In life, we will all be faced with great challenges. Parenthood is by far one of the biggest, and when you’re disabled, it can be a terrifying challenge to take on. There are many things that you can do to prepare your life and your home for parenthood that will make you and your family feel safe and secure. Follow some of these tips and you’ll have a great start for when your new child comes home.
When it comes to keeping your home safe for those that are disabled, and for a new child or children coming into your home, you’ll want to make sure that general safety measures are in place. For example, be sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Other general safety tips you’ll want to consider doing before bringing a child into the home include:
- Ensuring that you have a working fire extinguisher.
- Keeping any medications out of reach of children.
- If you have stairs in your home make sure the bannister’s are secure and safe.
- Keeping electrical appliances away from water in the bathroom.
- Having easy access to important phone numbers including: the police, the fire department, and your neighbors in case of an emergency.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, “Falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in adults.”
Having poor vision and an unsafe environment are two of the most likely reasons for falling. It can be dangerous taking care of a child alone especially if you fall and cannot get back up due to a disability. Here are some things you can do to ensure that you and your child don’t fall and injure yourself in your home:
- Remove any loose rugs or be sure that any rugs have skid proof backing or are tacked to the floor.
- Use safety gates for children where necessary but keep your own movement in mind as well.
- Secure televisions by mounting them to the walls.
- Add bath mats to each shower and tub.
- Be sure that you have proper lighting in the home so you can always see where you’re going.
- Keep a night light on in each room at night in case you need to get up and tend to your child or go to the restroom.
Declutter and Reorganize
Before bringing home a new child it is always best to go through your home and do a thorough cleaning. This way you can throw out any unnecessary clutter that will otherwise get in the way when you have a new person staying there. Decluttering will also help to make your home even safer to maneuver with your disability. Here are some great ways to declutter and re-organize your home to make it more safe:
- Replace unstable furniture with heavy furniture that won’t slip if leaned on.
- Mhealthtalk.com recommends installing a handheld shower for easy accessibility.
- Get rid of anything you haven’t touched or used in months.
- Move what you use everyday to cabinets that are easy to reach.
- If you have limited mobility in your hands or wrists, change doorknobs to door handles.
- Be sure any stairs inside the home are carpeted to avoid slipping.
Parenthood is inherently stressful and can be especially so when you are disabled. In spite of this, there are many things that you can do to create a safe and healthy environment for you and your child in the your home. Make sure to check up on general safety, avoid possible falls, and declutter and re-organize your home before bringing your child home to make your transition into parenthood smooth and enjoyable.
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