Posted by John on February 5th, 2013
I promised more than a couple posts this week and I aim to deliver. Lately, we’ve been re-evaluating some of our child proofing measures. Child proofing or toddler proofing is a moving target, at least for us anyway. As soon as our daughter started walking last year, I went around the house and added padding to the table corners and locks to the kitchen cabinets. At first I only needed to add a lock to the lowest drawer or door. As she’s gotten older and more mobile, obviously her reach grew. Now she can reach items on the countertop! Oh and she ripped off all the corner pads from the tables. So we’re at the point where I need to add a few more things to keep up with her. I’ll be showing you a couple ideas I have for custom solutions in a later post, but for now, here’s a list of safety items we have around the house that work for us.. so far.
How We Toddler Proof our Home
1. Toddler Proof Door Knobs. Yes. Totally necessary. Especially if your kid is smart like a Velociraptor. We have one on all the bathroom doors and on the inside of her bedroom so she can’t walk out after we put her down to bed. We need to add one to our pantry door now as she opens it every time she wants a snack, which is around 30 times a day.
2. Cabinet Locks. If you need these locks, buy the bottom ones. We installed a set of the locks in the first photo and a few of them broke the rest wouldn’t latch very well. Every drawer and cabinet door in our kitchen needs one of these. They are a snap to install, but I haven’t been able to add any to our top drawers yet. The drawer space is too small for my DeWalt drill. I have an idea on this though, so stay tuned. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
3. Bed Rails. We added these Vikare bed rails from Ikea that are designed to work with Ikea beds, like this Hemnes. Even though it’s not a far drop, better safe than sorry. There is one on each side of the bed. They don’t run the entire length of the bed, but they should still catch her. I love the fact that they clamp on and don’t mar the finish.
4. Baby Gates. These things are great. We actually installed the first two several months before our daughter was even born to keep our dog from wandering around ripping up the place. The first gate photo is a Munchkin and is by far our favorite. It’s rigid, tall and nearly impossible for a child to open since the handle is high up. You need to lift the handle pretty high while swinging open the door. Even an adult can’t open it terribly fast.
The other hall gate is from Summer and it’s okay. Not nearly as sturdy. The gate action is fairly weak. It could probably stand to be tightened up on our end though. So far so good though.
The bottom photo is the gate at the top of our stairs. What I love about this unit is it doesn’t need to be screwed into the wooden newel posts on either side. It gets strapped and taped on. The gate has a bottom and a top catch for added rigidity. We got it at Babies R Us, where we bought the other two.
5. Strapping furniture to the wall. Hugely important. Apparently there have been hundreds of kids killed by furniture falling on them. We’ll show you how we prevent this in a later post. If you tether the furniture to the wall, you can easily prevent this sort of accident.
Since I don’t want to end this post on a somber note, how about a picture to encourage everyone to switch to round knobs…