Child-proofing

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown

It’s time to child-proof the house. We have a 22-month-old child visiting between Christmas and New Years, with her grandma (my sis) and her dad (my nephew). Although they will be sleeping at an air.bnb nearby (bless their hearts), they will still spend much time here in our little house. I’ve been trying to look around the place with “toddler eyes” and have discovered several problematic spots where Lela Ann might have a field day (and/or be in danger).

Husband and I are very used to our adult, somewhat “open and cluttered” lifestyle. I like “see through” furniture that appears to take up less space than closed cabinets, and many of the open shelves are at toddler level. Here are some potential hazards…

So I’m trying to replace breakable things on lower shelves with soft and plastic toddler-friendly things. I’ll get out my toy box, my kids’ books (at least the stiff-paged board books), and the musical instrument basket. I hope to clear one corner so she can have one place to create and leave a “mess”. I’ll try camouflaging some problematic spaces with fabric, like this on the electronics shelf:

 

When have you had to kid proof your place?

Are you having any Christmas visitors (whether you have to child-proof or not) this year?

27 thoughts on “Child-proofing”

  1. We are thw Christmas visitors this year. We’re heading home this morning. It is almost more difficult to terrier-proof a home than to child proof a home. Terrier pups come fully operational and impulsive and curious with full use of their extremities.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Terriers are born ready-to-go. But in three years the dog will calm down. Our beagle-terrier got out last Monday and did not return for 3 hours on a warmish night. When she returned she was covered in mud, happy and tired. The next day she slept all day, then had a bath.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    We have company right now–my son and his girlfriend (who I find mighty impressive, BTW) are visiting before we leave for AZ on Sunday. We are not childproofing now, but maybe in the next few years we will if the girlfriend becomes part of the family. Who knows?

    We are starting to pack for AZ which I find a big job. And now we must de-Christmas the house, which I will start today.

    For those following my colleague/friend’s sick child saga: The 14 year old daughter arrived home from the hospital after 2 months and 3 weeks, just in time for Christmas. This has been a parenting nightmare. I am so glad she is home. The child is now somewhat disabled which will set up a new set of challenges, including managing a wheelchair at school and PCA services at home. But now I can leave the office and operate via distance telehealth services without much concern.

    The older daughter is scheduled to take her driving test January 23. She has now mastered the 90 degree back-up turn and is driving with confidence. We will drive for the last time on Saturday. Meanwhile, she introduced me to her boyfriend and asked if she could call me Grandma. Sigh. An Old Lady’s Sweet Dream. 🙂

    -8 degrees at my house this morning. AZ is lookin’ good right now.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Haven’t kid-proofed the house, but had to cat-proof it for our first cat, Corfu, who LOVED to open all the lower cupboards in the kitchen–especially the one that held the garbage can; she was a food lover.

    Most recently, we had to mother-proof our house just a bit for my wife’s elderly mother, who had dementia in her final years. First was to tape over the lock on the door to the garage so neither my wife nor I would accidentally be locked in the garage without our house key.

    We also had to put a kiddie-lock on the freezer door since MIL was a grazer and always checking the refrigerator and freezer for goodies. The fridge door automatically closes, but the freezer door needs some help, which MIL never provided. And we didn’t like the idea of having $100 worth of various foods thaw at the wrong time, as well as cranking up the energy bill if the freezer sat open all night.

    And of course, we always had to put the especially good goodies in cupboards that were out of her reach, or else hide them.

    A small price to pay for making most of her last years pleasant since she could live with her daughters rather than spend years stuck in a nursing home. Thankfully she only spent a little more than a year in a memory care center at the end of her life. By then she barely recognized her daughters anyway. And the staff took great care of her.

    I still miss the old gal.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

  4. What nobody will admit is that you adjust the level of your childproofing to the child involved. No expert would dare say that. We should make homes safe for children, right?. We should make them, you know, SAFE.

    I remember a child who was born thinking adults lied all the time. She ate cans of raw cat food because she believed they were hamburger, although her parents pretended were cat food. A child like that needs robust childproofing.

