An apartment can be a great place for a kid to grow up—but apartments can be dangerous as well. If you have a young child in an apartment, you’ll need to make sure you live in a safe apartment. Of course, accidents happen, and few children get through life without a few bumps and bruises, but there are definitely ways to minimize these situations as well as prevent even more serious injuries.
Child Safety Tips for a Safe Apartment:
Cords and Sockets: Unlike a house, apartments are controlled by higher management, and the buildings are not always kept up to your personal standards. If you live in an older building, electrical sockets might be even more of a concern, as the electricity infrastructure is equally aged and not always predictable. One of the most important child safety tips to consider is making your apartment electrocution proof. Keep all cords out of sight: preferably secured to the wall. Keep all unused sockets covered. Make sure your children understand that they are not to touch sockets or pull cords.
Dangerous Areas: Windows and doors always present a problem for small children who are just learning to walk and those who are keen to explore their surroundings. Whether it’s to protect them from wandering away and getting lost, or from taking a spill down the stairs, off of a landing or over a balcony—you need to take precaution.
- If you live on the upper floor of a multi-level building, these danger zones are of utmost importance. Ensure that windows have childproof locks if they are within the child’s reach, and look into front door and screen doors with a lock too high for a child to reach. Gates and bars are an extra measure of defense you can take as well in dangerous areas.
- If you have a balcony, make sure all openings are properly sealed with netting, gates, or wood. Be mindful of patio furniture that would be easy for a child to climb on. Keep furniture as far from the edges as possible. Children should never be left on the balcony alone under any circumstances.
Plants, Chemicals and Medicines: No discussion of child safety tips for your apartment would be complete without mentioning the fact that kids love to put things in their mouths. Tasting is an instinctive way to experiment that may have served our ancestors well, but can put our children in serious danger. In your own apartment, it’s easier to keep dangerous medicines, plants and chemicals out of your children’s reach, but when you live in a building with other people, your child’s safety may not be everyone’s primary concern.
- Some plants are toxic when eaten, so if you’re not sure whether plants in outdoor areas are toxic, ask the landlord what they are or keep your child away from them.
- Likewise, household chemicals can be extremely dangerous when ingested, so be mindful of other people leaving toxic chemicals lying out in storage areas, garages, or even near their apartment entrances. Ask your neighbors to remove any chemicals they may have visible in public areas to minimize risk of your child ingesting them.
- It is also important to be aware of chipping paint. This is typically another concern associated with older buildings, but sometimes the fresh paint they gave you might not have been the best job. Corners and molding near the floor can often times be overlooked, leaving potentially lead-based paint chips around for small children to play with, or put in their mouths. If you notice chipping paint, speak with your landlord immediately to resolve the issue.
Strangers: Even if you teach your child not to talk to strangers, it can be a bit more confusing to them in an apartment building. It is a good idea to introduce yourself and your child to all of your neighbors. This will ensure that your child can better differentiate between a neighbor and a stranger. It also puts your child on your neighbors’ radars, so that they are more likely to notice trouble more quickly. If someone knows you and your child, they will definitely be aware if they see your child with anyone else. Instruct your child not to enter another resident’s apartment without your permission. Your child will probably want to greet residents of the building that he or she sees frequently, and this is fine, but warn them to be careful around people they don’t recognize. Even if you have a courtyard that you think is safe, never let your children play out there unattended. It’s simply too big of a risk to their safety.