Child-proofing your home in Cape Town doesn’t have to be expensive and not all the recommended steps have to be taken immediately.
It will be some time before a baby becomes a mobile toddler. That said, implementing as many safety measures as possible before you have your hands full is a good idea.
DIY child-proofing solutions
For cash-strapped Cape Town parents, it isn’t always necessary to spend on commercial baby-proofing products.
There are easy ways to protect your little one from everyday hazards using nothing more than ingenuity and a few household items.
Slip-in slip-out stairway block
A large piece of chip board, covered in plastic or fabric, is a safe and cost-effective way to create a gate that blocks off the stairs. Slip between rails at the bottom and top.
Source: Maison de Pax
Custom door handle covers
A simple lidded container can be transformed into a “door lock without a key”. Cut a star-shaped hole in the plastic lid, with straight lines cut a quarter of the way down to each corner.
Ease the lid over the doorknob. Secure the lid and container back together again. Choose a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Barricade the bookcase
Bicycle inner tubes are ideal for keeping books where they should be – securely stacked in the bookcase. All you have to do is slip a tube over both the books and bookcase… but only on the shelves your toddler can reach.
Slide-secure vertical drawers
To secure vertical drawers, slide an iron slat or sturdy piece of wood through the handles. If you have a tension rod, so much the better.
Rubberised door locking deterrent
Looping a rubber band into the figure 8, stretching it tightly across a door’s lock mechanism, and snapping each side of the band over a handle is a great way to prevent youngsters from getting locked in or out.
Easy hacks for sharp edges
Sharp edges and corners on tables, dressers and shelves can be dangerous, especially for little ones learning to walk.
Cut a pool noodle lengthwise and apply it to all the danger areas for a quick, easy and effective baby bumper. They can quickly be removed when visitors come.
Source: Miss Information
Tape up electrical outlets
Babies are inquisitive. If they’re not popping things in their mouths, they’re poking chubby little fingers into nooks and crannies.
Electrical outlets pose a serious danger. Cover them firmly with insulation tape to prevent a disaster. Ensure a toddler can’t pull it off.
Some businesses that offer child-proofing products in Cape Town
There are lots of child-proofing products on the market. Here are a few places to find what you might need:
A simple Google search for “pool covers Cape Town” yields details of several companies that offer child-safe pool covers.
Ensuring your swimming pool is covered is a mandatory requirement when there are youngsters around.
Baby- and toddler-proofing checklist
Here’s a checklist of the elements in the home that need to be considered.
- Remove all glass and breakable objects.
- Cover sharp edges.
- Erect a fireplace barrier.
- Avoid the use of bar heaters.
- Tape up, or cover, all plug points.
- Ensure large appliances and heavy furnishings are secured to the wall.
- Attach electrical cords to the skirting boards or tie them up when not in use.
- Store all medication out of reach or in a locked cabinet.
- Remove open razors and razor blades.
- Lock the toilet seat.
- Ensure windows are secure and tightly shut.
- Remove blinds with cords.
- Add a stopper to the door.
- Store sharp utensils and small appliances out of reach.
- Install locking mechanisms on cabinets and cupboards.
- Unplug appliances and secure electrical cords.
- Keep shelves and surfaces clear.
- Invest in a pool cover or fence.
- Fence in the property and keep gates locked.
- Remove toxic or prickly plants from the garden.
- Enclose the deck or patio.
- Store chemicals and gardening tools in a lockable tool shed.
- Keep pets in a separate area of the garden.
- Remove heavy objects.
- Fill in or fence off fish ponds.
How Chelsea Cleaning can help with baby-proofing in Cape Town
At Chelsea Cleaning, we don’t offer child-proofing services or specialist advice – but we do assist with professional deep cleaning of mattresses (including baby mattresses), carpets, curtains and upholstery.