    My sister’s younger boy was so fond of risk that it was dangerous to tell him to not do something. Told not to chew on electric chords, he bit into a lamp chord and got to taste electricity. NO level of childproofing was going to save that kid.

    My only daughter was naturally prudent. We took mild steps to reduce threats in the house, but she wasn’t one to push the limits. She gave birth to a boy, my grandson, who is even more cautious.

    Seeing my grandson walking with scissors, my daughter told him to be careful. (That contravened one of my private notions of child rearing: when your kid is doing something right, you shouldn’t tell him to do it right.) My four-year-old grandson objected mildly. “I AM being safe.” Then, in a quiet voice, “When have you ever seen me be not safe?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear someone say this, Steve. Kids are innately different and require different approaches to childproofing. But to hear some parents of naturally cautious or docile children talk, it’s all because of their superior parenting skills that they don’t need to childproof the way that other parents do.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. OT: a follow-up to my flying disco ball story……..I wish that I could post the video of this hilarious event on TB, but I don’t know how. The flying balls were the highlight of the whole night! The colorful little whirring things were flying all around the living room, ten at a time, willy-nilly crashing into walls, causing people to duck when one darted towards them. The young adults had as much fun with them as the two only little kids. Amazingly, they stayed up for a full 15-20 minutes without needing recharging. I kinda felt bad for the people who’d picked out gifts for the 3 and 6-year olds because their only desire was to play with the disco balls.

    Next Xmas, I doubt that I’ll be able to find another 12 cheap gifts which will ever come close to the entertainment these provided.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Amazon – flying disco balls. They range from $5 to $30. I got the $10.99 ones. Going up in price range, music is included. Each one comes with a 6″ USB cord to recharge in a computer. No batteries!!!!

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  6. Thanks, ljb. I have a short fuse on some surprising topics, and one of them is the notion parents should do everything imaginable to prevent accidents. I don’t think it is possible to totally protect a child, although we clearly should do our best to protect against the most dangerous things (especially choking).

    A day or so ago I was outraged by an article talking about all the pathogens in our homes. It discussed what we should do to combat them. The list just went on and on and on, and anyone following that advice would need to work many hours a week trying to sanitize a home like it was a surgery theater.

    The article didn’t answer my first question, which is “Is it at all possible to maintain a home that is totally without bugs or viruses or other things that can make us sick?” It didn’t answer my second question, which is “Is it at all desirable to TRY to do this?” Or my third question, “Do you actually make your family healthier by declaring war on everything in the home environment that carries impure things?”

    FWIW my own standards are notoriously slack. Now that I’m not hosting you folks, I can admit that. I get a cold about once in four years. The last time I had the flu was 1999. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never gotten food poisoning from my own kitchen. I’m not telling anyone what to do, but some balance is needed on these issues.

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  7. Childproofing…I always thought it was more to do with breakables and poisons/harmful substances rather than cleanliness. And kids are different as to what they will get into or do. I managed to get three kids through childhood without anything drastic like them poisoning themselves with whatever they found under the kitchen sink. We had some things broken, mostly one kids in particular who is a careless type. But whoo boy, now that the grandkids are here all the time, I think the most childproof thing we could do is live in an empty cave. I’m surprised that there are any bulbs left on the christmas tree that haven’t broken but that’s somewhat normal. We’ve had both towel bars and toilet paper holders ripped out of the bathroom wall from kid(s) hanging on them. I expect the refrigerator door to fall off one of these days from the way they put so much energy into swinging it open. That’s the sort of thing you just can’t “childproof” for unless you remove everything. Some kids just go through life leaving a wake of destruction behind them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m talking about getting things up out of reach that are either poisonous, sharp, or electronic and could be unwittingly damaged… I’ve cleaned a reasonable amount, but if she wants to make friends with some of the harder to reach dust bunnies, she’s welcome to them.

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  8. I’ve never done any serious childproofing. My nieces, when they were small, visited briefly without any major incidents. They were pretty well-behaved. One of them did manage to pull a coat hook off the wall, though. by hanging her coat on it and pulling it down very hard.

    Most of the destruction in my house has been at the paws of various cats.

    Liked by 1 person

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