Many parents start to worry about their homes as soon as the pregnancy test shows positive, considering every situation (even the far-fetched, fretting over “what if…”) and making steps to secure their spaces before Junior’s arrival. It’s common to arrive at a friend or family member’s home to meet their newborn only to see socket covers, cord covers and baby gates already in place. It may seem silly, when the wee one will be immobile for months, but you should applaud those new moms and dads: Life with a baby gets busy and before you know it, that little one is crawling towards the TV cord.
However, despite best intentions, parents (especially first-time parents who don’t know what to expect) may overlook less obvious safety issues in the home. Parachute—a charity founded in 2012 with a mission to make our country safer by educating Canadians about household safety and providing evidence-based solutions—reports that up to 90% of injuries are predictable and preventable. That’s why retailers like IKEA are taking a leadership role to help families live a safer life at home.
“We all want our homes to be a safe place, particularly for young children,” said Marsha Smith, President, IKEA Canada. “At IKEA, this starts with thoroughly designing and testing products through the eyes of a child. We know that children don’t always think about safety when they play, so we do it for them, meeting the highest standards for quality and safety worldwide. We believe when we work together, we can reduce the risk of accidents.”
There are small steps every family can take to ensure they are living a safer life at home. With that in mind, here are six safety tips to help get your space ready for kids.
Start with family safety.
Making sure the house is safe as a whole is the first step to overall safety. Use your expanding family as an excuse to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, to ensure all are in working order. Then, mark it on your calendar to repeat the check once a month. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, get one and store it somewhere with easy access. If you have one, check the pressure gauge to confirm the reading is within range. Also take the opportunity to restock the first aid and emergency supplies in both your home and your vehicle.
For more information about smoke alarms, check out Parachute’s guide to smoke alarms and their rundown on carbon monoxide poisoning.
Secure it right.
Even if it doesn’t wobble, it can topple. Many kids are quick to climb just about everything, which means they run the risk of pulling a heavy piece of furniture (think wall units, televisions and their stands, dressers) onto themselves. Securing furniture with a tip-over risk to the wall using the right hardware is one of the most important things families can do to ensure everyone’s safety. IKEA provides tip-over restraint kits with their chests of drawers, and free kits are also available for previously purchased IKEA drawer units. Visit IKEA’s Safer Homes Together page for more information on IKEA’s restraint kits and for a wall anchoring how-to guide.
Keep cords up.
Every year, children are injured by the cords on blinds and curtains. Many parents don’t realize these are a common strangulation risk. Even very small children who aren’t yet walking have been known to reach for cords if they are close enough to a crib or swing. Purchase cord-free blinds to eliminate the hazard altogether. IKEA is proud to be the first Canadian retailer to go cordless on blinds in 2015 to help ensure the safety of their customers.
So many moms and dads worry about slipping with a new baby in their arms (and when that kiddo starts to walk and climb stairs, the worry just grows). Make sure all high-traffic areas are carpeted or have non-slip mats, in order to avoid a fall.
Beware sharp edges.
As soon as little ones start crawling, cruising and then walking, they are the same height as many coffee and dining room tables; this means they’re likely to crash into a table corners when they’re tearing around the house. Consider corner bumpers, to save tiny foreheads from trauma.
Supervision is key.
It can be tricky at times, but keeping your eyes on your little ones is the best way to prevent accidents. An adult should always be in the room when small children are concerned. This is especially true when it comes to bathing; children under five should always be under the careful watch of an adult whenever in or around water.
IKEA Canada is dedicated to helping families create safer households, with a focus on high-quality children’s products. Here’s just a few of the items IKEA carries to make Canadian families feel safer in their homes.
PATRULL Multi latch -> white, $7.99/ 2 pack CAD, Min. Length 7.5 cm, Max. Length 20 cm, Materials: Polyamide, steel, polyethylene foam, synthetic rubber. Available year round.
PATRULL Safety Plug -> white, $3.99/ 12 pack CAD, Package quality: 12 pack, Materials: Polypropylene. Available year round.
PATRULL Corner bumper -> white, $5.99/ 8 pack CAD, Package quantity: 12 pack, Materials: EVA Plastic. Available year round.
SKOGSKLÖVER Roller blind -> white, $49.99 CAD, Width of fabric: 118.6 cm, Width of roller 122 cm, Length 195 cm, Materials: Wall bracket: Steel, Polycarbonate plastic, ABS plastic, Pigmented powder coating Top rail/ Bottom rail: Aluminum, Anodized Fabric: 81 % polyester, 19 % nylon, Available year round.
SUNDVIK Change Table/chest -> white, $199.00 CAD, Width 79 cm, Min. depth 51 cm, Max. depth 87 cm, Drawer depth (inside) 46 cm, Min. height 99 cm, Max. height 108 cm, Height under furniture 18 cm, Max. load 13.60 kg, Materials: Main parts/ Side frame/ Drawer front/ Front rail: Solid pine, Stain, Clear acrylic lacquer, Available year round. *Must be anchored to the wall
STOPP anti-slip underlay -> $0.34/ sq feet, $4.99/pack CAD, Width: 320 mm, Depth: 2235 mm, Length: 300 mm, Materials: 100% polyethylene, Main parts: Recycled PET plastic, Available year round.
TRYGGHET Medicine cabinet-> $29.99/IKEA FAMILY PRICE, $39.99 Reg CAD, Length 200 cm, Materials: 100% polyethylene, Available until August 2018.