How do you make your home safe? Paedetrician's Warning

(63 Posts)
missslc Thu 14-Oct-10 15:43:39

Our son is just starting to walk and pull at things so we are trying to child proof our one level home.

Now we have already done the obvious like make cupboards safe, move harmful liquid stuff but we are now looking at our flat screen tv in the corner and wondering how to prevent him getting near it.

What do people do? I am guessing just gate off the whole area with special gates?

The reason we are suddenly so concerned is we have just got back from hospital- baby has had bronchiolitis and 3 paedetricians all made a point of asking how secure how home was( theye were lovely and really trying to alert us to the risks). One of the things they said was that they see children on the ward with 'utterly horrifying' injuries from heavy things ( eg tv) falling onto them. So we are very motivated to find a solution before our son is fully walking.We cannot bracket the tv on the wall as we are in an earthquake area and the wall is not strong enough.

When you look on line there is so much but we want to know what people have used and has worked?

Thanks

ivykaty44 Thu 14-Oct-10 15:45:39

I would put the sofa in front of the tv or put it away when you are not using it.

Can you rearrange the furniture so your dc can't get close to the tv?

say two sofas and put one in fornt and sit on the other to watch tv

highlighterpen Thu 14-Oct-10 15:48:18

Lots of people I know have a wide table with the tv on that the kids can't reach across.
Shelves are also a nightmare and need to be screwed to the wall. Also chests of drawers that they can climb up.

It's a minefield - and quite often you don't realise what they'll hurt themselves with until they've done it!

Good luck!

LionOnTheFloorInAPoolOfBlood Thu 14-Oct-10 15:51:27

We have the footstool (big, part of the sofa type one) pushed in front of it, and it is in a recess anyway.

Have you seen the tether straps that attach it to the wall, but it is not actually hanging on the wall as such. Like this (even says they are for earthquakes)

katiepotatie Thu 14-Oct-10 15:52:11

Surely the stand on the TV should be wide enough that it can't be pulled over?

I would agree a wide table is probably the best way to go.

pippop1 Thu 14-Oct-10 17:06:48

Can you mount the TV on the wall with a special bracket?

nicand2 Thu 14-Oct-10 18:18:48

We had our TV mounted on the wall as I was so worried about it being pulled over. We paid someone to do it and it wan't cheap but I knew my ds would head for the tv all the time to work out where the pictures were coming from.

can you chain it to the wall, but sit it on the TV bench? SO it cannot be pulled over?

RoobyMurray Thu 14-Oct-10 18:24:03

We used to push our coffee table in front of the TV when babies were in the area. It prevents them from pressing all the buttons on the dvd etc too.

I also think it's never too early to start teaching 'no', particularly wrt safety.

LadyLapsang Thu 14-Oct-10 20:42:18

Be very aware of where you position your kettle and lead, also watch hot drinks, a cup of black tea / coffee could result in a large burn to a baby / toddler. Also, remember to run cold water into bath first so if children decide to jump in they won't get scalded. Secure windows with locks and opening limiters. Place locks high so young children can't lock themselves in the bathroom etc. Stair gates. Consider your use of rugs. Make sure visitors keep house rules re: safety e.g. placement of hot drinks, elderly relatives visiting with drugs in handbags etc.

dikkertjedap Thu 14-Oct-10 21:23:28

I totally childproofed the whole of downstairs, was a big undertaking. I bought several of those large screens you put around things (fire place, TV etc.), doorguards on doors near hinges, safety gates for all doors so I could keep dd in a room if I had to, hob guard, bolts on some doors to prevent her going into bathrooms on her own. Those foam corner things on table and cupboard corners, socket protectors everywhere, name it and we had it. Very expensive though. I got a lot of the stuff from JoJoMamanBebe. Mind you, we never had an accident!

smile

Runoutofideas Thu 14-Oct-10 21:31:45

I did all that too dikkertjedap. DD1 still managed to cut her head open twice - once on the doorframe and once on the leg of the tv stand. Hospital glue treatment each time. I think she would have been better off permanently wearing a helmet!

missslc Fri 15-Oct-10 01:38:52

Thanks everyone- lots of helpful suggestions.That has given me something to think about. The TV is on a wooden table not a regular tv stand. As we are renting screwing things into the wall is a bit of a no no.

