Becoming a parent is the best feeling in the world. Bringing a child into your home and your life is a privilege and it can turn your whole life upside down in the best possible way.
Almost the same can be said for getting a pet! A new kitten or puppy can demand a lot of your attention and you suddenly have a lot of responsibilities that you didn’t have before.
When you are expecting a child or you are adopting a pet such as a puppy or a kitten – there are certain things you need to do around the house to make it safe for small feet or paws.
Today we want to take a look at some of the ways you can both baby proof and pet proof your home this year to make it a safe space for all.
Cover up sharp corners
The first thing you need to do when child proofing your home is invest in some corner covers for your sharp table, cupboards, and shelving around the house.
Sharp corners aren’t a problem for us, but if your baby crawls or runs around and hits themselves they could get seriously hurt and this is of course dangerous.
Wash dishes right away
It is important when you have a child and a pet that you wash dishes as soon as you have eaten and don’t leave them on the side covered in food. At least rinse off the food, even if you can’t wash up right away.
Pets in particular can be terrors for jumping onto your kitchen counter in search of dishes to lick, and certain foods can make your dog or cat incredibly sick.
Make sure to get a washing up bowl or your dishwasher ready when you sit down to eat and this will make life easier for you afterwards, and allows you to keep every member of the family safe.
Keep surfaces clean
It is crucial when you have a baby or a small pet in your home to keep it clean and sanitary.
Babies have less developed immune systems than us and they will often struggle with illness and be more susceptible to infection.
Many people choose Dettol.co.nz to spray all their surfaces each day to keep them clean and hygienic, and to ensure that no germs are able to get to your baby and cause them harm.
Get rid of dust
Dust is a huge factor that can impact your baby and your pets when you are at home.
Most of us don’t notice a bit of dust now and again in the house, however babies and pets will both react more severely in contact with it.
A baby and a small kitten or something puppy will be closer to the floor and if dust gets into their eyes it can cause an infection such as conjunctivitis.
It is crucial that you keep the home dust free as much as you can to avoid this problem and keep your baby and pets safe.
My recommendation? Save up and invest in a new robotic Eufy vacuum to automatically clean your house every day!
Grab £40 off your new robotic vacuum by using my husband’s Eufy discount code and referral link at http://frndby.co/v/benjaminsully_1
You can also buy a hair roller or magnet from pet stores or online stores to get rid of the pet hair.
Hard flooring or pet-friendly vinyl flooring can also be a better option when you have pets.
Hide the washing tablets
Washing tablets are often bright colours – and both pets and babies will mistake this for something that is edible. It is unclear what a dog or a cat is attracted to with these pods – but for children these will look like sweeties!
The best thing for you to do to keep your family safe is to hide the washing up tablets in a cupboard and make sure that the box is always locked. There are many brands that now have created child lock seals so you should be safe.
You can also invest in cupboard latches that are child proof or put the tablets high up in cupboards where they can’t be reached.
Keep bleach up high
The same goes with cleaning supplies too, like toxic bleach and other harmful ingredients you don’t want your babies or pets to ingest.
It is important when storing your cleaning supplies that you consider who could want to eat it or play with it. Pets in particular will want to lick bleach; and it is crucial for you to keep this and other harsh chemicals out of reach.
Try storing your bleach and other cleaning supplies up high where only you can access it or in a lockable cupboard.
Cacti and succulents are lovely house plants and they can bring a beautiful aesthetic to your home. The only problem is of course that these are spiky and can cause harm when your baby or your pet tries to touch it or investigate it.
Cats in particular can be difficult to manage when it comes to these because you can’t simply put them in high places as your cat will likely still be able to reach it. If possible, keep your cacti out of the house or in a cabinet away from prying hands and paws.
Once children are old enough, you can explain the dangers and you can fill your home with cacti once more!
Organise and hide cables
It is very important when you have young ones in your home that you do not allow them to access any live electricity or have access to long string-like things such as blind cords and cables.
Cables are used for so many things around the house from charging our phones, plugging in our computers, and watching the TV or playing video games. Chances are you have a lot of cables in your home and in your living room in particular.
If a baby chews on a cable or a pet does – they could receive an electric shock and this could be fatal. Use a cable organiser to hide cables from your children and pets to keep them safe and sound.
Keep blind cords wrapped up high and out of reach around a tidy or preferably choose blinds with a child safety cord.
Has your dog been chewing the cables in your household? If they are repeatedly demonstrating destructive behaviour like this, then you may need to seek behavioural coaching for your dog. Your first port of call will be to find a vet in your local area for their professional advice. Your vet will be able to give you the guidance you need or refer you to someone who can help.
Mobile vet clinics are also an option and more convenient.
Keep the windows locked
It is very important when you get a baby or a small pet that you learn to keep the windows either closed or open on the lock.
This is crucial because your baby or pet could fall out of a window and this could be incredibly dangerous. Keep the windows sealed at all times and this will allow you to rest easy knowing your baby and your pet is safe.
It’s not just toddlers that can climb and fall out of windows – our new kitten once managed to climb and get out of an open window and we lost him for a few days 🙁
Warning – don’t buy plug socket safety covers!
Many of us, me included, purchased plug socket safety covers when we had a baby. We hoped they would stop little fingers from getting into dangerous electrical sockets, but actually they aren’t needed at all and may even present a hazard themselves!
It’s quite ridiculous as they are still being sold, even though The Department of Health says they are a hazard.
Using them can present a risk as they override the plug sockets own safety features.
Don’t worry if you didn’t realise as many baby websites are still selling them, even though they’re not recommended, so when searching a baby store for safety gear for your home you’d think you need them if they’re selling them!
UK plug sockets are said to be the safest in the world and since 1940 have had to pass rigorous safety guidelines meaning no baby or child’s fingers would ever be small enough to reach a live part of a plug socket.
UK plug sockets have their own safety features installed and using a plug socket cover could actually disable these features!
The NHS and Department of Health issued safety warnings last year for the removal and disposal of plug socket safety covers in schools and other premises.
They say “In certain circumstances, the use of plastic 13A electrical socket inserts (sold as safety accessories), can overcome the safety features designed into socket outlets. The alert recommends:
13A electrical socket inserts should not be used in health or social care premises, nor supplied for use in a home or residence
Any socket inserts currently in use should be withdrawn and responsibly disposed of.”
This article goes a bit more into depth: http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/
Now is the time to make your home safer for all walks of life and use these tips to keep your house tidy and make your home a safe haven for all.
Use these tips to baby and pet-proof your home today, but do your research too – not everything the shops sell are needed or even recommended!
Wondering what to read next? How about how pets can help with panic attacks.