Fencing your home is an integral step in protecting your child, or children, from slips and dangers around the house. While some areas in your home may be perfectly safe for your little one to explore, you should know which areas are not, and have them fenced off accordingly. Luckily, child-care fences are relatively cheap and can make all the difference in ensuring your child is safe and out of danger's way in your home.
Types of Fences
There are a variety of child-care fences based on the area you are fencing off. Some fences are lined in soft foam, some are made of soft plastic, others are mounted into a wall and some are simply suspended tightly between two walls. There are also fences for use outdoors. Fences also come in a number of different heights; if you have a crawling toddler, you probably won't need to set up a very tall fence, while an older child may be able to scale that toddler fence.
Ages and Fencing
When fencing, pay attention to age, as younger children require more fencing in the home than older children. Typically, young toddlers and those just learning their mobility create the biggest need for fences in your home. These young ones are constantly on the go, but don't necessarily have the reasoning to determine if an area, say around a pool, or even your bathroom toilet, is safe. The older your child gets, the less fencing they'll most likely need. For example, a seven-year-old is probably responsible enough to go into the bathroom and use the toilet alone, without posing a drowning hazard, while a toddler could potentially fall into the toilet or tub.
Fencing in the Home
Areas to fence off within the home depend on what dangers you have in your home. For a crawling baby, you may simply fence off their play area, as they won't be able to venture too far around the house yet. For a running toddler, you may want to fence off stairs, if you have a multilevel home, and any exits or bathrooms--generally any area that poses risk of harm, such as the kitchen, with hot stoves and sharp knives, or a bathroom, with a medicine cabinet.
Fencing Outside the Home
Fencing outdoors is particularly important if you have a pool in your backyard. Pools pose great danger to children, especially if they have yet to learn to swim. Many hardware stores offer pool fences that you can install yourself at home, or have a professional come do the job for you. Typically, the posts of these fences will be drilled into small holes on your pool deck, to insure fences won't fall over if your child pushes them. Other outdoor fencing include front- or backyard fences, which will provide your child a yard area to play, while keeping them from wandering off beyond the area, as well as preventing strangers easy access to your children outdoors.
Avoiding Too Many Fences
Although having some fences set up in your home is important to child safety, having too many areas fenced off can clutter your home. There are some other options you can employ to limit the number of fences in your home, while still keeping your child safe and out of harmful areas. Instead of fencing off exits, make a conscious effort to keep doors locked at all times, and have a lock that is out of your child's reach. You can also purchase child-proof door handles for bathrooms and garage doors that will prevent a child from turning the knob, while adults can still do so. Again, if you have a crawling child, their inability to walk will limit the areas they can go, so you simply need a fence for their play area.
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