Safest Flooring for Babies; Here are 10 Tips to Level Tiles
Whether your child is crawling or walking, the floor itself may pose a hazard. Here are a few tips on how to level the floor for babies and prevent serious injury, no matter what type of floor you have and what hazards may exist in your home. We'll also explain why these steps are essential to your child's safety.
Here are 10 Tips for Safest Flooring for Your Babies
1. Set up baby gates.
Be honest. There are areas your child cannot safely navigate. Put up baby gates so they don’t fall down stairs, whether they lead to the second story or the basement.
Just make sure the baby gates themselves are secure and that your child can’t climb over the baby gate itself.
2. Pad the steps and outcroppings that remain.
Perhaps you have a step or two down into a sunken living room. Consider putting bumpers on these steps. If that isn’t practical, consider putting padded, anti-slip rugs on each step.
This makes it easier for children to crawl or walk up them, and it reduces the literal impact if they fall.
3. Secure your floor vents.
Floor vents can attract a child’s attention in a variety of ways. They may open and close the vent playing with the switch. You might want to close it off and then tape it shut. If your child can lift it up and likes to play with the opening, secure the register.
Screw it down tightly, and if necessary, glue it into place. Then you don’t have to worry about someone tripping or the toddler falling into the hole in the floor they left behind.
4. Cover it up.
Do you have a hole in the floor? Cover it up or fill it in. This is the ideal time to replace those broken and missing tiles.
Ideally, this is done before your child is crawling so that you don't have to baby proof a project while it is going on.
5. Fix your floors.
Scratches in wood floors and cracks in tile are minor trip hazards to you. They can cause problems for a baby in a baby walker.
You might use caulk, glue or other fillers to fill in the gap. Just keep the child away from the drying compound.
6. Secure your carpets.
A surprising number of homes have carpets that are not secure. They may have had the edges fray or the staples that hold the carpet down work their way out. Loose edges are trip hazards.
Metal staples that have come loose are a safety hazard, while a child that can lift up carpet and reach the underlying layer may be exposed to all kinds of things you want to keep them away form.
Another variation of this is securing your rugs. Put anti-slip backing on rugs so your child doesn’t slip on them while walking or crawling.
7. Get down on knee level.
This is good generic advice for child-proofing once your child starts crawling. Look for things under the couch and around the house you’ll want to pick up or clean up.
You should also look for uneven areas in the floor. For example, large gaps in a wood or tile floor collect debris you don’t want your child crawling on, much less picking up and eating.
You may fix that part of the floor or make an effort to clean it more often. You may notice sagging flooring that needs to be fixed, too.
8. Break out a level.
Break out a level and verify that the floor is level. You may find that your floor slants or slopes. A one or two inch drop over the width of a room isn’t a problem.
A drop off in one corner or section is. This suggests that you need either the foundation or floor repaired. But it should be done before you get a serious dip or drop in the floor.
9. Use plastic to moderate sharp edges.
If you have a floor vent, you may not be able to close it off without making the room too cold. However, you could put a plastic cover over the vent. This will prevent your child from being cut while climbing over it.
Furthermore, it prevents them from dropping toys down into the vent, as well.
10. Use foam tiles and rug pads to minimize the impact.
You can use foam tiles and rug pads to literally minimize their potential impact. For example, you could put these pads on the floor next to the couch so they aren’t hurt as badly if they fall off the couch.
Set up pads and foam tiles near door lips so your child won’t fall as far or hard if they can’t step through the doorway.
Congratulations on your growing child’s mobility. Now take the time to make it safer for them to explore your home and the world at large. We'll update more on parentstab.com so keep your eyes on it everyday.