Tips on Making Your Home Baby Safe

It’s an exciting time when bub starts moving around – the cute commando crawls and bum shuffling. It is also a time when you need to carefully evaluate the hazards of your home and make it safe for your little one to roam around. It doesn’t take long for those tiny, chubby hands to get into some serious mischief or worse. My first son wasn’t even crawling yet but he was turning from back to tummy. He was happily playing on his mat and I walked into the kitchen for a minute. Somehow he managed to make his way to the TV cabinet and pull down a video recorder that my husband had left there to charge. When I ran in there was a little bit of blood and a lot of tears. I went white with worry and tried to calm him down. He got over it pretty quickly but it proved how accidents can happen in no time at all and how important it is to baby proof the house – the sooner the better!

So where do you start? It’s a good idea to first get down on the floor and look at everything ground up to about a metre. Remember baby is a curious creature and all those coffee table books, drawers, cupboards, trinkets etc look very interesting but can be dangerous. Continue reading on for some more tips on making your home baby safe.

Use child-resistant power point plugs on all power points and ensure that power cords and leads are away from baby’s reach.

Secure all cupboard and cabinet doors and low-lying drawers with childproof locks. There’s a wide range of locks that you can choose from and are available from baby product retailers, hardware stores and even the supermarket.

Install gates at the bottom and tops of stairs or other areas of the house that you don’t want bub to enter. Ready-made gates are available to fit most doorways. Check that you know how to use the lock properly before leaving the place of purchase.

Keep the toilet lid closed and if possible secure a toilet lid lock. Toddlers are attracted to the water but they can fall in and splashing about in the toilet is a health hazard. Also cabinets installed above the toilet are dangerous as toddlers can climb onto the toilet seat to access the cabinet. If possible keep the bathroom door shut at all times.

Check furniture and electrical appliances for stability. A toddler on the move can pull down anything within reach and knock over bookcases, shelves, etc. Secure these items to the wall or remove them.

Pad corners of furniture or other sharp edges with purpose made protectors or bubble wrap and move the coffee table away from the centre of the room.

Always turn the handles of pots and pans on the stovetop inwards and make it a habit to use the rear hot plates before the front ones.

Ensure the stove is anchored to the wall or floor and fit a stove guard.

Keep knives and sharp objects out of reach. Plastic bags are another hazard that need to be out of reach too.

Remove small, fragile or breakable items until your youngest child is about five years old.

Put chemicals, detergents, cleaning products, medicines and toiletries in a locked cupboard. This goes for kitchen, bathroom and laundry products. A child-resistant latch can save a child’s life.

Remove poisonous indoor plants. It may be easier to remove all indoor plants until bub has moved past the eating dirt stage. Little ones love the dirt but it also carries dangerous fertilizers and pesticides. Keep curtain and blind cords out of reach as they are strangulation hazards.

The last word…It’s a good idea to learn all you can about baby development so it is easier for you to understand the things babies do at various stages that are likely to lead to unintentional injuries.

Kitchen Renovations: Do-It-Yourself Tips

Home renovations make an excellent method of achieving a modern home look without having to incur the expense of moving. No wonder 62 per cent of Australian households in 1999 were staying in homes that had undergone some kind of renovation during the preceding ten years. This was according to the Australian Housing Survey (AHS) carried out by Australian Bureau of Statistics. The most frequent types of renovations are carried out in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Many decide to carry out a renovation just because they’re in love with their house or the current location or simply because it would cost much less than having to move house. Adding value to the home is another very important reason why you may decide to carry out some renovations and home upgrades.

Whether you’ve decided to do it yourself or hire the services of a professional, there are some money saving tasks that you could accomplish yourself. Besides saving you the needed money, it also accords you the chance of having your desired personal imprint felt in the design.

As you go about acquiring your renovation needs, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website gives consumers in Australia useful guidance and cautions when buying products and services across the country.

Handy Do-It-Yourself Tips

Most Australian home owners buy a house with the goal of effecting several changes themselves or with professional help. This is according to a Journal of Sociology article, ‘Home owners, home renovation and residential mobility’.

If you belong to this category of home owners and are thinking about carrying out some kitchen renovations yourself, below we look at several of the easier ones you could undertake.

- Kitchen Demolition

Pulling down the space would not be too complicated so long as safety precautions are put into place as set by the Building Code of Australia. This way, you cut costs and leave the experts with a clean slate from where to do their expert bit. Nevertheless, before you pick up the sledge hammer and smash down everything, it would be prudent to consult a demolition specialist.

- Upgrading Kitchen Hardware

If the renovation entails changing or replacing worn out cabinet drawers and doors, this is certainly something you could accomplish and save yourself those extra charges that would have gone into labour fees.

