If you have a child then you know what it is like to walk into a building where all you can are safety hazards. You clock the low guard rails on the balconies and uneven stairs among other things. You cringe at the thought of all that could happen to your child if you lived here. You cringe even harder for the children that already live in that building. For parents, finding a child friendly rental is highest on the list of priorities or at least very close to it. Below are a few things to look out for assurance of your child’s safety.
At the very least, balconies and stairs should have guard rails. These prevent people from falling off the edges. If you have children then you know that a child will crawl through the tiniest space and climb onto anything they can find. With that in mind, the railing should be high enough that the child cannot reach it or climb over it. The railing should not have gaps in between rods either such that they can squeeze through. They should be sturdy enough and well fixed such that they will not easily be swayed if a little weight is applied to them.
- Limited Access
Once you enter the house and everything looks nice, you should specifically check on a few things. Remember that your child should have very limited access or none at all to various rooms and places. The cabinets in the kitchen should be lockable or at least have a door that way you can install those temporary baby proof locks.
The bathrooms should have a lockable door too. Some landlords build units then neglect to put doors on the bathrooms. This is especially common in Kahawa West and Githurai in the low rent buildings. If you have a child, you should expect that they will walk in there when you are not looking at shove things down the toilet.
If there is a balcony, access to that balcony should be controlled for the child. They should never be allowed on that balcony on their own especially if it’s a toddler or anyone less than 5 years old really.
- House Features
Is the house well ventilated? You should be able to breathe properly once you enter the house whether or not the windows were open. You should be careful about living in poorly ventilated houses with your child, ambient particulate matter among other forms of pollution will slowly kill your child and leave your entire family weakened.
The windows are also an important issue especially if they do not have grills. The windows should be able to lock properly for security and safety of the child. They should not be low enough that the child could climb out through them when open.
You should also note little things like the door knob which should at least be out of reach for the child lest they grant access to whoever knocks. Speaking of doors, look out for those spaces beneath the doors where rodents and pests could crawl through. Watch out for electric switches. Babies especially those in the crawling stage with their tiny fingers doused in saliva can turn a nice afternoon into a fatal mishap. If you cannot find covers for the lower placed sockets then at least find a way to block them off with furniture.
Children are curious and like to push the boundaries. You should therefore expect that a child will scribble on the wall with everything from charcoal to pencil and even stained fingers. You should therefore aim for the kind of paint that would be easy to clean.
The paint should not be chipped either. If it is and the landlord does not repaint before you move in, then you should fully expect that the little one will continue to peel the paint into their mouth.
Speaking of repainting, if the landlord is going to do it before you move in then make sure to give it enough time to air out. Paint fumes are brutal on adults, on a child it could be detrimental. If there will no be time to wait then it will be best to request that it be postponed until your kid is away for a weekend or a few days.
No matter how old your child is, they will require space for play and exercise. The only time this is not much of a requirement is before they learn how to crawl. After that they will want some place to practice this new thing that their legs can do. So ensure to get a place that ill suit your child’s exercise needs. Maybe a big enough room for a play corner of sorts. A place to run around outside for any child above 2. Your child’s development should be a priority at all times. Facilitating play is part of that.
Who else is going to live in the building? If there are no kids in the building you should wonder why. Some buildings tend to be infested with a debauched population. This is something you should keep your child away from despite the fact that you could also be a certified member of such a population.
You will need a school and maybe a daycare center. You could also use a playground for the child. Think of all the amenities that would be beneficial to the wellbeing of your child. Is your child prone to allergies? Then you will want to live someplace close to a hospital or with easy access to one.
Babies are sweet. Babies are curious. Babies will try everything, eat everything and touch everything. Find a place that tries to mitigate the safety hazards.