As any parent knows, taking young children for visits away from their childproofed, kid-friendly home can be stressful – sometimes downright unnerving. New surroundings inspire kids to touch, test and even taste whatever they find. Such curiosity is natural. But for guests and hosts alike, it can make a visit anything but relaxing!
You can avoid much of this stress – and many potential dangers – by doing a little planning with your host and taking along a few portable safety items from our Safe Trekking Childproofing Checklist. Remember, even seasoned grandparents may have fragile collectibles, dangerous houseplants, or dangling drapery cords in child-accessible spots.
There are several things you can do to alleviate the obvious hazards without much inconvenience to your host. Share this brief childproofing checklist with your hosts and ask if they mind a minor change or to during your stay:
- Move fragile or breakable items to higher spots in the room.
- Move houseplants to out-of-reach areas. Even if nontoxic, leaves, flowers and berries can pose choking hazards.
- Remove tablecloths or table runners. These can be pulled off the table, taking accessories with them.
- Wind up dangling drapery cords.
- Move any medications, vitamins and hazardous kitchen and bathroom products to out-of-reach or locked cabinets.
Upon arrival, take a few minutes to conduct a “safety check” before letting little ones explore this new, exciting world. Using portable devices, you can further childproof kid-safe zones and limit access to the more dangerous areas of your host’s home. Portable childproofing items are great deterrents if you host is amenable:
- Removable cabinet locks
- Electrical outlet caps
- Door handle guards
- A pressure-mounted safety gate
- Finger-pinch door guards
- Drapery cord wind-ups
These steps should make your visit more relaxed for both adults and tots, but they’re not the complete answer. Temporary precautions are likely to miss many child dangers in your host’s home that are secured in your own — such as stairways, exterior doors and windows, toilets and kitchen appliances. So keep an eye on the tots!
Adult supervision will always be the key to ensuring a safe visit. But when you address these obvious, easily remedied safety concerns with your host, you can work together to help to make your destination safer for your child and your visit more enjoyable for all.