Maybe I need to think of putting something in front of it and at the side to prevent access.

What do people do with furniture- i popped to the kitchen earlier and my 9 month had got himself onto a stool- caught him before superman style launch?He can also get onto the sofa which is quite low......

I am realising you just have to be at their side constantly.....ahh the baby days are much easier in this respect!!

Tee2072 Fri 15-Oct-10 08:05:04

missslc I rent as well and decided losing part of my deposit to fix holes in walls was less important than my son being safe.

So bookcases/cupboards are bolted to wall etc.

BikeRunSki Fri 15-Oct-10 08:20:58

We have an old fashioned CRT TV. DH wants a spangly new flat one, I am refusing until DS (2) is older, for these very reasons. Could you get a second hand "old fashioned" TV for a while?

Meglet Fri 15-Oct-10 08:25:32

DS pulled the TV over a few months ago, it broke but thankfully he didn't. It was a horrible tv anyway, a huge beast of a thing that XP's dad had gave us - I was slightly pleased to see the back of it.

DS has just learnt to open the kitchen stair gate so I'm putting a bike padlock on it.

Don't forget windows too. When DS was about 2 he realised he could climb onto the toilet then into the sink and up to the window sill. Keep the windows locked (even when open on the latch) or get window restrictors.

And on a similar note make sure you have your smoke and carbon dioxide alarms.

ComeScareWithMe Fri 15-Oct-10 08:27:21

DP wanted to buy a flatscreen but when we were at dsil's house we saw how easy it was for DD to push one over shock.

We have now stuck with our old silver one which is on a stand and screwed safely into it.

Also watch out for kichen cupboards my dd loves going into ours and messing about with all the spice jars and heavy tins hmm .

We have a safety gate at the bottom of the stairs and are about to put one on DD's bedroonm door -I was going to have one at the top of the stairs a few years ago when I had ds but Surestart came out and said they had heard of a lot of accidents with LO's climbing on to them and then falling .

ComeScareWithMe Fri 15-Oct-10 08:31:05

Another one is everyone remembers to switch the iron off to prevent burns but don't leave it out on the ironing board my friend did and came back to a dead puppy it had jumped up and knocked the board and the iron had fell on its head .

Could easily happen to a climbing toddler.

RiverOfSleep Fri 15-Oct-10 08:31:38

Have you thought about getting a playpen? Your situation sounds quite hard to babyproof, would it be easier to either be with him, or put him in the playpen when you're not?

PlanetEarth Fri 15-Oct-10 08:41:01

One of my daughter's friends (at age 5 or 6, playing in my daughter's room opened the drawers of her very heavy chest of drawers a little way, climbed up them and pulled the whole thing over. shock From downstairs I heard a big crash! Luckily no-one hurt, but could have been nasty. But what would you do to prevent such a thing? And we're not talking about a toddler even.

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 15-Oct-10 08:48:13

We bought this for our TV:

www.safetots.co.uk/Safety-Essentials/Living-Area-S afety/Furniture-Straps/c1_18_20/p2568/-babydan-ant i-tip/product_info.html

Its for flat screen TVs though. Its worked really well and was easy to install

mamatomany Fri 15-Oct-10 08:52:55

My advice is don't leave leave them tbh, all the baby proofing in the world and they will find something to hurt themselves with.
My plan is basically not to put him down until he's 5

sarah293 Fri 15-Oct-10 08:56:04

Message withdrawn

FlipFantasia Fri 15-Oct-10 09:41:25

Haven't read the thread but Riven flat screen TVs are much lighter/unstable and therefore easier to pull or knock down than CRT TVs so this seems a valid concern to me.

