Home is where your vision impaired child should feel safest, and with a few small improvements and adaptations, you can ensure that this is a reality.
Having been blind since I was born, I wanted to share with you the various tips that helped me feel safe and comfortable around the house when I was young.
Outside the house
There are a number of ways you can ensure your child gets around safely outside the house and in the garden. Mend any broken paths or fencing and keep an eye on the garden. Overgrown plants can get in the way of paths and keeping overhanging branches and hedges trimmed will help avoid cuts and scrapes.
Think about the light
Though lots of natural light can be beneficial, try getting blinds that can alter the amount of light that comes in to reduce or eliminate glare. Turning a TV screen away from lamps and sunlight can also help to see the screen.
To ensure children with low vision don’t strain their eyes when they read, consider purchasing a portable lamp with a flexible arm to adjust the angle of the light. Consider buying more powerful light bulbs and buy battery-operated lights for dark places like cupboards or wardrobes.
Help your blind child get around the home safely
Having continuous handrails on stair cases for your child to hold on to is handy. It will help them feel more secure to hold on to banisters, especially when walking down stairs.
Keep rugs away from the bottom of stairs and keep carpets secured around the edges to avoid accidents.
Keep the house tidy
Kicking off your shoes as soon as you crash indoors after a hard days work is understandable, but could cause a blind or partially sighted person to trip. Keep hallways clear of clutter and stow away items once you’ve finished with them.
Don’t make a habit of moving furniture too much. Your blind child will memorise where furniture is around the house and too much change can be disorientating.
Make sure cupboard doors and wardrobe doors are shut once you’ve taken out what you need. The edges of these types of doors can be sharp!
If you’ve got any electronic devices out, make sure your wires are tucked away safely and aren’t trailing across the room. It’s an easy thing for your blind child to forget and if they’re running around the house it could cause an accident.
In the bathroom
Ensure to have grip and non slip mats in the shower and on the bathroom floor, to help your child to move around safely on the often slippery surfaces.
Consider keeping your child’s toothbrush and toothpaste in a separate easy to reach cup which keeps them separate to everyone else in the house.
Make sure you keep toothpastes and other bathroom essentials separate. They are easy to confuse and I can tell you from experience that your child will not be happy with a mouthful of moisturiser!
How to get practical and emotional support for your child
Do you need further advice on supporting your blind or partially sighted child? Our Family Support Service is on-hand to give you practical and emotional support to help you understand sight loss, adapt and build the self-belief that your family can live beyond it.
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