Every parent’s primary concern is child safety. That goes without saying. However, what happens when you are living in a rental unit that could use a few ‘adjustments’ to safeguard little children without making major structural changes to the home? Whether you are renting an apartment or condo in a multi-family complex or a single-family detached home, there are just some things you can’t do without the permission of your landlord. Here are a few easy things you can do to ensure child safety in your home, some of which don’t need anyone’s approval for.
1. Keep Chemicals and Cleaning Supplies out of Reach
It used to be that parents were advised to keep all cleaning supplies and chemicals up high where children couldn’t get at them, but unfortunately, children just seem to be getting smarter and smarter by the year! It isn’t always enough to keep chemicals up high in cabinets because children learn to climb in their terrible twos. If you have a locking cabinet, that would be the safest place to store any chemicals that are hazardous to a child’s health.
2. Tips for Keeping Medicines Stored Safely
The same holds true for medications. Children quickly learn to climb on toilet seats and up onto a sink to get in your medicine cabinet so don’t be lulled into thinking it’s safe just because it is high up over the sink. If you can’t install a lock on the cabinet, it is suggested that you move all medications to a place you can easily lock. Many parents purchase a metal utility cabinet with a lock because they can store everything from cleaning supplies to medications in it. If it is kept locked, children can’t get at anything that could pose a serious risk to them.
3. Childproof Door Handles and Safety Latches
Here is one that bears special consideration because some of the cheaper sets are adult proof as well! Those hard door handle covers that prevent children from turning the handle to open the door also prevent many older adults and women with small hands from opening the door as well.
It is suggested that you purchase high-end squeezable door handle covers because they are easier for most women to turn but not easy enough for tiny hands to manipulate. Also, never install safety latches on your kitchen cupboards until you get permission from your landlord. Anything being screwed in is usually considered a structural change and frowned upon unless prior approval is granted.
4. Make a Safety Checklist
There are a number of ways to ensure child safety in your home in which you don’t need to buy anything at all. For example, always turn your pot handles towards the side and back of the stove and try never to use the front burners when kids are underfoot. By the time they are 18 months old, most toddlers can reach up and onto the front burner and that could be a very dangerous thing to let happen. Your primary concern is to keep your children safe at all costs, so start with these few tips and from there make a checklist.
Just remember to always ask your landlord before attaching anything at all to a wall or cupboard. Few, if any, would ever refuse but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Always ask.