NEIGHBORHOODS

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Childproof Your New Home as You Start Your Family in West Villages

Kids do the darnedest things, especially toddlers just beginning to crawl. Their curiosity, while admirable and worth encouraging, can get them into trouble, if not injured.

As you start your family in your new West Villages home, remember to make your spaces safe for your little ones to explore. Many of the tips here involve picking up inexpensive hardware, available from major retailers along US 41, many within 10 miles from home:

Great room: West Villages’ contemporary homes throughout the community’s nine stunning neighborhoods, largely feature, well, large open spaces.

Open-concept designs provide opportunities to furnish your new home with an array of potentially hazardous pieces. Consider anchoring top-heavy bookshelves, wing-back chairs and recliners to a wall or the floor so they don’t tip. Ask hardware-store experts for tips.

Kitchen and baths: West Villages’ new homes boast sophisticated and convenient features, such as islands with granite or quartz countertops with sharp edges.

  • Easy-to-mount rubber guards protect precious little heads.
  • While cooking, turn pot handles inward, out of reach.
  • Medical websites, such as this one and this one, suggest setting your hot-water heater to 120 degrees to prevent scaling.
  • Everyone knows to secure medicine cabinets and to use childproof bottle caps.
  • Secure your toilet seat and be sure sinks and tubs are completely drained.

Stairways, doors and windows: Up, down and outside are attractive adventure spots.

  • Simple-to-install flip latches, mounted high enough up the doorframe to be out of reach of toddlers, keep doors securely closed. Adults-only doorknob fixtures that prevent children from opening them are also simple to mount. Use unlockable door handles in children’s bedrooms.
  • Baby gates, pressure- or hardware-mounted, are de rigueur. Some toddler-safety pros encourage installation at the bottom of the stairs (for obvious reasons), although some home experts advise gates at the top and bottom in case the crawler can climb over the first one.
  • Latch windows. Inside is fascinating, outside is even more intriguing.

Patios and decks: As your child moves outdoors, a whole new world opens up.

  • Keep deck furniture, especially pieces that can topple over, away from railings.
  • On patios, especially those with attractive stone, provide soft landings. Try “fake grass” or indoor/outdoor carpeting with foam padding.
  • Avoid toxic plants and clear any standing water.

Growing up: Kids outgrow their parents’ best intentions—just as they do their clothes. That is, what works in the fall may not work in the spring. In the intervening months, your child grew a few inches taller and a little bolder. Think ahead about what your inquiring little minds will want to explore next.

An ideal home for starting a family, award-winning West Villages is one of the nation’s finest and fastest-growing communities. Explore the opportunities for creating lifelong family memories and enjoying Life Your Way by visiting West Villages’ Model Home Centers, listed here. Or call the Home Buyers Information Line at 941-960-7805.

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