Moving with small children and toddlers can be a logistical challenge for any family. The concept may be difficult for them to understand, plus they may not react well to seeing beloved toys packed away into moving boxes. They may also indulge their curiosity and sense of exploration in undesirable and even unsafe ways. Before you start packing that first box, here are some essential ways to childproof your upcoming move:
Most parents realize that box-cutters, knives, and scissors should be kept away from young children due the risk of injury. These should be kept high enough to be out of reach or safely tucked into a tool belt. If you are using a tape application with a serrated edge, you may also wish to keep it out of reach too.
But what about smaller sharps? Many toddlers visit the emergency room each year after ingesting tacks or metal staples. As you pack, be on the look out for these objects. If possible, avoid using them except when necessary to reduce the likelihood of a stray staple going into your child’s mouth.
Because of the frenetic nature of moving, it’s easy to forget to keep an eye on substances that would normally be well out of reach or in cabinets with childproof latches. However, if you are cleaning your previous home or apartment as part of the moving process, you may need to keep an extra special eye on your cleaning products to avoid having your child ingest a lemon-scented cleaner. These often appeal to youngsters, who expect them to taste like they smell.
If you use silica gel or mothballs, be sure to collect all packets and dispose of them swiftly. While silica gel is a lesser toxin, mothballs are highly toxic and also have a slightly sweet smell. You may wish to discontinue their use until your children are old enough to know not to eat them. More natural products are available.
As an added precaution, you may wish to keep the number for poison control, both at your old and new home, handy throughout the moving process or program them into your cell phone.
During the moving process, especially when carrying boxes in or out of the home, you may wish to confine your child to their crib, playpen, or room to avoid tripping over them and potentially injuring them and yourself. While they may resist this, it is an effective way to make the process safer and more efficient. If you have an older sibling available, they could be tasked with minding the younger one, especially if they are not strong enough to assist with carrying boxes.
Moving is a grand adventure for the whole family, but it is important to mind the safety of its youngest members. This checklist should help you focus on their safety throughout the move!