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Make your living room kid-friendly for festivals

The excitement builds up during festivities and all grownups are absorbed in redecorating interiors, preparing for celebrations and rituals, putting up lights such as lamps, candles, and fairy lights while being involved in a host of other activities. This is also a time when children have holidays and require more attention, while the smaller children are in an excitable state and keen to explore what the buzz is all about! Parents and elders are incredibly busy, but it is important to ensure that children stay safe during festivals and of course at all times. The living area which is the centre of most activities in Indian homes requires maximum care and attention to make the space kid-friendly and safe.

Steps you can take to make rooms kid friendly are mostly derived from common sense and are precautions which you would take normally, but it helps to be extra cautious during festivals.

Most of us put up additional lamps, hanging lanterns and fairy lights to highlight the festive spirit, and it is common to have loose wires running across the room. It is imperative then to ensure that all the wires are insulated appropriately and are above a certain height out of reach of children. Make sure that no wires run across the floor or along the walls at ground level to avoid electrical shocks and any accidental tripping over the wires. Similarly, extra plug points which are put up to accommodate more wires must be covered up completely.

During most festivals, we also light lamps and candles as a symbol of our celebration and joy. The open flames act as a beacon for children and it is absolutely essential that we keep all the lamps away from the reach of children even if there is a glass cover for the lamps. All heated surface must also be out of their grasp.

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Puja thaalis with their colourful ingredients tend to attract children, but some of the powders such as vermillion can be poisonous and therefore you must make sure that you do not leave them around where they can pick it up and put it in their mouth. Or, keep them in a way that older children are also not able to access them easily.

Keep away objects that can topple over or can be pulled down by children and hurt them. Similarly, while redecorating remove all expensive artworks that can be damaged by children unknowingly. Children are quick to scratch, colour and pull at objects and therefore you must avoid décor objects that can either get damaged or injure children.

Keep some floor space free so that children can move around with ease and not have to worry about bumping into furniture and artifacts.

In general, do not keep harmful things lying around, make sure sharp edges of furniture are protected and remove small objects that can be swallowed.

Most importantly, it helps to teach children safe behaviour from an early age so that they learn this over a period of time.

About Nalini Malaviya

Nalini Malaviya is a Bangalore based art consultant, writer and blogger. She has been writing for the media since 2003, and has been an art columnist for Financial Times (Delhi and Bangalore) and Bangalore Mirror. Nalini writes primarily on art (visual arts, performance, photography, etc) and also on health and lifestyle. She contributes to Times of India, Deccan Herald and several other publications including art magazines and catalogs. An occasional fiction writer, Nalini has published short stories as part of various anthologies, such as, The Shrinking Woman, The Curse of the Bird and Bhelpuri. She publishes www.artsceneindia.com, a popular blog cum Ezine featuring art news, guides, and articles on buying and collecting art and on displaying art in interiors. The website functions as an artist resource and also promotes artists. Nalini curates art exhibitions and conducts classes on art appreciation and writing. She also teaches arts management and marketing for artists through workshops. Currently, she contributes to the experts section on corporate blogs on interiors and lifestyle.

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