Child Safety Week 2017 – Wednesday

This week is Child Safety Week – a subject at the forefront of our minds right now. The theme this year is #SharingIsCaring, so I’m asking for you to share your advice.

We’ve got a baby on the way. And in Darlington, the Health Visitor comes out to do a safety inspection on your home as you approach your due date.

Ours is in a couple of weeks. (The inspection, not the due date!)

So today, I’m considering what needs doing in…

The kitchen

This is our first child. Although we know the kitchen is a massive danger area, we’re bound to miss something.

Like many childless couples, our kitchen is laid out for our convenience. Cleaning products are under the sink, and medicines are below the cutlery drawer. The ubiquitous stack of carrier bags is in the bottom cupboard. Think we’d better do something about that! Some of the things we need to think about include:

  • Moving the cleaning products, carrier bags and medicines
  • That tiled floor is slippery when wet
  • The knife blocks are close to the front of the worktop
  • We need to replace the smoke alarm by the door
  • We need to create space for baby feeding equipment
  • Consider a baby gate to keep The Boss Jr away from hot surfaces.

So what’s first?

The smoke alarm! The old one got damaged after it went off one time too many. Our friend tried to remove the battery but couldn’t work out how to open the cover. It still works, but the cover now hangs loose and it goes off more than ever – not ideal if The Boss Jr has just gone to sleep!

Next up is the baby gate – for two reasons. As I mentioned yesterday, we have a dog. I want to be able to keep her away from the baby if I’m not in the room, so the gate can keep them separated. It’ll also protect The Boss Jr from the hot oven, food and liquids in the kitchen.

The cleaning products and carrier bags are destined for the shed. The medicines are going upstairs into the wall mounted bathroom cabinet.

Moving these should (she says, optimistically!) create enough room for the miscellany of bottles, sterilisers, teats, warmers, bibs, wipes, and other utensils that are apparently essential for baby rearing.

The tiled floor is new – it was only installed last year – so I’m looking into options to make it less slippery. It may just be a case of being careful and mopping spills as I go. The knife blocks are a different story – we’re looking at replacing them with a magnetic rack like this one which can go at the very back of the worktop.

The stairs

Although they aren’t in the kitchen, our stairs are the last bit of the ground floor we need to worry about.

And they’re a worry.

There’s a curve at the bottom of the stairs, and a carved newel post at the bottom of the banister. The top and bottom of the stairs are too wide for standard stair gates. The carved wood means we need to get inventive. There’s nothing to secure a stairgate to on the banister side.

We’ve considered putting a stairgate across the hall instead, but it’s too wide and there’s a radiator in the way. We’d have to build up a mount going around the radiator.

We’ve also considered putting the top gate across the door to what will be The Boss Jr’s room. That doorway is too narrow. The landing is far too wide, and again we’d have to build a mount at the top of the stairs to get around a door frame.

So we’re open to suggestions! We’ve researched taller, shorter, wider, and narrower stair gates. We’re stuck with building our own stair gates or botching some sort of wooden mounts at the top and bottom of the stairs.

What can you think of?

We’re not bothering with cupboard locks because Adrian’s nieces worked out how to bypass them before they learned to walk. They also sussed out stairgates pretty quickly…

What are your top kitchen safety tips? Share them with us!


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