Choosing durable, safe furniture pieces and positioning them with caution in mind can make a huge difference to both your family’s safety, and to your budget.
Here’s a few things you might want to consider when setting up your home to be as kid-friendly as possible.
Child friendly lounges and sofas:
When it comes to wear and tear, family lounge suites cop a beating. Often the hub of the home they bear the brunt of actions ‘possibly’ not meant for a sofa to endure.
With most suites and lounge packages coming with a hefty price tag, if you want durability there are a few things you can consider such as getting a wipeable surface – like leather, or having your fabric lounge regularly treated with a surface protector such as ScotchGard.
Plus choosing a lounge with a sturdy frame will help combat those days when the children treat it like a trampoline. As for safety, carefully consider where your lounge suite is placed in your home.
Never position a lounge against a window that an active child could fall through, and if your children are particularly young, have them back onto a wall will stop little gymnast flipping over the back and avoiding a huge, potentially dangerous drop.
Child friendly tables and chairs:
Anyone raising a child knows the perils of a running toddler and a hard corner! Attaching edge protectors and corner guards to your existing dining, coffee and hall tables. However even better choices are to try going with either rounded edges, upholstered tables and chairs, soft wicker or cane furniture or better still, good old plastic.
While your children are small, avoid stool style chairs or any that easy to climb and fall from. Any chairs and stools with compromised stability should be ditched as a potential hazard.
Something to also note is metal stools and chairs can sometimes have particularly sharp footing which can cause cuts and lesions to little feet and hands.
Child friendly bunk beds:
Bunk beds are a great space saver, but are they safe? Read all about bunk beds for kids here.
Child friendly drawers and shelving:
Best practise is to anchor all drawers and shelving to a stud wall to prevent child from climbing and pulling the heavy units onto themselves. Sometimes this is not possible, in which case you can use spreading anchors to give units a bit more stability.
Shelving units with drawers or cupboard doors at the bottom a little more difficult for children to climb, and should be considered if you are buying new.
Any breakables are best kept locked away or stored on a high shelf away from curious little hands.
Child friendly soft furnishings:
Curtain and blind cords prevent a significant choking risk to children of all ages. At least 15 young children have died as a result of looped cords in Australia since the early 1990s, including two in Victoria in 2009.
Depending on the types of curtains/blinds that you have in your home, there are various kits and devices that can help you to make them safe which are readily available from your local hardware store or curtain and blind retailer.
Never position furniture such as cots, beds, highchairs, playpens, couches, chairs, tables or bookshelves near a window where children can readily reach a blind or curtain cord.
Avoid cushions and pillows with pom pom attachments or other finishes that can be easily removed by prying little fingers, potentially becoming a choking hazard.
Television sets are easily pulled over onto small bodies. For the safety of your child, place your television, stereo, and other electronic equipment out of reach in cabinets, or wall mounted where possible.
Child friendly lamps and lighting:
Floor lamps might look pretty, but once kids are on the scene they provide some hazards as they are easily pulled over exposing children to electricity and often burning globes. Best practise for lamps and lights is to keep them in a high secure position where children to not have access to the globe or the cords.
Using a reduced wattage or LED globe is also a good idea. If you are concerned about the cords you can always use tape to secure them to the floor or skirting. This will help reduce choking and electrical risk.