ROOM FOR IM­PROVE­MENT

Ottawa Sun - New Homes - - HOMES -

Child-friendly de­sign, as we see it cer­tainly, shouldn’t only be tem­pered by what’s cool for kids, but by fac­tors such as mat­u­ra­tion and shar­ing with sib­lings.

But it doesn’t stop there: ju­nior de­sign, to cope with the rough and tum­ble of ev­ery­day life, should also have prac­ti­cal­ity — and safety — at its very root.

The se­cret to suc­cess? A wash­able, comfy back­ground that can be mod­i­fied as time and tastes fluc­tu­ate.

The last thing you need is the prospect of fac­ing a com­plete gut down six months af­ter your child’s al­le­giances spring­board from Bat­man to Su­per­man, or from Bar­bie to My Lit­tle Pony. Right?

Safety first

Adults can as­sess their own risks, but chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly young ones, need spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion. If the fol­low­ing six point coun­sel sounds like we’re teach­ing our grannies to suck eggs, please ex­cuse us, but all these tips are su­per im­por­tant: 1. Tiny fin­gers can be hurt in door hinges, so fit big box store plas­tic safety mech­a­nisms which you’ll find in Home De­pot. 2. En­sure win­dow, blind and cur­tain cords are tucked out of harms way. A large num­ber of in­juries (and worse) hap­pen each year when lit­tle souls be­come trapped in the work­ings of ‘in­no­cent’ win­dow ap­pa­ra­tus. 3. Avoid trail­ing elec­tri­cal cords and en­sure plugs are fit­ted with child­proof cov­ers. 4. Keep ex­posed ra­di­a­tors on a sep­a­rate ther­mo­stat so they don’t over­heat, or em­ploy a safety screen to pro­tect delicate fin­gers. 5. Rugs on hard floor­ing should be an­chored on anti-glide mats to in­hibit slip is­sues. 6. Avoid hang­ing shelves at low level: ex­cited play can re­sult in head-on col­li­sion.

For fur­ther ad­vice, check out the home safety sec­tion at safekid­scanada.ca

Paint

En­sure fin­ish is wipe-able so crayon marks and pen scrib­bles can be eas­ily erased. Matt la­tex, for ex­am­ple, is less durable than silk fin­ish: study spec-

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