One of the greatest pleasures in life is the experience of being a grandparent. But being a grandparent isn't all about hugs, cookies, and piggyback rides; children are vulnerable. As an adult, it's your job to keep them protected. But what are the best home safety tips for grandparents? How do you keep your grandkids safe, especially while they are still babies? From wireless driveway alarms to simple caps for electric plugs, here are a few ways grandparents can make their homes as safe as possible for their grandchildren.
What is the best way to protect your home?
The technology of keeping your home safe may have changed since you were the parent of small children, but the basic principles of baby-proofing and home safety have stayed the same. Babies and toddlers especially will get in to everything, and it's a good idea to prepare for the worst. This doesn't mean turning your home into a fortress - it's still Grandma or Grandpa's house, after all - but there are a few discreet, effective home safety techniques that any grandparent should follow before their grandchildren come to visit.
Keep Unsafe Things Out of Reach
Before your grandchildren visit, consider what items you don't want them to have access to in the first place. Consider installing cupboard locks for cabinets where you store dangerous materials (such as detergent or drain cleaner). Other items to consider locking up or hiding away if your small grandchildren are visiting include:
- Heavy objects on shelves children may be able to reach
- Medication in medicine cabinets
- The knobs on your stove
- The cords on your blinds
- Toxic houseplants (such as lilies)
Make the Environment Safe
If you're the grandparent to a baby or toddler, then home safety also includes giving them a safe place to learn to walk. This can mean putting covers over sharp corners in your living room, ensuring that tall furniture is securely mounted to walls, and installing baby gates in doors you don't want your grandkids to go through. Outlet covers are another cheap way to make sure babies and toddlers stay safe.
Utilize Technology to Your Advantage
There have been a lot of innovations in child safety in recent decades, and by keeping up with them, you can keep your grandchildren as safe as you can. Consider installing a Sadotech wireless doorbell, or a video baby monitor. Consider a smart water heater that you can set to a safe level to prevent accidental scalding. You can even switch to smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
What can you do to keep your grandchildren safe?
There are a lot of ways to keep your grandchildren safe that don't have anything to do with baby-proofing. Make sure your grandchildren know their full name, as well as your real name (not simply "Nana" or "Papa") in case the two of you ever become separated from each other. As they get older, teach them to not open the door to unexpected strangers.
Should grandparents baby-proof?
Babies can get into trouble no matter where they are! They're naturally curious and adventurous, and what looks like a simple uncovered electrical outlet can be disastrous in the wrong circumstances.
That said, you may not need to baby-proof your entire house. If your children and grandchildren are only going to visit for a few hours, it may be better to focus on the rooms they'll be spending the most time in. If your grandchildren are going to be spending the night regularly, it's important to baby-proof a wider area as they get more mobile.
At what age can you stop baby-proofing?
Child-proofing is for more than just toddlers, though infants and toddlers are definitely the most vulnerable to their environment. Once your grandchildren are out of the toddler stage, you can stop baby-proofing, but you should continue to maintain a culture of safety in your home.
If you have a pool or spa, you should ensure that it has a secure, locking fence around it before any children spend time near it. Consider adding window guards for upper levels of your house when small children come to visit. Make sure matches and lighters are out of reach, and regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
In short, you can remove many baby-proofing items as your grandchildren get older, but you should still consider what hazards exist for them in your house now that they can reach higher places and get into more things.
How can Guardline help keep my grandchildren safe?
Guardline offers a variety of products to help keep your grandchildren safe when they visit. From wireless driveway alarms to wireless doorbells, we have products that are affordable, easy to install, and easy to expand. Check out our blog or contact us for more information about how we can transform the safety of your home.
Contributing Writer: Elizabeth Miller