A child-friendly home | Sanitas magazine

How should I prepare my home for my child?

A child needs space, although very little at the very beginning. He also needs a safe environment that he can explore on his own terms without running the risk of injury at every turn. This applies to both indoors and outdoors. From the age of around 4, it’s important that children can play safely outside independently without being monitored every minute due to risks such as traffic. Independent play boosts their self-confidence. Therefore, it’s important before the birth to consider how you can make your living environment safe for children:

Living environment: It’s good to be based in a district with a low speed limit (30 km/h) or with green spaces within safe and easy reach of your home. A small garden behind the house is a real kid’s paradise.

Balcony/terrace: Even a small balcony can be a great outdoor space for your child in the summer. The height and safety of the balcony railing is an important factor in the first few years of your child’s life.

General furniture and fittings: Check floor coverings, paint, furniture and decorative elements for harmful substances.

Changing table: Never leave your baby unsupervised on a changing table. To prevent falls from the changing table, it should have high side guards and be very stable.

Furniture: All furniture and decorative elements in your flat should be stable, because it won’t be long before your child is trying to pull himself up on everything.

Cot: The distance between bars should be big enough to prevent body parts from getting stuck.

Drawers and cupboards: Secure these with safety locks and catches – depending on the contents and to prevent fingers from being jammed.

Doors: Use door stoppers to prevent fingers from being jammed. Child safety gates prevent your child from exploring rooms with hidden dangers unsupervised.

Sockets: Sockets with integrated child-proofing are available. However, you can also fit your existing sockets with child-proofing elements that can be stuck on, plugged in or screwed in.

Electrical devices: Make sure your child can’t reach any electrical devices and their cables.

Corners and edges: Protective caps prevent injuries caused by bumping and falling.

Stairs: You can buy safety gates for stairs.

Dangerous objects: Knives, scissors, detergents, medicines, etc. should be stored out of reach of children or in lockable cupboards.

Carpets: Anti-slip underlays prevent slipping and tripping.

Curtain rails: Check stability, because children love to pull on curtains.

Kitchen: Risk factors include electrical devices, e.g. toaster, kettle and microwave, and, above all, the oven. A hob guard protects small hands against burns, covers keep fingers away from knobs, and the hot oven door can also be fitted with a guard or safety catch.