“The number of children injured by furniture has jumped 40 percent over the past 20 years.”
This fact, from an article about child-proofing, jumped out at me in the Health section of a recent copy of am New York.
Now that my son is mobile around the apartment, it is amazing how he gets “curious” about the things he shouldn’t be touching. How does he know where the heater dial is under the bench? Why does he reach so high for the wine bottles on the wine rack? How can he slither under the coffee table and get stuck? why are the computer wires so fascinating?
I have slowly (too slow) been starting the process of child-proofing our apartment over the past couple of weeks. This includes the basic stuff of inserting plug protectors into electrical outlets, moving dangerous items off of the floor, and taping/hiding plugs and cords so they are not visible. The next phase will be getting rid of our glass coffee table, our wine rack (very upset about this one), and getting latches for drawers and cabinets. One helpful piece of advice about child-proofing that was given to me is “to crawl around on all fours like your child to see what they see” so you can find trouble areas.
I know a lot of these things are common sense, but thought I would share these tips from Dr. Jim Schmidt, co-founder of the Virginia-based company Child Safety House Calls, made in the amNew York story on child-proofing:
■ Tether it. Secure any potentially unstable furniture to the wall.
■ Rock it. Rock each piece of furniture to test if a toddler’s weight could topple it, realizing that
even heavy objects can fall if a child pulls or climbs on open drawers.
■ Watch what’s on top. Objects you know a child will want — such as a toy or remote control — will tempt them to climb.
■ Watch coffee tables. Many are the perfect height for toddlers to whack their heads. Consider moving a table with sharp edges into storage or covering it with a thick blanket.
■ Hang TVs. Tether them to the wall or keep them low to the ground. Kids are naturally curious about them and they’re heavy enough to cause serious injury.
■ Use Velcro. Kids often tear off protective padding that parents tape or glue on sharp edges. If you adhere cushioning with Velcro, you can easily put it back on.
■ Choose tempered glass. This glass shatters into tiny pieces rather than large, jagged shards when broken, so a child may get more small cuts but no life threatening wounds.
■ Ask for child-proofing help. Ask a salesperson for child-proofing guidance when buying glass-top or glass-front furniture.
■ Place furniture wisely. Keep it away from windows and railings, where a climbing child might fall.
■ Beware of choking hazards. Beads, rivets and wicker all can break into small pieces. Go for wood furniture or upholstery without beading. (MCT)
Please feel free to share some valuable child-proofing tips or advice.