If you’ve got some unexpected young guests this holiday season, you might find yourself trying to baby-proof your hope quickly, and with ordinary household objects. Luckily, crawlers will be walking by next year, toddlers quickly learn to be steady on their feet, so you’ll soon have your home back. Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Get Small Kids to Take Off Their Socks or Keep Shoes On
Many people worry about having stone floors or marble stairs with children in the house. These fears are largely unfounded, as basic safety precautions (supervising toddler so they don’t fall down the stairs) are more important in preventing accidents than the materials (whether the stairs are stone or wood, carpeted or not). However, a polished stone floor is a slippery surface, so it’s a good idea to let small children keep their shoes on or take their socks off.
2. Choose Just One Room to Baby-Proof
Placing certain rooms out of bounds is the easiest way to make sure kids can’t hurt themselves with what’s inside. If you’ve got a key for the door, lock the room and put the key on the door lintel or a nearby high shelf: anyone that can reach the key is old enough to go inside. Alternatively, you can place furniture in front of the door (but don’t create a trip hazard!) or rely on a stern ‘no!’
3. Turn Socks and Masking Tape into Corner Bumpers
Toddlers are unsteady on their feet and often have their heads at the right height to hit a marble fireplace or a stone worktop corner. Cover up the obvious danger spots with a sock, and use painter’s tape to attach it to the worktop. The tape won’t hurt the stone, and you’ll be able to whip it off when your guests leave.
4. Use Furniture to Block Off a Fireplace
It ruins the elegant layout of a room, but placing a table or chairs in front of a fireplace can save a few knocks and bruises. Surprisingly, small children often don’t think to duck under something, so moving the coffee table can be enough to keep them away. It should go without saying that if the fire’s lit, you need to be particularly careful about both where you place furniture and where you let children play.
5. Masking Tape Can Help Avoid Bathroom Slips
Masking tape sticks well to stone, and can help reduce the slipperiness of a bath, stone tiles or a stone floor. You don’t need to cover the entire surface – simply place a few stripes in key areas, less than a foot’s width apart. Check occasionally to make sure the tape hasn’t come unstuck. And, of course, mopping up any water spilled at bath time and drying feet off quickly when getting out of the bath help, too.