With warmer weather, summer break and birthday parties galore, chances are you will be hosting a few parties at your home this summer. But is your house ready for tiny little strangers – aka other people’s children?
Prepare your house for other people’s kids
Check these tips to make sure you’re not caught off guard at your own party.
Block off hazardous rooms
After taking into consideration how many guests you will be hosting, map out which rooms you want or need to block off. Common rooms that usually get blocked off during a house party include:
Tip: Some parents have fears of animals due to a traumatic experience or for other unknown reasons. It's generally a good idea to keep your animals in a blocked-off room or at a neighbor's house during your party.
Why should you baby proof your home for your party guests?
Tip: Just because you baby proof your home for your party, it doesn't mean that you can leave the children unsupervised.
This is especially important if you are hosting a party for your baby, toddler or preschooler. While your children may be accustomed to your house rules and the layout of your home, children who are visiting your home are not – and will naturally want to explore their new surroundings.
Baby proofing your home for a party should help provide a more fun and relaxing environment for your guests and you. If you’ve ever taken your young child to a house that only has older children, you know exactly what I’m talking about – there’s nothing more stressful than trying to enjoy a party and celebrate with someone else when you’re not familiar or confident with the surroundings for your own curious baby.
How to baby proof your home for your party
Follow these tips to create a baby-friendly and less stressed environment for your guests.
Baby gates: Use baby gates to block off rooms that pose hazards to young children and your valuables. If you don’t have baby gates available, borrow some from a friend or ask the parents of the small children if they have any portable ones they can lend you for the party.
Electrical outlet covers: Cover any exposed electrical outlets. Parties often go hand in hand with straws, skewers, stir sticks, toothpicks and small party favors. These types of party items can end up in the hands of a small child and pose as a shock hazard with exposed outlets.
Poisons: Check to make sure your medications and cleaning supplies are safely stored and locked away when children are present in your home.
Move furniture and breakable items: If your main walkway is full of furniture and breakable items, you might want to store these items during the party to avoid dangerous situations.
Secure, drain or remove any standing water: Pools, spas, bathtubs, toilets and buckets are the most common drowning hazards for children. According to SafeKids.org, two-thirds of drowning deaths occur in the bathtub while at home, and swimming pools are the most common drowning hazard for children under age five.
How to baby proof your yard for your party
If you decide to host an outdoor party, go through these same steps to ensure the safety of your children and guests.
Hire another set of eyes
If you’re hosting a large party with a lot of children, consider hiring a babysitter or two to help with the kids. Having an extra set of eyes is never a bad idea – and then you don’t feel like you’re torn between worrying about your guests, your children and entertaining.
More about child safety