When it comes to your apartment rental, you may be feeling frustrated with the apparent lack of options available to childproof your unit. With so many potential limitations put into place by landlords about what can and cannot be changed, it may feel impossible to find the right home that will help to ensure the safety of your young ones. However, childproofing your apartment may not require all of the drilling and damage that you might think. There are many simple tricks and easy solutions to help you feel safe and secure in your new home.
Get Clear on What You’re Up Against
The easiest way to ensure that your apartment rental doesn’t pose unchangeable threats to your child’s safety is to know what needs to be changed before you commit to signing a lease. As you move through your apartment hunt, be on the lookout for falling hazards, such as balconies with large gaps in between the rungs or open staircases that may be too wide to accommodate a gate. Check for the presence of proper safety equipment onsite, such as smoke detectors, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers. If the property was built prior to 1978, do your research to ensure that lead paint has not been used. Oftentimes this can be identified by the presence of chipping or flaking paint, particularly around windows and doors. Talk to your landlord openly about any concerns that you may have and discuss possible solutions prior to moving in.
Front Door Safety
When you’ve completed the first step and found the perfect apartment rental for your family, it’s time to start finding cost-effective and landlord-friendly ways to further childproof the property, starting at the entrance. Once your toddler is tall enough to reach the door handle, chances are good that they will want to try to open it. Be a step ahead by investing in some plastic door knob covers. This may not work in every situation, being that some apartment rentals have oddly shaped handles. If that’s the case, talk to your landlord about installing a chain lock or invest a little extra for a door alarm which can be mounted with adhesive for minimal damage.
Plastic outlet covers can be found at almost any convenient or hardware store and will add a great deal of safety to your apartment rental. For items that will stay plugged in, such as televisions and floor lamps, consider looking for combination outlet and cord covers.
The Importance of Baby Gates
Whether it is to keep a child out of a particular room or to prevent them from falling down stairs, a baby gate is a necessity when childproofing your apartment rental. To decrease damage to walls and door casings, use a pressure-mounted gate that will adjust easily to fit most openings. If you are using the gate to block off stairs, however, you will want to talk to your landlord about installing a gate that screws into the wall. This will help to prevent your child from pushing it down. Another affordable and simple option is to consider the purchase of a kiddie corral which will help to keep your child out of harm’s way and restricted to a certain area for short periods of time.
Make sure the furniture within your apartment rental is stable and sturdy and remove heavier items from upper shelves. You may even consider bolting furniture to the walls (with permission of your landlord) in case of climbing or pulling.
Many of the biggest child dangers in your apartment rental can be found within your cabinets. The easiest way to prevent interaction is to rethink your storage options. Keep chemicals and other hazardous materials up in higher shelves or stored up high in your laundry room, opting to keep items like Tupperware and paper goods stored lower. If space is cramped and that’s not an option, you can purchase adhesive style locks that require no screws or, if your cabinetry has handles, plastic locks that attach to the pulls.
Window safety is another important factor, particularly if your apartment rental is on an upper level. Minimize the possibility of an accident here by keeping windows locked. Additionally, move furniture away from windows to prevent climbing and keep long cords for window coverings out of reach. You may also choose to invest in a window guard, which will require your landlord’s permission, as drilling is necessary to install these properly.
Searching for an Apartment Rental in the Hattiesburg Area?
If you and your family are ready to find your perfect apartment rental, start with Hattiesburg Apartments. Our experienced team will go above and beyond to ensure that your next apartment rental is the last one you will need for a long time to come. Check out our huge selection of properties today and contact us to get your search started.