Having children will change almost everything about how people live their lives. This also includes how they think about home decorating. Baby proofing is one simple step, but as kids get older their needs will expand. Here are a few ideas to consider when planning a remodel in a home with children.
Secure Staircases and Balconies
Multi-level houses are a favorite home choice for many families. The convenience of having the sleeping space away from the living space is appealing to parents. Of course, that second floor requires as set of stairs, and that can mean danger for children. Nearly 100,000 children each year are injured severely enough on staircases to need a trip to the hospital. Parents who are interested in remodeling should consider ways of making their staircases less risky to their children. Raise the height of banisters, install spindles closer together and install gates that will prevent children from entering a staircase alone.
Create A Safe Bathroom
Just like staircases, bathrooms can be a dangerous place. Obviously, young children should always be monitored when they are in the bathroom, but even older children can be at risk for falling or getting burned. To avoid this, add some kid-specific items into any bathroom.
- There are now bathroom vanities that include a built-in shelf designed to be used as a step-stool for children. This eliminates the clutter of a separate step stool, and it will reduce the need for children to climb on the sink to see in the mirror, reducing their risk of falling from that height.
- Build two levels of shelves. One low-mounted set of shelves can be used for storing towels, personal care items and bath toys for the children. This should be placed at a level that is safe for them. The second set should be mounted where they cannot reach. This is where razors, beauty products and medication can be placed.
- All faucets and shower heads should have anti-scald devices, just in case a toddler tries out a knob when mom or dad are not looking.
Improve Their Play Area
Whether remodeling their bedroom or building on a whole new playroom, consider all of the options before adding any finishing touches. First, the floors experience a lot of abuse, so choose durable linoleum or laminate flooring. Area rugs are useful for added warmth since many children like to play on the floor. Rugs are also easier to clean and cheaper to replace than wall-to-wall carpeting. Consider painting the bottom third of all walls with chalkboard paint or installing large whiteboards. This lets little artists express themselves without destroying drywall. Consider installing windows with the blinds enclosed between the glass panels to keep the blind cords away from children. These cords are a potential choking hazard. Finally, install recessed lighting. They will be less likely than other ceiling lights to be destroyed when kids are throwing around balls, swinging around their play sword or using their RC plane inside.
Very few families can afford to customize everything in their home to each stage of their children's lives, but there are a lot of small things they can do that will make a big difference. Incorporating these ideas into home addition will usually add very little to the overall cost of the project. Yet the improvement in safety and functionality can be huge.