There is no such thing as a safe house when it comes to children. No matter how man preventative measures you have taken they can still find a hundred ways to imperil themselves.
It is an evolutionary arms race, the more padding and locks you add the more ways to climb or pull you have introduced into thhouse. That safety guard around the fire, that’s a climbing frame of fire now. And if you don’t put on the fire then this will give them free rein to start being Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
I spent a few hours in the garden (because the weather decided to be spring today) and was able to scrap the soil to make half a hole. The rest of the time was spent marshalling Feliciraptor from the numerous hazards.
Among the warnings given were:
Don’t eat that stone
Don’t eat that plant
Dont’ put that stone in that plant
Don’t drink that water
Don’t drink THAT water
No matter where we go in our house there lurks danger, and a two year old to seek it out. Even where we have tried to remove all objects and paraphernalia it is just extra wall space for her to run head first into. A toddler will go looking for pain, you have to be constantly observant.
Even the basics become a graze-trap. While she was getting used to her new bed we left a mattress on the floor. Yes she fell off once or twice while sleeping, but she has fell off more times by using it as a crash mat. All we wanted to was to protect her but all we have done is to increase her chances of harm.
Sometimes we have taken action to protect ourselves. As she can now leave her bed we put up stair gates to avoid that awkward 3am moment where someone is stood by your face waiting for you to wake.
We thought we had the bedroom on lockdown. Until Mrs E went upstairs and found her standing on the landing. We could raise the gate, but all we would be doing is increasing the height of the fall.
The truth is we don’t worry about it all. All the most dangerous chemicals and sharps have been safely tucked away behind high cabinets and locks. There is no access to electrics or gas, and anything that she can go up will not result in a too far down.
Children need to fall off bikes, they need to discover their limits and this can’t be done in cotton wool. She went to bed with scratches and bruises on her leg from climbing on rocks in the garden but she enjoyed all the clambering.
She touched a light bulb once but now knows what ‘burn’ feels like so avoids fires, only by being a little hurt will she know to avoid the greater pain.
The only real way to make a house safe is to make it a little dangerous.