Enjoy Toddler-Safe Visits to Grandparents and Other Homes-Away-From-Home this Holiday

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Leaving the security of a childproofed home can be unnerving for parents of small children. But a few safety precautions and portable childproofing devices can help parents and hosts make holiday visits away from home safer for children and more relaxing for adults.

Any parent knows that taking young children on visits away from their childproofed, kid-friendly home can be stressful – sometimes downright unnerving. New surroundings inspire kids to touch, test and even taste whatever they find. Such curiosity is natural. But for guests and hosts alike, it can make a holiday visit anything but relaxing!

You can avoid much of this stress – and many potential dangers – by doing a little preplanning with your host and taking along a few portable safety items for on-the-spot childproofing says Krista Fabregas, founder of KidSmartLiving.com.

"Before leaving home, parents should have a quick conversation with their host about ways to protect both child and furnishings from each other," Krista says. "Even seasoned grandparents may have fragile collectibles, dangerous houseplants or dangling drapery cords in child-accessible spots."

Though some safety issues cannot be solved without a full room-by-room overhaul, there are several things your hosts can do to minimize obvious hazards. Share this brief childproofing checklist with them and ask if they mind addressing any concerns prior to your arrival:

-Move fragile or breakable items to higher spots in the room.

-Move houseplants to out-of-reach areas. Even if nontoxic, leaves, flowers and berries can pose choking hazards.

-Remove tablecloths or table runners. These can be pulled off the table, taking accessories with them.

-Move the kitchen knife block to a high pantry or cupboard shelf.

-Wind up dangling drapery cords.

-Move any medications, vitamins and hazardous kitchen and bathroom products to out-of reach or locked cabinets.

Upon arrival, take a few minutes to conduct a “safety check” before letting little ones explore this new, exciting world.

"Using portable devices, parents can further childproof kid-safe zones and limit access to the more dangerous areas of their host’s home," says Krista. She recommends taking along these handy non-permanent childproofing items:

-Removable cabinet locks

-Electrical outlet plug caps

-A portable safety gate like KidCo’s GateWay-to-Go(TM)

-Finger-pinch door guards

-Drapery cord wind-ups

-Snap-on door handle covers

These simple steps should make your visit more relaxing for both adults and youngsters, but they are not the complete answer. Temporary precautions are likely to miss several child safety dangers in your hosts’ home, including risks from stairways, exterior doors and windows, toilets and kitchen appliances. Remedying these may require more permanent solutions.

So keep an eye on your children – adult supervision will always be the key to ensuring a safe visit. But when you address these obvious, easily remedied safety concerns with your host, you can work together to help to make your destination safer for your child and your visit more enjoyable for all.

Krista Fabregas is the founder of KidSmartLiving, providing parents with excellent resources, ideas and products that help create stylish, safe family homes and low-maintenance lifestyles.

Visit the website at http://www.kidsmartliving.com

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