Whether they live around the corner or three states away, a visit from grandkids is something grandparents look forward to. But keeping them happy, entertained and out of harm can be a bit of a challenge in a home that’s been an empty nest for years. Preparing for a visit involves more than just hiding cords, baby-proofing cabinets, and getting them a new toy, says child-safety expert Sandra Aris. She has some tips to help make visits fun and safe.
Create a play-safe area.
Kids are notorious for laying their toys around the house and playing in whatever room or area they’re interested in at the moment. They may start off in the living room but move their next set of toys to the bathroom or even the garage. Designating one room or area as their playroom can keep their toys organized, minimize safety risks, and give them a structured environment to play in. And you will feel like your place is under control.
Be ready for medical emergencies.
First-aid kits can come in handy, and having a car seat ready inside your vehicle for potential hospital visits is important, especially with rambunctious toddlers and babies. Whether they need a bandage when they fall and cut their hand, an EpiPen for allergic reactions, or break their arm and have to go to the emergency room, be ready for the unexpected.
Protect them with clothes.
For grandchildren that are learning to walk or crawl, comfortable clothing that can help maintain their balance and protect them from the inevitable falls is important. Shoes with a sturdy sole can protect the bottom of their feet and stop them from wobbling, and pants that can protect the high-injury zones on their body (knees and butt) can help them get back up.
Go grocery shopping ahead of time.
For kids eating solid food, an extra trip to the grocery store is a necessity when you’re expecting them. Portioned snacks such as bags of crackers, yogurt and string cheese can be good treats, while apple slices, baby carrots and pretzels are healthy alternatives. Give kids options and keep their bellies full.
Prepare for tiny hands and feet.
An empty-nester home has convenient spaces to reach your medications, knives, glasses, etc. But for curious little ones, setting items on easy-to-reach places can be dangerous. Kids are prone to grab anything near them to play with, throw, eat, etc. Ensure that everything risky is either put away or out of reach.
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