Those of us with bigger kids can generally rely on their good sense when it comes to avoiding household accidents. But newer mums and dads may need to attend to a few changes around the home to make it safe for little ones. As property managers, we sometimes receive requests from tenants to make some of these alterations. For example, attaching furniture to walls means it can’t fall over when adventurous toddlers climb up it. We seldom have a reason to say no. Safety comes first!
The Obvious – and the Not-So Obvious
There are obvious things you have to change when your bundle of joy starts getting adventurous and wants to explore everything. We know that medicines, pesticides, and cleaning agents should be kept out of reach and in a locked cupboard and that guns should go in a safe. We may already have thought about protecting power outlets from questing little fingers, and we certainly invest in a baby seat for the car. But less obvious dangers lurk. See if you have thought of the less-obvious safety measures too!
We’ve already touched on this one. Kids will explore cupboards, bookshelves, and dressers even when they know they’re not supposed to, and to reach higher shelves, they’re quite likely to climb up. Attach anything that might tip over securely to the wall. Yes, if you move out of the house, you will have to patch and paint or pay for the property managers to have it done. Still, it’s worth the effort and a little added cost to avoid a potentially life-threatening accident.
The same goes for TV screens and computer monitors. They can all too easily topple over. Inspect your home for unstable furniture and appliances, and secure them.
Take Precautions if You Use a Drier
Clothes driers can and do cause household fires. Apart from regularly cleaning out the lint filter, be sure that you use your drier according to manufacturers specifications and don’t risk using it if you think it might be faulty. Admittedly, this isn’t just for people with small children in the house, but it’s worth mentioning because many people invest in a drier to help cope with all the extra washing that comes with having kids.
Consider Getting a Dehumidifier to Combat Mould
Coastal living in Hobart is lovely, but the air is very humid and that can encourage mould which aggravates asthma and allergies or causes sinusitis. While your property manager will take care of any mould developing on walls or in roofs, it’s up to you to keep your carpets and furnishings mould-free. A dehumidifier goes a long way towards preventing mould growth from developing.
Mind the Stairs
Kids love doing everything at full-tilt. Although just about anyone can fall down stairs, kids are among the likeliest victims, so be sure the whole family knows they shouldn’t leave anything that can be tripped over near the top of the staircase. Look out for other tripping hazards like loose stairway carpets and ask children to walk rather than run on stairs and to use the handrail. When they’re too young to understand your instructions, consider installing baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
Managing Kids is Harder than Managing Property!
A property manager is a busy person with a thousand and one things to see to, but we have to confess it’s easier than managing kids. Sometimes, it seems that they positively gravitate towards thing it isn’t safe to do. Even the most vigilant parent can’t watch the children every minute of the day, so be on the lookout for hazards and see to them right away. Some people may say you’re over-protective or paranoid, but it’s far better being safe than being sorry. If you’d like any advice on safety-related alterations you’d like to make, chat to your property managers – we’re here to help.
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