As a parent, it is your job to keep your child safe. The world is a dangerous place, and there are so many perils that can befall a young person if you’re not careful. There is so much to be cautious of in the world outside, from heavy traffic to unsavoury people, that you might be forgiven for thinking they are completely safe indoors.

You want your home to be a sanctuary, where nothing bad can happen to your family, and they are protected from the nasty things in the world. But the home is actually where the majority of accidents occur. You take your security for granted when the truth is that most homeowners haven’t done enough to prevent accidents from happening to children. Everything from staircases to the chemicals you keep under the kitchen sink can pose a hazard, and it is up to you to reduce the risk.

If you want to make your house a safer place to live for your little ones, here are a few highly effective home improvements to make it more child-friendly.

Rounded furniture

When your child first starts running around all by themself, they tend to be just the right height to bang their heads on sharp corners of furniture. To avoid any nasty head injuries, try to choose furniture that is rounded and poses less of a risk. If you already have chairs, tables, and counters with pointed edges in your home, purchase some corner guards to minimise injury if they do have a collision.

Avoid loose cords and cables

One major risk to children in the home that most parents don’t even consider is strangulation. There are so many things littered around your house that a child could get wrapped up in and asphyxiate themselves. Electrical wires, plastic carrier bags and cords from curtains and blinds are all risk factors. To reduce this hazard, use cable ties or a similar implement to bundle up your electrical wires safely. Keep any curtain and blind cords tied up and tucked away beyond child height, and keep plastic bags in cupboards well away from children.

Block windows

Windows are a particularly dangerous hazard for young children. Falling out of an open window, even one on the ground floor, could be lethal. Make sure you close windows when children are around, and keep furniture away from windows that might allow them to climb up. But simply closing a window is not enough – some enterprising infants might be able to figure out how to open it themselves. Install safety catches to prevent this, or some blinds or shutters to reduce the risk of falling. Many brands are available, including Shadeland shade cloth blinds, which cover the whole window and reduce the risk of a child attempting to open it.

Cover plug sockets

For a curious child, anything can be a toy. Even an open plug socket can look very interesting and warrant further exploration. If they were to stick anything inside the socket, there is a risk of electrocution. This is such an easy issue to avoid, so don’t let this happen in your home. For sockets that aren’t in use, install some plastic plug protectors to prevent your child from fiddling with them.

Hide chemicals away

More than 28,000 children receive treatment for poisoning every year, and the majority of these cases happen completely accidentally in the home. Any parent knows that kids love putting things in their mouths, and if one of these objects happens to be a poisonous chemical, the results could be disastrous. So many things around the home can present a poisoning risk, from medications to cleaning products to paints and varnishes. Never leave any of these products out in the open, particularly when your children are around. Keep them in high cupboards that your children can’t reach and install locks on cupboard doors containing dangerous substances. If you take medication, don’t do so in view of your children. Young kids like to emulate their parents, and they might try to get access to one of your delicious-looking “sweets.”

Guard the stairs

Falls are one of the primary causes of accidents in children, and the majority of these happen in the home. Staircases are one of the biggest risks, as it’s so easy for a toddler to lose their balance and take a tumble. Even though you should never leave a young child out of your sight upstairs, you can’t always predict what a curious infant might do. Prevent this risk by installing safety gates to block off your steps.

Avoid drowning risk

It’s not just ponds and bathtubs that can pose a drowning risk for children. All it takes is two inches, or six centimetres, of water. This means that sinks, buckets or even puddles of rainwater in your backyard can be a hazard. There are several ways you can minimise the risk in your home. For a start, you should never leave a young child in the bathroom unattended, no matter what. If you have a pond in your garden, install a safety cover or a rail around it to prevent a wandering child from falling in. Empty out buckets and sinks when not in use, and clear up any big puddles outside after it has rained.

Keep them away from fire

If your home has a fireplace, you’ll already know this can be a risk to children. When lit, keep children well away from the flame and watch them like a hawk. Add a fire safety guard for additional protection. Lighters and matches left lying around can also be a danger if they get hold of them, so make sure you keep these locked away out of sight and reach.

In conclusion, the home is a dangerous place for children. And it is arguably even more of a risk than the outdoors because parents often fail to look out for hazards. By following all of the above steps, you will make your home a much more secure environment for your young child to grow up in, and greatly reduce the risk of nasty accidents befaling them.