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How to childproof your home in London

London’s a great place to raise your kids- we don’t need to tell you that- but childproofing your property in the capital comes with a set of challenges unique to city life.

What type of building you live in, whether it’s one of London’s wonderful period properties or a fashionable new-build, will impact exactly what you have to do to keep it safe for your children. We’ve taken a look at common hazards to watch out for below, both inside and out:

…if you have a period property

Undoubtedly one of the best things about period properties is their fireplaces with original features. Throw kids into the mix, however, and it’s a different story.

The obvious thing to do is to buy a fire gate with enough space to keep your child away from sparks and embers- make sure to keep your tools inside the gate! A more aesthetically pleasing solution may be to stop having fires for a couple of years, and instead fill your fireplace- books or logs of wood are attractive options. Or simply leave it empty to allow its period features to take centre stage.

 

Period buildings often have uneven, steep staircases. These can be tricky to childproof as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, apart from getting a gate for the top and bottom. Getting on your child’s level to check for danger can help- are there any loose nails or uneven steps? If you have wooden floors consider a carpet or a runner to minimise risk of slips.

Sash windows, a feature of many period properties, are also risky for little ones. Window restrictors are essential to ensure that they don’t manage to open the window and fall out, or drop it and catch their hands or fingers.

…if you have a new build

New build homes are often known for having ‘snags’, defects that are caused by poor-quality work or equipment.

Cupboard doors or draws that don’t close properly are a common one so conduct an audit of your kitchen and bathroom to check that any dangerous household items are securely stored away. Also worth double checking are your window handles to ensure they’re securely shut when your children are roaming the house. Finally we’d recommend double checking any workmanship on skirting boards or stairs to ensure that there are no sharp edges for kids to catch themselves on.

 

…outside your home

Gardens in London aren’t known for their size, but if you do have the space then consider creating a dedicated area for your children that is sectioned off with fencing or hedges. This will keep them away from potential dangers and has a bonus of containing their (probably unsightly!) toys to one area only.

If your garden is on the smaller side, make sure any sharp objects are tidied away and be sure to check for broken glass or any other rubbish if it’s bordered by a walkway Test any older garden walls for stability and childproof any gates if need be- the last thing you want is your little ones slipping out without you knowing!

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