As a grandparent, you’re probably going to look after your children from time to time, whether it’s occasional babysitting or having the children during the school holidays or while both parents are at work. Whether your grandchildren stay overnight or for a longer period, it’s very important to make sure that your home is a safe and happy environment for the kids when they come over.
It can be hard to balance making your home suitable and safe for children, while also keeping it a grown-up space. You don’t need to childproof your home in the same way as you did when you had your own children at home. It’s not your responsibility to give up having your home the way you want it. However, there are some simple things that you can do to make your home grandchildren-friendly.
Create A Space To Play With Toys
Your home is set up for you, and while you might be all set up for your own needs, it is important that have a space where your grandchildren can play safely.
Depending on the size of your home and how much extra space you have, you might want to create a playroom, or set aside an area of a room where the children can set up their toys. It is important that this area doesn’t have any ornaments, antiques, or other breakables that could get damaged by little hands or rambunctious play.
It is important for grandparents to have toys ready for their grandchildren, and an area for those toys to be played with. If you have some toys and books for your grandchildren that you keep in your home, they’ll never be bored when they come to visit you. These could be toys that the parents give you after a sort out or things that you buy yourself. You could even take your grandchildren shopping and ask them to choose some things to keep at your house. The point is that you have something to keep them entertained. This can save your grandchildren from having to bring things from home, which makes it easier for their parents to get them ready for a visit, and means you can entertain them even if you have to babysit at the last minute and they don’t have time to choose toys to bring.
It can be a good idea to have special toys that your grandchildren can only play with at your house. Some special toys that they only play with when they come to visit you give them something exciting to look forward to getting their hands on when they arrive or if they’re staying over with you. You could even get them their own special plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery to use when they come to see you.
Keep Children Safe From Electronics
Keeping your grandchildren safe around electricity in your home is very important, and there are a lot of preventative measures that you can take to keep everybody safe. It’s not difficult to make your home grandchildren-friendly when it comes to electricity.
Children are curious and will often put their fingers where they shouldn’t. Sticking random objects or fingers into electrical sockets and outlets will expose your grandchildren to the risk of electrocution. Taking some preventative measures to stop this from happening, such as plug guard sockets will keep crawling babies, toddlers, and curious children safe. You can also use cable clips and coil wraps to keep wires and cables safely tucked out of the way, where they can’t be pulled. Hide electrical cords behind the furniture to avoid children (and you) tripping over them, falling, and getting injured.
Older grandchildren will also have to be properly supervised if they are going online at your house. If you are not computer savvy you need to familiarize yourself with proper protections for surfing the internet. You don’t want your grandchildren to be exposed to improper websites.
Keep Your Home Clean
If you’re having your grandchildren over, then it is important to make sure that your home is clean and tidy when they arrive. Having a clean has a lot of benefits for both you and your grandchildren, such as preventing illness, as dust can contribute to asthma, allergies, fatigue, and even headaches.
Vacuuming and dusting before the grandchildren come over, will help to prevent the spread of airborne pollutants, while washing surfaces on a regular basis can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Clean floors are safer for crawling children too.
As babies and toddlers crawl, sit, and lie on the floor and put their toys in their mouths, grandparents should try to keep their home a clean and healthy environment for the younger members of the family to explore. The best results can be achieved by using a professional steam or dry cleaner on your carpets and cleaning surfaces and furniture with eco-friendly and child-safe detergents and cleaning products.
Make Your Home A Safe Haven
Making sure your grandchildren are safe from electronics around the home is very important, but there are plenty of other things that you can do to make sure that other areas of your home are safe too.
- Make Your Garden Safe
When the weather is nice, there isn’t anything better than going out into the garden and watching your grandchildren playing. There are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that your grandchildren can stay safe when they are playing outside.
Check your garden for unsecured flower pots that could easily trip and fall, and hurt a child. Make sure your pots are either out of reach or heavy enough to make sure they can’t tip. You can make the pot base heavier by securing the pots within gabion walls, safety anchors, or glue if you need to. Another option is to hang the flower pots as high as you can. Even if your plants are beautiful, they can easily be pulled out and dug up if they’re in reach. Soil and the plants themselves can be poisonous if they’re swallowed. Be careful what you plant.
Properly store and secure any gardening tools that might cause harm, such as lawnmowers, trimmers, and saws.
If you have a pool, make sure the children can’t access it unsupervised by taking some safety measures for your pool fence.
- Make Your Living Room And Kitchen Safe
If you know the potential hazards, it’s easier to minimize the risks and make your kitchen and living room safe and enjoyable places for your grandchildren to be.
There are some things that you can do around your home to improve its safety. Install some soft corner protectors to allow children to walk or run around the furniture safely. These protectors keep kids safe from cabinet corners, beds, tables, and other furniture.
Make sure all your cabinets, wardrobes, cupboards, and bookcases are thoroughly checked, as curious small hands and fingers can be hurt if they get trapped indoors. Install lacks on cabinet handles and knows. However, it’s always better not to rely on these safety locks completely. Anything dangerous, like cleaning products, should be kept high and out of children’s reach.
Make sure that all wardrobes, bookcases, cabinets, and TVs are stable and fitted to the wall, so they can’t be pulled over and land on top of a child.
For younger children who will be on the floor, it can help to spread some cushions out on the floor to reduce the risk of injury. Scatter cushions on the floor around the bed too if you have toddlers on the bed. Play can get wild in young children, so protect them from hurting themselves if they fall off.
The kitchen can be an interesting place for curious children, as you are moving around it pulling out colorful items from the cupboards and the refrigerator. With your naturally distracted attention, it’s important to childproof your kitchen.
Turn out and safely store any moveable appliances when you’re not using them, such as juicers and toasters. If a child can pull an item off a surface, they could be badly burned, so put them away.
- Install Baby Gates
Child or baby safety gates are protective barriers that can be installed at various points around your home that could be a risk to a child. Putting up baby gates is a great idea to protect young children from having accidents in your home.
You can use baby gates to restrict access to areas where a crawling baby shouldn’t go. You can use them to prevent small children from falling down the stairs, getting too close to the fireplace, or going into the laundry room which is full of dangerous chemicals, detergents, and cleaning supplies that could be fatal if swallowed.
- Create An Outdoor Play Area
As the weather gets better and children want to go outside to play, creating an outdoor play area will be much appreciated by your grandchildren and is a space where you can keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re safe.
An outdoor play area can be as simple as a small area with a sandbox or inflatable pool or you can go big with a large playset with swings, or a treehouse. A space like this can be the focus of family activities.