Once your little one starts crawling and getting into everything, it's time to have a look at how to make your house safer! Noel Caulfield from Homesafe shares with us some important childproofing products to help make your home safer.
Meredith: What are some additional things I can do to ensure safety within the kitchen, like the stove for example?
Noel: There is a device called hob guard. This is a surround that goes around your burners and it attaches to the bench top using self-adhesive pads. So it is very easy to put on, it stops pots from being pulled over the front of the hotplates and also protects the knobs if the knobs are up at bench level.
Meredith: Can we go through the different rooms in the house…the lounge room for example, what are the danger zones there?
Noel: What you should be looking for in the lounge room is low level sharps, for example coffee tables. A lot of people have glass top coffee tables and the corners can be terribly dangerous, corner cushions can go over the corners. You need to get the right corner cushions, because many don’t stick on the corners and they're made of teething plastic so the kids actually chew the corner cushions off. We recommend a foam base cushion that’s typical of what you might put on. Other things you are looking for is fireplace surrounds; if you are using an open fire or a gas fire make sure that is protected by some sort of gating product; looped blind cords, they are potentially dangerous in all the rooms of your home. If you do have looped blind cords just get some simple hooks and put them up above 1500 so that the loop of the cord is 1500mm above floor level and that will stop them getting into any sort of grief with those.
Meredith: What other things should you be looking at in the lounge room, obviously cords and leads from stereos and televisions?
Noel: Most houses these days, because of the electronics, we tend to not have enough points and lots of power boards. The power board I recommend is a power board that has a safety device. It has a turntable positioned over the terminals and that simply opens and then snaps closed as soon as the plug is pulled out.
Meredith: What is the concern with power points?
Noel: The concern with power points is that a toddler can place an object like a hairpin in a power point. Now I should probably go back one step, and that is you really need to ensure that your switchboard is protected by safety switches. Now most modern houses are, but if they are not it costs about $250 AUS for an electrician to come and safe guard your power board. That will shut your power down pretty much immediately, but there still requires a purge of power before it shuts down so you still should cover your power points.
Meredith: How do you cover your power points?
Noel: For standard power points you can buy these plugs for all most nothing. The plugs plug into the power wall sockets and isolate the power point from the child.
Meredith: Is there anything else we should look at in the lounge room?
Noel: I will mention low level glass. It's not necessarily isolated to lounge rooms, but many people are not aware of the fact that if their houses are built say between the mid seventies and the mid nineties, they're likely to have low level glass that is extremely fragile. What we tend to do with those houses is we rip up carpets, polish the floor boards and create runways within the house. A toddler on a push toy can get up a fair amount of speed and if they hit the windowsill, that will propel them into the glass which can cause them some serious injury. Now what we do with glass, obviously you can replace the glass with safety rated glass that’s quite expensive, but a relatively inexpensive solution is to use a safety film which needs to be professionally installed. It will reduce the ability of the glass to smash and shard and it’s the sharding that causes all the damage.
Meredith: I know we have only just briefly touched on a few tips and thank you very much for this interview.