- Installation the Fixtures

Attaching or fixing that new kitchen faucet or installing a new fixture such as dishwater or a new refrigerator doesn’t have to wait for the professionals. This is something you could easily manage with the assistance of a family member.

- Tile Upgrading/Painting

According to the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, whilst the majority of your rooms could easily be upgraded with different furniture or a new coat of paint, your kitchen is more likely to require the complete removal or replacement of several old fixtures. In most cases, this would entail some plumbing and tiling work or upgrades.

If the aspects of your kitchen that you’re renovating only entail the replacement of your worn out and old tiles, this you could manage easily on your own. To lay down kitchen tile flooring is not too complex.

- Doing the Painting

If you’re at ease when giving your yard wall a new coat of paint, you may as well use the same skills in your kitchen. However, consult a paint specialist prior to purchasing or mixing the paints!

International Business and Trade, Considering US-Australia Relations and China’s Global Growth

Over the years, the United States and Australia have been very closely allied. At times that relationship has gone under severe stress. For instance in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Australia has participated in NATO exercises and endured that sacrifice. This has been tough on their population which doesn’t like the war, what society does? This isn’t the only challenge on the home front as China is also spreading out its tentacles, and putting in small satellite military installations at maritime choke points near Australia.

Much of Australia’s good fortune and economy belongs to its relationship in trade with China. Whereas most nations have a trade deficit, at times Australia has had a rather nice surplus. This is because Australia sells China raw materials, of which Australia has plenty. China is in need of all sorts of things such as food, timber, and fuel. Australia is rich in resources, and they’ve enjoyed exporting all of their excess to China and digging up more at breakneck speed. But that’s not all China wants to buy, they also like the military technology that Australia has, a good bit of it they have due to their relationship with NATO and the United States.

Australia is also building its own high-tech submarines, ships, and military hardware. NASA has satellite and space base station technologies in Australia. China wants to borrow infrastructure and information there in Australia to help track its own satellites, and the US isn’t so sure it wants to have all that technology, dual use technology, shared with the Chinese. Not that the Chinese haven’t stolen or rather borrowed that intellectual proprietary information from our defense contractors already. But in this case the system is already set up there, and China would like to use it, and learn all they can of course, lots of scary implications there, considering the proprietary information theft, hacking, and spying of the past couple of decades.

In World Affairs, November-December Issue there was an interesting article titled; “A Tilt Toward China? Australia Reconsiders Its American Ties,” by John Lee. In this article he makes a number of astute comments, and the United States must realize that China is a powerful economy, and Australia needs China to continue their solid GDP growth. Australia doesn’t want to cut off the hand that feeds them, but it also realizes it needs the US backing as well. Because of where Australia is located, they would be fools not to participate with China in economic trade.

The United States is wondering at what cost, especially as it has cost the United States a number of very solid industries, and a huge trade deficit, causing us to rack up huge debt. How long before China uses all that money they’ve acquired in trade deficit to buy our nation piece by piece? Likewise, when will Australia say “no, you can’t have that, or we won’t sell it to you, or that is proprietary and secret information?”

Does Australia dare play that card too often with the Chinese for fear that the Chinese might go elsewhere to get resources, leaving Australia’s economy in the dumps, today China has no choice, but tomorrow it certainly will, all the while China continues to grow into a superpower? Please consider all this and think on it.

Cabinet Detailing, Not Just Knobs and Handles

Whether they be in the kitchen or bathroom or on your built-in cabinets, functional hardware accessories present the best opportunity to add the final personalised touch to your interior design project. If personalised is what you are after, quite frankly, its not easy to find the right hardware whether you live in London, New York or Sydney.

Knobs and handles, cabinetry detailing, hinges and catches, in fact all the grace of good door hardware, creates the finishing touch to a well-planned design project. Quality hardware makes a project sing by bringing a unique and beautiful touch to an otherwise plain surface. Their importance in finishing a job should never be underestimated, and being overlooked will just as surely undervalue the project as no handles at all. Good choices in hardware expresses your individual style, visually enhances the project on both a macro and micro level and provides smooth functionality that is a pleasure to live with.

Brionne French provincial cabinet knobs will give genuine French style. For country style kitchens, French is still the most popular choice for quality cabinetry and understandably so. From the US the B and M ranges are beautifully made in styles popular with US designers with finishes that include bright, polished nickel and oiled bronze.

For something Australian try Mood Australia, their bespoke horn and bone items, set in pewter and natural bronze finishes, make for stylish additions to any smart setting. From Paris, Ferrasse produce rather wonderful crystal cabinet knobs with enough bling to match la haute vie! London interior designer Alistair Cummings once very cleverly said “If you are on a budget, buy your cabinets from Ikea, but blow the rest on the best handles you can find.”

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