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Childproofing Your Home

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August 13th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Dear MrDad: What should we do to childproof our house?
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August 13th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Child-proofing the home most often involves baby gates at stairwells, locking cabinets, and covering electrical outlets. However, securing windows to prevent falls is chronically overlooked. Window screens are not enough. Children must be protected by installing window guards designed to be removed quickly in case of fire.

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November 9th, 2010, 10:26 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,031
I think this is a good guide for someone who has no experience with children and doesn't know where to start.

However... This is extreme! I am an at-home nanny with preschool children, and I see plenty of infants at my home as well as older kids. I have only childproofed to the bare minimum and have no problems. There are common-sense things, such as moving fragile or valuable items out of reach of a crawler, or simply out of temptation to an older child. Keeping medicine, hard candies, cleaning products and poisons either well out of reach or locked securely away. Never leaving standing water where a child could either make mess or cause himself harm (even the cat water dish is kept out of my kids' way). But covering every outlet? Padding furniture corners? Child-locking the toilet? Safety locks on every lower cabinet? Grates on the windows?!

My house has some basic rules. The first one is that obeying quickly without argument is a must -- my kids know that instructions might be given for their safety, and disobeying or arguing and delaying could be dangerous. I would not test this by letting them play in the street! But even my tod understands the importance of things such as not touching the fireplace ever, even if she doesn't see flames.

The second big rule is that everything has a place, and so do they. They have a nursery that is completely childproofed (nigh unbreakable) where they may spread toys etc to their hearts content. A rug in the living room (about 5'x6') designates the boundaries that they may spread toys and books, and if I tell them to stay on the rug for a time, they do. (This is my version of rug/blanket training -- never smacking or corporal punishment, but gentle verbal reminders of their place to be, putting them back there when necessary, for the duration of time set on a timer.)

I do have some breakables in reach of a 3-4 year old in the living room (eg. on top of a side table) but I have never yet had a problem. Food and drink items are only at the dining table, and toys are never permitted in that area. They can get a drink whenever they like but only in that area. I also have a different color kitchen floor, and the laundry room (containing all cleaning supplies) is behind the kitchen. It is very easy to explain with that floor color that they are not to enter the kitchen. Occasionally I will ask them to come in for a project, but in general they follow that boundary perfectly and I never worry about the oven, cleaning products, lower cupboards, trash can, cat litter in laundry room, etc. My guest bathroom is certainly not restricted, as I want all kids I care for to consider cleanliness and using the toilet a good thing, not fear toilet training!

I have found that baby gates and childproofing locks are unnecessary for my style of childcare, as is the more extreme nature of childproofing detailed in this article, and the parents and kids I provide services for are consistently happy with these clear boundaries.
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