Guest Blog by Paul Denikin
There are many things to take into consideration when making sure your home is a safe, happy place for your child. The first thing to do is think about your child’s specific needs and challenges. Whether your child has limited mobility, has a tendency to wander, or needs special equipment to function well, it’s important to remember what they’ll need to stay safe around the house.
Here are some of the best tips for making your home a healthy place for your child.
Check the doors
Make sure all doors are wide enough to fit wheelchairs or special equipment through and are not being blocked by furniture. For little ones who tend to wander, install locks high up, out of reach, and consider installing a motion sensor alarm that will sound when certain doors are opened.
Put all knives and sharp instruments high up in a cabinet. Look for stoves that have removable knobs and keep the ice/water dispenser on the refrigerator locked. For gas appliances, consider having a shut-off valve installed so you can control the gas line at all times. Lock up any medications out of sight.
To give yourself peace of mind, make sure everything that can be secured to the floor or a wall is nailed down. This includes dressers, television stands, radiator covers, and bookshelves. Anti-tipping devices can be lifesavers on big pieces of furniture, no matter what room they’re in. Cover all electrical outlets with fitted plastic covers.
Check the water
Water can be a dangerous draw for many children who fall on the autism spectrum, so always drain sinks, bathtubs, and small pools immediately after use. If you have a large or in-ground pool, make sure it is inaccessible to little ones by installing a fence with a locked gate; consider installing a cover, as well. It’s not a bad idea to put a motion sensor alarm here, too.
It’s also a good idea to check the hot water heater and make sure it’s not creating too much heat; this can save your child a nasty burn.
Plan your meals
It’s important to plan meals and snacks well ahead of time and refrain from buying foods that can be easily choked on, especially if your child has limited oral motor skills. Peaches, grapes, cantaloupe, nectarines, hot dogs, and candy are all foods that either have small parts or are not easily broken down with saliva, making them hazardous for many children. If you must have these types of foods in the house, keep them in a locked cabinet or drawer, out of reach.
It can be overwhelming to try and remember all the things that must be done to make a home safe for a child with special needs, but if you lay out a plan and stick to it, you’ll be able to implement easy fixes in no time.
Thank you to Paul from, DadKnowsDIY.com, for contributing this article to Cecily's Closet.