Do It Yourself Projects: Babyproofing With Velcro

Many hazards to small children around the home can be babyproofed utilizing Velcro.

Just when fathers and mothers think that they have adjusted to the demands of parenthood, their baby starts crawling. New hazards suddenly spring up everywhere as the curious tot explores every inch of the home, from the bathroom to the kitchen and everywhere in between. Even parents who thought their home was babyproofed discover that just about everything they own poses a hazard. If your child is mobile or will be soon, do not panic. You need not buy specialized but costly guards for each appliance, cabinet, and drawer. Velcro, not just for shoes anymore, can help you solve many of your home hazards.

Take a crawling tour around your house and you are sure to find some scary features. Everywhere you look, there are shiny handles, inviting appliance doors, and drawers that any baby will be itching to explore. It is a natural curiosity: their tiny little minds are constantly compelled to find out what things do, how they work, and what is in them. For their worry-stricken parents, however, nothing is more important that protecting that inquisitive tot. There are sharp things beyond the handles, glass jars behind the fridge door, and the potential for pinched fingers in the drawers. To protect little ones that have no concept of danger, it is the parent's job to secure all of these menaces. Luckily, a trip to your local hardware store will go far in helping you in the task.

Velcro comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and strengths, from sticky-backed circles for hanging pictures to industrial strength strips that will resist separating for even the strongest toddler. For each room of the home, this versatile hook-and-loop fastener can be used to keep things shut, secure, and safe. Begin by browsing your living room. The sharp edges on the coffee table are no problem. Affix the sticky side of one piece of Velcro to the corner and foam padding to the back of its pair for instant bump-proofing. If your baby cannot get enough of your priceless figurine display, consider Velcroing them to the shelves. I have also found that this works well for keeping the phone base on the desk. Try this if your cordless is always dead because a baby cannot resist tugging its base to the floor by the phone line. You can also purchase a computer tower cover that attaches with Velcro to keep little fingers from hitting



Moving into the kitchen, more potential terrors abound. The little monkeys that they can be, babies new to cruising will tug and climb on anything within reach. Since you are not likely to break them of their fascination with cabinet handles, use Velcro to keep them shut. Affix several three-inch strips of an industrial grade product to the insides of pantries, cookware cabinets, and storage drawers. However, keep in mind that even the strongest Velcro is not strong enough when you are trying to keep your child from hazardous substances. If you keep cleaning products or other caustic chemicals beneath the kitchen sink, use a safety latch to keep babies out. It is better to find out that your child's strength has surpassed that of the Velcro with a pinched digit than a potentially fatal ingestion.

While in the room, consider the appeal of your oft-used appliances to a baby. When they see you using the oven, refrigerator, or stove on a constant basis, they will almost certainly try to emulate you by playing with them. Tragically, accidents that parents could never imagine occur in this way. Children have been trapped in stoves and crushed by overturning them when jumping on their doors. Serious head trauma occurs regularly when microwaves are pulled down by their opened doors. Even the fridge holds hidden dangers, as the smallest glass jars can fall on kids or break into slivers. Needless to say, these accidents must all be avoided by properly securing doors. Choose Velcro designed to resist high temperatures for this purpose, which can be found in household safety and hardware departments.

Many other perils lurk in the bathroom; the toilet, cabinets, medicine chest all need to be babyproofed. Rather than installing a complicated lock on the toilet seat, prevent drowning and unsanitary play with Velcro. Placed in such a way that it keeps both the lid and seat closed, it will be impossible for kids to unfasten but easy for you to open at will. Take the same precautions with cabinets, especially those that house bathroom cleansers. Although the medicine cabinet will most likely be out of reach of small children, you cannot guarantee that they will not find a way to climb up to it. Therefore, add Velcro strips to the rim so children will not have access to dangerous prescription drugs or choking hazards it may contain.

In conclusion, Velcro is one of many materials you can use to childproof your home. Remember to use it in combination with outlet covers, window locks, baby gates, and other safety devices to make the house a safe environment for your children. Not only does Velcro install easily, but it also saves your furniture and cabinets from being marred by the screws of most safety devices. Taking these simple precautions is a cheap and easy way to spare your toddler of pain and serious injury, leaving him or her free to explore the fascinating indoor environment.

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