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The ultimate tips for making your home grandchild friendly

28th February 2019

It can be common for grandparents to find themselves caring for children, especially if both parents work or it is the school holidays.

Whether the children are staying overnight or for a longer period, it is very important to ensure your home is a safe and happy environment for the little ones when they come over.

Some people may think that older adults who have mobility problems and need disabled bathrooms or stairlifts around their home won’t be able to look after their grandchildren as their home is not suitable, but this isn’t the case. There are a number of ways older people can make their home grandchild-friendly and here we’ve listed some of the best points you can follow.

Create somewhere to play with toys

Your home is set up for you and while you may have aids like stairlifts on the stairs, it is important that you have space where the children can play.

You may want to have a playroom or an area of a room where the children can set-up their toys. It is therefore important that there are no ornaments, antiques or breakables in the area that could get damaged.

Claire Kirby, a freelance writer and blogger at Life, Love and Dirty Dishes, feels that it is important for grandparents to have toys and an area to play with them in.

“When I was a kid my Nanny and Grandad always had a selection of toys under the stairs, books, and toys in the garden for us to play with. We were never bored. The fact that I had loads of cousins probably helped too!  My parents now do the same. They have a toy box and games for the kids to play with. It's mainly toys that I have given them after having a sort out, but it keeps the kids entertained. I tend to refresh the toys every six months. It also saves having to take lots of toys round whenever we visit. Although my mum did buy a paddling pool last summer which was a huge hit with the kids during the heatwave. And the grownups!”

Sabina, who runs the popular Mummy Matters blog, agrees that it is a great idea for grandparents to have special toys that their grandchildren can only play with at their house.

She says: “My Mum always has a cute little night light and their own special toys which they only get to play with at Nanna's house, so it gives them something exciting to look forward to getting their hands on when they get there and if they have a sleepover. They also have their own special plates, bowls, cups and cutlery too.”

Keep children safe from electronics

Keeping your grandchildren safe around electricity in the home is of utmost importance and there are lots of preventative measures you can take.

The Fantastic Tradesmen (UK) department explain how you can make your home grandchild friendly.

“Sticking random objects and fingers in the electrical sockets and outlets expose children to electrocution risk. Taking preventative measures, such as plug guard sockets will keep the crawling babies and toddlers safe. Use cable clips and coil wraps to keep cables and wires safely tucked. Hide the electrical cords behind the furniture to avoid children falling and getting injured.”

Keep a clean home

If you’re having your grandchildren over, then it is important to make sure your home is clean and tidy. Having a clean home has lots of benefits such as preventing illness as dust can contribute towards asthma, allergies, fatigue and even headaches.

By vacuuming and dusting, it will help prevent the spread of airborne pollutants, while washing surfaces regularly can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

Daisy Ching from Go Cleaners (London) shares her tips for keeping your home clean.

“As babies and toddlers crawl, sit, lie on the floor or carpet and put toys in their mouth, grandparents should upkeep a clean and healthy environment for their loved ones to explore. The best results can be achieved by using professional steam or dry cleaning of carpets and furniture with eco - friendly and child - safe detergents.”

Make your home a safe haven

As this guide has already touched on, making sure your grandchildren are safe from electronics around the home is very important, but there are lots of other things you can do to make sure other areas of your home are safe.

Make your garden safe

When the weather is nice there isn’t anything better than going into your garden and watching your grandchild playing.

Fantastic Tradesmen say there are a few tips you can follow to ensure that your grandchildren stay safe when playing outdoors.

“Unsecured flower pots can easily tip, fall or even worse, hurt a child. Make sure pots are either out of hands reach or heavy enough to eliminate such accidents. Look into ways to make the pot base heavier i.e. secure the pots within gabion walls, safety anchors or glue it if you wish to. Another solution is to hang the flower pots as high as possible. Even if your plants are undoubtedly beautiful, a floral oasis could be brought down or dug out. Soil and plants themselves may be poisonous if swallowed too.

“Take the time to properly store and secure any gardening tools that might pose the risk of harm, such as lawnmowers, trimmers, especially saws or other blades.”

Make your living room and kitchen safe

If you know the potential hazards, it is easy for you to minimise the risks and make your kitchen and living room safe and enjoyable places for your grandchildren.

Fantastic Tradesmen explains the different things you can do around the home to improve its safety, “Install soft corner protectors to allow children to walk or run safely around the furniture. Protect children from cabinet corners, beds, tables and so forth.

“Make sure all cabinets, wardrobes, cupboards and bookcases are thoroughly scrutinised as curious little hands or fingers can get injured if they are thrust in. Install cabinet locks on most handles and knobs. It’s always better not to rely solely on safety locks - remove all dangerous objects or place them to a higher place and out of children’s reach.

“Make sure that all wardrobes, bookcases, cabinets and TVs are well stabilised and fit to the wall as they can cause significant injury to the child if they accidentally fall over.

Daisy Ching from Go Cleaners also recommends spreading cushions around the floor to ensure babies and young children don’t get hurt.

“Scatter cushions on the floor and around the bed. Depending on age, child play can get extremely wild. Protect children from getting themselves hurt when they fall out of a bed.”

A kitchen is a compelling place for young children as you are bustling around it pulling out colourful items from refrigerators and cupboards. With grandchildren’s innate curiosity and your sometimes-divided attention means it is especially important to childproof your kitchen.

Daisy Ching says, “Turn off and store in a safe place all movable appliances when not in use. Kitchen robots, juicers, toasters and etc. If a child can pull or suffer a burn by a hot iron, hair drier, or a domestic heater, then precautions are a must.”

Install baby gates

Child safety gates (or baby gates) are protective barriers that can be installed at various sites that could pose a potential risk to a child.

Go Cleaners Daisy Ching thinks putting up baby gates is a great idea to protect young children from having accidents.

“Use baby gates to restrict areas where a crawling baby should not access. They can prevent children from tumbling down the stairs, tasting the cat food, get near the fireplace, or enter a laundry room full of dangerous detergents, chemicals, cleaning supplies that can be pulled out and even swallowed.”

Create an outdoor play area

As the weather begins to improve and children want to go outside and play, the creation of an outdoor play area will be appreciated by the children and is a space where you can keep a close eye on them.

Fantastic Tradesmen told us why they believe creating an outdoor play area is a great idea, “Set up an outdoor playground with slides, swings, a ping pong table and an inflatable pool to become the focus of family activities.”

The top tips to make your home grandchild friendly

Here is just a round-up of the things you can do to make your home grandchild friendly.

  • Create somewhere to play with toys
  • Keep children safe from electronics
  • Keep children safe from electronics
  • Keep a clean home
  • Make your garden safe
  • Make your living room and kitchen safe
  • Install baby gates
  • Create an outdoor play area

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.