Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Contents -

My wife and I are ex­pect­ing our first child and we are con­cerned about how we should babyproof the home. What do we need to do to pre­vent our child from get­ting hurt at home?

Con­grat­u­la­tions on be­com­ing par­ents! Babyproof­ing is an on­go­ing process, just like par­ent­ing, and starts in the crib. The crib mat­tress should be firm with no loose blan­kets, stuffed an­i­mals or dec­o­ra­tive pil­lows as these can po­ten­tially smother ba­bies. Once your baby be­comes mo­bile, to­tal home pro­tec­tion is nec­es­sary.

Cover all out­lets with plas­tic plugs and en­sure de­vice charg­ers, hair dry­ers and irons are un­plugged and stored out of reach. House­hold clean­ers and other chem­i­cals should be in locked cab­i­nets. Bar­rier gates should be set up to pre­vent Baby from climb­ing up and down stairs, en­ter­ing the kitchen and bath­room alone.

Get down on your hands and knees are look out for sharp cor­ners on fur­ni­ture that can cause in­jury to a crawler or tod­dler. These can be cush­ioned with rounded stick-ons from the hard­ware shop. In­stead of table­cloths and run­ners, use place­mats, as cu­ri­ous tod­dlers might pull on them.

Make sure TVs are on sturdy bases or bet­ter still, se­cured to a wall. Give all fur­ni­ture a push and pull to see if they can be top­pled by a nim­ble climber. Af­fix them to the wall should they be un­sta­ble. To pre­vent doors from slam­ming on tiny fin­gers, cut off a small piece of pool noo­dle, make a slit along the length and wedge it on to the up­per edge of a door so that it can’t slam shut.

If you have an apart­ment with a bal­cony, you should con­sider in­stalling in­vis­i­ble grilles.

I would like to con­vert my spare room into a home gym. Is there a spe­cial kind of floor­ing I need for the area?

Floors need to be pro­tected to pre­vent sur­face scratches and scuffs from heavy-duty work­out equip­ment such as tread­mills, ex­er­cise bikes, el­lip­ti­cal machines, free weights and weight benches but, more im­por­tantly, floors need to have a non-slip sur­face. Rub­ber and EVA foam mats can pro­vide this. EVA foam are colour­ful in­ter­lock­ing squares typ­i­cally used in in­door play­grounds and kinder­gartens. While they pro­vide cush­ion­ing, they may not be suit­able for some work­outs. Be­ing rather spongy, they do not pro­vide a sta­ble base and, should you drop weights on foam, there is a pos­si­bil­ity of bounce, which is a safety haz­ard. Rub­ber mats ab­sorb im­pact bet­ter and also last longer, but they cost more. If you are not weightlift­ing, then foam is good enough.

Jeremy Ko of Move­ment First rec­om­mends get­ting a small num­ber of in­ter­lock­ing 12mm-thick rub­ber mats to pro­tect the area which you will be train­ing on. “They pro­tect the floor from dam­age, as well as of­fer some form of sound­proof­ing,” he ex­plains. These come in 50cm by 50cm “tiles”, which you can con­fig­ure to fit your space. There is no need for an ad­he­sive as the weight of the mat keeps it in place.

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