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7 Steps to a Kid-Proofed House

7 Steps to a Kid-Proofed House

Temporarily protect your home from guests with a pint.

Whether or not the weather outside is scary, having a lot of little guests in your home during the holidays can seem less than exhilarating. do not worry. There are simple ways to temporarily protect your home from naturally curious kids while also keeping the kids safe.

  1. Encourage parents to be vigilant. According to Tami Gould, certified psychologist and parent coach, and owner of Gold Parent Coaching, it's up to parents to design the right behavior. “Little kids, in particular, learn through sensory exploration like feeling, touching, and tasting — they will,” says Gould, who has three young girls. “As a parent, I know it's my duty to be vigilant about protecting my children and my host's home.”
  2. Ask parents to bring toys for their children. Entertainment from coloring books to DVDs can keep kids busy, especially during very long parties for short attention spans.
  3. Create a safe place for children to play. If you don't already have a child-friendly playroom or if the children of your guests are young, ask parents to bring portable play shelters or high chairs where children can be secured during busy times and meal prep. “Kids shouldn't be in the kitchen while the cooking is going on,” says Gould.
  4. Remove risks. Place dangerous objects clearly such as fireplace poker. Store chemicals and medications out of reach, and secure cabinet doors with rubber bands, Gold suggests. Lock doors outside or rooms you want to block, and open baby gates to keep young children away from stairs. Gold also recommends warning guests of danger areas such as steep stairs.
  5. Protect your belongings. Hide heirlooms or other items you might be sad to lose. Apply a stain and moisture resistant spray to the upholstery. Place tags or other items that children can use on walls or furniture that cannot be cleaned easily.
  6. Take care of your pets. Unless your pets are familiar to your guests or used to many people, either keep them closed or keep a close eye on them. A pet can easily harm a young child just by playing it – and vice versa.
  7. Set the ground rules. If your guests' children are old enough, tell them the rules yourself. Otherwise, politely tell parents what to expect and how you wish they would monitor their children.

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