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kids shelvesAs little ones grow out of toddlerhood it’s natural for parents to breathe easier when it comes to childproofing. Baby gates come down and cabinet locks (thankfully) can come off. But don’t get too comfortable! Transforming nurseries into “big kid” rooms can add a new set of safety concerns, but they’re easily overcome. Here are five simple ways to accommodate “big kids” growing needs safely:

Step 1: Easy access hang-ups
“Big kids” love taking care of their own things and wall hooks are an ideal way to let them put up bags and jackets themselves. Select hooks or hook units with rounded, blunt hooks to prevent accidents, and securely install them within reach, a bit above the child’s eye level.

Step 2: Keep furniture where it belongs
Furniture-related injuries are a common hazard even for “big kids,” but easily prevented using simple furniture anchors. It’s a good idea to anchor any chest or bookshelf, short or tall, to the wall in kids’ rooms to prevent accidents from climbing — or from kid-initiated rearranging.

Step 3: Steer clear of windows
It’s still a good idea to place beds and other pieces away from windows even in “big kids” rooms. It’s just too easy to topple into the window when jumping on the bed or climbing on furniture to take a peek outside… and yes, they will do these things if given half a chance!

Step 4: Make closets kid-accessible
Keep kids off chairs and step stools in the closet by placing their much-used items in easy reach. If possible, hang closet rods lower so kids can reach them, or if closets have double rods, hang current-season clothes on the lower rod. If there’s room, add shelves or organizer cubes so kids can manage their clothes and toys themselves (mostly).

Step 5: Give them a break-free bedroom and bathroom
Breakables are still best avoided in kids rooms and bathrooms. If you have delicate decor or knik-knacks to display, consider out-of-the-way places like above-window shelving, and secure items with Quake-Hold Putty to keep them put. In the bathroom, choose accessories made of plastic, metal or acrylic to avoid the hassle and danger of breakage.

So, congratulations parents if you’re exiting toddlerhood! You’ve made it so far, and you should have no trouble keeping them safe until your next stop… Elementary School. You might want to brush up on your Algebra, I think they’re starting it in 3rd grade these days!