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Child- and pet-proofing your home

Child- and pet-proofing your home

Karen 2019.JPG

Karen Hall, immediate past president of the Lynchburg Association of Realtors.

Summer means longer days, later nights and usually, more traffic in your home.

With play dates, game nights, and bonfires, more guests likely are to be in and out of your home than usual.

While fun is the priority, safety should be as well.

To keep the little ones — children and pets included — safe in your home, follow these steps:

Protect your belongingsThis has two benefits. If you have items that are important to you and could easily break, it is best to store them away so they don’t get damaged and no one gets hurt from the broken item in the process. Also, pets sometimes find valuables may make great chew toys.

Make off-limit areasIf you want to prevent children and pets from going places you don’t want them, consider installing safety gates. Placing gates in front of staircases and rooms with more breakable items can prevent both children and pets from falling or getting to those items that may injure crawling little ones. With new technology, safety gates are easy to install, and can be removed quickly without harming doorways. They are a must at stairways.

Secure furnitureWhen getting new furniture, we sometimes don’t think those extra safety screws included to attach the furniture to the wall are necessary. Sadly, incidents involving falling furniture occur far too often because safety anchors are not installed. If you have furniture that could be pulled down by a child, pick up anchors at your local hardware store. Dressers, televisions, and bookshelves all are items that easily can be pulled down by a child trying to climb onto them.

Use child-proof locksKitchens are filled with items that can become dangerous for both children and pets in an instant. Knives, spices, and cleaners all can stay safely out of the hands (and paws) of children and pets by installing child-proof locks on all cabinets that need to stay off-limits. It’s a little inconvenient for older hands, but a must for the safety of those we love.

Don’t buy poisonous plantsThe first step in avoiding poisonous plants is finding out which ones can be toxic to children and pets. While most plants are child-friendly, many can be dangerous to pets — even those you wouldn’t think of, such as the aloe plant. When researching plants, be sure to include oils you may use for various purposes. Some oils are toxic to pets and cause them to become sick and even kill them. Be careful when using oils and make sure you know the side effects for your furry ones.

Protect outlets and cordsWhile our lifestyles continue to become more wireless by the day, children and pets still are at risk in homes where items are plugged in. Ensure your outlets are guarded and wires are hidden or blocked off. Not only can you prevent risk of shock, but you also can protect the items you have plugged in — such as that television you don’t want to come crashing onto the floor!

Karen Hall is the immediate Past President of the Lynchburg Association of REALTORS® and is a REALTOR®/Sales Manager of John Stewart Walker Inc.

Karen Hall is the immediate Past President of the Lynchburg Association of REALTORS® and is a REALTOR®/Sales Manager of John Stewart Walker Inc.

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