Claire Thompson
March 10, 2023

Childproofing the Lounge for the Under Fives

The lounge/living area is one of the areas of the home where most accidents happen to children. easyStorage takes a look at how to help prevent accidents to the under fives.

Your little angel is mobile, and has started sofa surfing or toddling. Time to childproof that lounge/living room, because the highest number of accidents to children happen in the lounge, according RoSPA, a not-for-profit organisation that has worked for more than 100 years to help people recognise and reduce their risk of accidents.

0-4 year olds are most vulnerable to accidents, particularly boys. Falls are by far the most common causes of accidents in the home; they account for 44 per cent of all children's accidents. Around 10 children die annually as a result of falls each year mostly from heights. But most falls involve tripping over on the same level. and worst injuries happen when a child falls from a height or lands on something hard, sharp or hot.

Householders have to be the ones to take the measures to protect our little ones. So here is our five point guide of suggestions for keeping a child safe in the lounge/living area.

1.       Declutter

Declutter to remove hazards and allow easy passage around the room. (easyStorage has a channel full of hints to help in this respect.)

Hide away the glass and fragile china.  Remove any lamps that could be easily pulled over and broken. Hide away the candles – this phase will pass, but a pretty flame is irresistible to many toddlers.

2.       Furniture and Televisions

Many parents in the early stages of a child’s development opt for bumper covers over the sharp edges of tables to avoid bumped heads being too painful or cutting. However, there are more, less obvious furniture dangers likely to cause more serious injuries.

Tablecloths and table covers, if yanked by a child trying to stand, are very likely to slide off the table and onto the ‘perpetrator’, bringing with it whatever glass, china, crockery or even knives lying on top.

Horseplay involving pushing, shoving and wrestling, and climbing or trying to to use the wrong objects to help stand can result in objects such as furniture and televisions being pushed or pulled over.  Make sure televisions are either out of reach or well fixed, and that lightweight furniture perhaps lives somewhere else for a while.

Sets of drawers can look like climbing frames to small children. Secure them so that they don’t pull over easily.

And place furniture away from windows to avoid little monkeys climbing up in search of adventure and getting more of an adventure than planned!

Child in living room playing with the drawers

3.       Trip Hazards

Avoid trips, slips and falls by keeping the room well lit, and by removing rugs or putting non-slip backing on them. Damaged or worn carpet should really be repaired or removed.

(See also decluttering, above!)

4.       Heating and electrics

Prevent household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty equipment by ensuring that any gas, oil or solid fuel heating appliances are professionally serviced annually.

Use guards with all fires and heaters, fixed to the wall (and with the safety standard BS 8423: 2010 if buying new.) .Don’t be tempted to dry clothes in front of fires/heat sources (fire risk) - including on the fire guard.

Children playing with matches and lighters regularly start house fires.   Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children.

Further reduce the risk of electrical fires and electrocution by removing appliances with cracked plugs or worn cables. Don’t overload electric sockets with too many appliances

And, importantly, test smoke alarms monthly and know how to escape in a fire. (Smoke alarms should comply with BS EN 14604 2005)

Small childs' hand near an electricity socket

5.       Windows

Put safety catches on windows to avoid falls and trapped fingers, and ensure that any pull cords on curtains and blinds are kept short and out of reach. At least 33 young children across the UK have died because of looped blind cords since 2001.

Make sure that curtains and window dressings are kept away from flammable heat sources, and are well fixed so that they don’t fall on little people tugging at them or using them to stand.

And last but least, where possible, use safety glass (BS 6206 - laminated, toughened materials which pass an impact test) in any replacement windows and doors.

The Role of Adults

Whilst all of the above suggestions are environmental and largely predictable, it’s actually human factors (stress, death in the family, chronic illness or homelessness) that increase the likelihood of accidents.

Little things matter such as:

·         cleaning up spills quickly to remove slip hazards, and any broken glass immediately. (Don’t forget to dispose of it safely.)

·         not leaving toys lying around. (Older children’s toys like marbles or Lego need to be kept away from the under threes.

·         not leaving food and drink accessible except at meal times. Hot drinks cause most scalds to children under the age of five. Their skin more sensitive than an adult's and a hot drink can still scald a child 15 minutes after being made.

·         removing choke hazards, cigarettes and matches/lighters from children’s reach.              

As many accidents happen when usual routines are changed or when people are in a hurry or distracted, and when a child is in unfamiliar surroundings, it’s easy to see why many children’s accidents happen at home move time, so extra vigilance is required.

How easyStorage can help

If you need furniture, rugs, glassware and/or ‘things’ taken out of the way, temporarily, easyStorage offers a reasonably priced storage service (around half the price of traditional self storage options).

You can obtain a no-obligation quote online, any time, night or day, on our website:

Alternatively call one of our storage experts to see how we might be able to help you, and to obtain prices for where you are, on 0800 061 4091.

Claire Thompson

Claire joined the easyStorage family as a blogger in August 2020 and is loving it! Her passions include writing and learning, and with easyStorage she’s learning new things fast. When not tapping at a keyboard she can be found renovating an old cottage, despite having inherited a complete lack of DIY skills from her father. She has two children, now grown up, and a dopey, loving Vizler (dog), Chester, who steadfastly refuses to do the same. She claims he’s her soulmate!

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