove, on your fridge, on cabinets holding sharp objects, cabinets that are at floor level, the toilet seat, and all drawers in the home as children really enjoy sliding these open and closed and tiny fingers get caught easily.
When Bipedal Movement Begins!
As exciting as it is when your children take their first steps, it can be frightening and yes, even exhausting.
At this stage in their lives the world is their oyster and they believe they have experienced the ultimate in independence and yes, they want to go everywhere their cute little feet will take them.
Here is where child safety gates will become your best friend and eyes on deck when you turn your back for that split second. There are enough available that work for any situation, and try them out before you buy.
Doors are an entirely new danger, and you can install child safety latches to protect your walking children.
Door finger protectors will work well to prevent your babys fingers from being caught where they shouldnt be. These are made of flexible material and will be placed on the hinge components of your door.
The neat thing about these devices is they will automatically engage when the door is in active position, and will not lock when the door is closed.
You can get similar devices and latches to keep your doors open if that is easier for you.
Child safe door knob covers are another useful device that will prevent your children from getting anywhere dangerous. You also may want to look at locks for those rooms that children dont need to be in at all.
Windows are another concern as your child is standing up in bed, or moving around the house on their own.
You can purchase child safety window wedges that will work on both double hung and sliding windows and attach with a simple adhesive. These wedges will require a squeeze in order to move the window, and children at this age are simply not strong enough to do so.
Older and Independent Children The Know It Alls
Yes, once you have entered grade school and can walk and talk and move about freely. In most cases, these children are well versed on safety issues, and have the cognitive capacity to follow rules.
Unfortunately, even six year olds can find themselves in danger, or in places they shouldnt be, and their grade school independence gives them a confidence that may put them in danger.
Child safety window guards are still not a bad idea at this point as when the temperatures warm up, fresh air is an instinctive need for this group.
Door latches can be kept as well to prevent your children from going places they shouldnt.
Sliding door latches are another excellent tool at this point, and these will ensure your children will not leave the house when they shouldnt be.
If necessary, you can also install child safety door alarms that will sound when the door is opened at inopportune times.
These alarms will scare the children enough to back away and not use the door without permission.
Yes it is true that the number of hazards in your home is endless, and it is impossible to cover each and every one as every home is different.
Children do not differ much from each other though and ensuring that the most basic issues are covered will in itself provide some relief as a parent.
Never feel as if you are overprotecting or child proofing your home as your childs safety is your number one priority.
Though there are as many child safety latches on the market as there are hazards in the home, choose the latches that work best for you and your situation, and always try before you buy.
If you cannot use the latches yourself, they are an ineffective tool and the very point of purchasing them and protecting your children will be lost all together.
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