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The Never Ending Job of Child Proofing…is it all really needed??

April 14, 2012

The other day I asked my Mom if we should get some door handle child proof knob protectors because D has learned how to open doors.  Her response was, “We all survived without all of these products and extra protections…”  — She has such a good point!!  Yea, times change but in general they really don’t change THAT drastically to the point we need a child proofing device for each and everything “unsafe” in our house which our child might get hurt from.  But do we?  I think it really has a lot of depending factors: Is your child the next Hoodini and figures out anything and everything you do to try and keep him from getting into the dog dishes or drawers? Does your child know how to open doors and is obsessed with the toilet?  (Well this one is a given because almost every kid has a phase where the toilet is the fascination of their day but you get the point.) 🙂

There will always be the children who require a few more child-proofing devices for the sanity and security of everyone in the household.  There’s also children who could care less…but those are few, far, and in between and you’re lucky if you have one of those kids. 🙂  Child proofing also happens in phases as a child learns new movements and abilities.  First you have to protect the crawler, then the walker, then the CLIMBER — It’s never ending!  But in all reality the child does need to learn boundaries and discipline without getting too hurt and at the same time, not be protected from every little thing in the house.

In our society there’s always a product for everything and as easy as it can be at times to just give in and buy it all  because it will help protect your precious child from getting hurt, sometimes it’s better to just save your money and wait out that little time of whichever phase by solving the problem in other ways or not at all.  There’s usually an easy fix product for our temporary problems like keeping the door handle locked.  But in the end, the child has to learn right from wrong, good from bad, and there’s no time like a real-life situation to start teaching them.  Persistence pays off but it does take lots of patience and calmness (speaking from lots of personal experience).

I’m not saying that you should let your child touch the hot stove so they can learn that it’s HOT.  But you can reinforce some language that they can understand so they won’t be so obsessed about wanting to touch the stove all the time.  A toddler loves to get reactions from people around them.  D will look me straight in the face as he’s dangling his sippy cup over the side of his high chair and just drop it, looking for my reaction.  It’s tough not to react after the 15th time that day  but just ignoring them is the best way to curb that habit.  And FYI, that phase will also pass onto another phase so for the interim just find other ways to react and deal with it, if you can.

So when it comes to child proofing as your baby is becoming more mobile, don’t go overboard and get one of everything they sell at Buy Buy Baby.  Just child proof the things that help your sanity in knowing your child won’t chew on the TV chord or have the TV topple on top of them.  Put gates near stairs, tie blind strings high, put a fence around your pool, etc.  Some people will put outlet covers over their outlets (we do) but I have heard these are high on the choking list so it’s something of a personal choice in the end.  I believe they do make new ones that are more high-tech and less of a choking hazard but come with a high grade of annoyance if you ever want to use that plug again.  So it’s all in the eye of the beholder.  🙂

Lock the cabinets that are off limits and eliminate the possibility of them getting into the cleaners by storing them up high or outside of the house.  But don’t lock every lower cabinet so they can’t get into any of them – they have to have some drawers and cabinets where they can just empty out the pots and tupperware.  🙂  Believe me, pots and tupperware can be HOURS of entertainment = freedom for a bit for Mommy!

One of the biggest death traps in the house has got to be the bathroom and bathtub (next to the pool outside).  So be sure to ALWAYS WATCH YOUR KIDS AROUND WATER!  Get a padded protector for the water spout in the bathtub as this can be a big owee.  Along with grippy stuff for the bottom of the tub.  The hardest yet most dangerous part about the tub is when they slip and fall and hit their head.  So PLEASE be sure to drill not standing in the tub with your child!!!

I ended up just taking all possibilities out of the house and took all poisonous products out of the house and/or threw them away.  I actually stopped using all harsh chemicals in general as well, which is something I plan on talking about in a future post soon.  I also keep Ipecac syrup and bennadryl on hand in the house just in case we may need it and the poison control number.

IKEA has these great corner protector devices that are in the shape of a hand and their cheap – 8 for around $5!  Not sure what they go for at Baby stores but this was the best price I found.  We got those and loved them!  They were perfect for all the glass table corners we had.  I used the pool noodles, cut down the middle and put those on the long glass portions of the entertainment center that was at head level for little man, but these didn’t last very long.  I’m sure there’s a way to make it more stay-proof but after he started taking bites off the ends I was done with that.  And it ended up that he didn’t need those anyways.  The rare times he hit his head near there it wasn’t very detrimental and he was just fine.  I also just kept lots of distraction items around there so he wouldn’t want to stand and or go near the glass and/or TV as well.

Child-proofing is obviously something every parent should take seriously but be sure to do your research about everything and READ USER REVIEWS before buying things – anything.  I have found these to be a LIFE SAVER!!  And leave your own reviews too so people can gauge their purchase decisions upon lots of reviews.  That’s what the internet is there for to use (and much more, but this is one of the many things :).

Please do take child-proofing seriously of course and take what precautions you feel are necessary for your household and your sanity!


Post Script – I have a thirteen month old so this is all the personal experience I have thus far regarding child-proofing.  There may be more things I need to know but this is what I have learned thus far! 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2012 8:45 PM

    Interesting post… Thanks for the suggestions..

    • April 14, 2012 9:52 PM

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them 🙂 Please feel free to add any other ideas or suggestions…

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