Prepare Your Apartment for Children
Children can experience a great sense of community growing up in an apartment. Apartments do have their own dangers that need to be addressed, however. Make sure you prepare your apartment for children, especially if you intend to babysit or watch kids within your apartment. Everyone has their fair share of trials and tribulations as they grow up, but if you can plan for them, you can eliminate some of the more harmful ones. Learn what you can do to child-proof your apartment with the list below.
Electrical Outlets and Cables
Having a maintenance crew makes life a little easier, but sometimes not every electrical hazard can be remedied immediately. Electrical outlets and wiring, especially in an older apartment building, can be a common danger for children. It is necessary to have all electrical outlets equipped with a proper cover and every cord and cable isn’t cracked or frayed. You must specifically communicate to your child to never touch electrical outlets or damaged cords and cables.
Curious children just beginning to walk love their new freedom to be able to explore what’s around them. This means any doors and windows can be hazardous to them. If you live on or above the second floor, you need to have windows with childproof locks. Screens can be pushed out of place, and if you have the windows open during a hot summer day, a young child can accidently fall out the window. While perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing, gated or barred windows are an additional precautionary measure. Balconies are also dangerous for young children, it is essential they aren’t able to open the door and walk out onto the balcony unsupervised. Netting and gates work great, otherwise a piece of wood that doesn’t allow the door to open is ideal. Part of exploring is also climbing, so make sure any outdoor furniture on your balcony is located near the center, should the child fall they will not fall far. A child should never be allowed on a second story (or higher) balcony unaccompanied.
Plants, Cleaning Products, and Prescription Medications
Children put themselves in danger while they’re teething, as they tend to put things in their mouths. It may be obvious to lock up your knife drawer and medicine cabinet, but even some well-known house plants can be harmful if consumed by humans. Aside from your unit, you need to know what type of plants are in the entire apartment building to be able to keep your child safe. Chipped paint can be a threat to your child’s health as well, specifically in an older apartment building, where most paint still contains lead. It is vital your child doesn’t eat any paint chips off the ground. If you see a wall or ceiling with chipped paint, notify your landlord or maintenance department immediately.
Most people have explained “stranger danger” to their child, however, children growing up in an apartment may have a harder time grasping this concept. Be sure to introduce yourself and your child to all your neighbors. This serves as a “two-way street” as your child will learn who is safe and your neighbors will know to be on the lookout for dangers to young children. Furthermore, it is mandatory your child never steps into another resident’s apartment unit without your knowledge. Your child should never be left alone to play in any communal spaces of the apartment community.