Having said that, we're just planning to do the old chair/foot rest in front of it and keeping an eye on him when he's in the living room (which is possible in our open-plan tiny flat).

sarah293 Fri 15-Oct-10 09:43:45

Message withdrawn

FlipFantasia Fri 15-Oct-10 09:51:56

Riven grin.

Right, sounds like DS is waking up!

APixieInMyTea Fri 15-Oct-10 11:07:05

Didn't do anything really.

We have open plan lounge kitchen diner so we have a gate going across the kitchen but that's more so I can drink a cup of tea and cook dinner in peace.

Never had an accident here.

My friend had every possible piece of safety equipment possible and she's been to a&e at least 4 times for each of her 2 kids in the last 6 months alone.

cory Fri 15-Oct-10 12:12:17

We moved sofa in front of record player, but really more to protect record player than dcs. Stairgate in living room so we could use that as giant playpen. Dd knocked 2 1/1 teeth out on that stairgate <ouch>

Otherwise very little. We did visit a&e frequently but only for accidents that safety equipment wouldn't have helped with anyway- like falling and bashing head on wall.

missslc Fri 15-Oct-10 12:16:52

Thanks- loads of useful suggestions. We are going to box up all the books he is pulling off the bookshelf and just garage them. He will not even go in a cot never mind a play pen. I tend to stay with him most of the time but sometimes( open plan) if he is playing happily will nip into the kitchen and prep up bits of dinner. I need to stop this or somehow make the sitting room like a giant playpen, which may not be possible!! He is into everything. Last night he worked out how to get off the bed, by pushing his feet off and lowering himself( I was hovering). It is like living with a member of cirque du soleil suddenly.

nikki1978 Fri 15-Oct-10 12:18:20

Well I have never baby proofed anything in my life and my two DCs are still here to tell the tale. I have my flatscreen on the wall now but never would have found it a problem before when it was on a stand (it was attached to the stand with something).

I'm sure a local tv shop can suggest something.

Catilla Fri 15-Oct-10 12:19:20

We used wide velcro strips to hold our TV from being pulled over...
About 2 inches wide, from DIY store. Glue one half onto TV, other part onto back/underside of table, join together... hey presto. If the overlap is several inches long it would take a lot to undo it by pulling in the direction along its length, and it can be black/not too noticeable.
HTH

Tee2072 Fri 15-Oct-10 12:19:32

Welcome to toddlerhood!

My toddler goes into a playpen. He cries, but that's too bad for him. I need him safe when I'm in the loo/cooking dinner/taking 5 minutes to breath. And he only cries for about 3 minutes and then some playpen only toy catches his attention and he's happy.

So I will never understand 'he won't go in a cot never mind a playpen.'

What stops him?

Octaviapink Fri 15-Oct-10 14:04:50

AIBU to think babyproofing is just an excuse to be able to leave your child alone?

ComeScareWithMe Fri 15-Oct-10 14:07:42

hmm Octavia I think it is more of a case of babyproofing so you can keep your baby safe while you do things like um have a crap,answer the phone or prepare dinner.

geogteach Fri 15-Oct-10 14:25:19

Old style tv's are not safer, DH (pediatrician) was involved in an investigation after a child died having pulled one over. My DH is nor generally terribly safety conscious but that shook him up and we got a new flat screen after that.

Wow. I never did any baby proofing. And I used to leave her on her own in another room if she was happy for me to do so. Never an accident.

I don't think I'll start now. Too much stress grin

Octaviapink Mon 18-Oct-10 13:51:32

Agree with NormalityBites!

FleurDelacour Mon 18-Oct-10 14:21:54

I remember toddler proofing: we had some sticky up bits on a fireplace that could have taken someone's eye out so I cut into two yellow tennis balls and placed them over. Not the most attractive solution, but cheap and effective.

We fixed some door handles to open up instead of down so baby couldn't get through until she was a bit older.

I put child locks on a few cupboards but deliberately left others so the stuff (eg saucepans) could be pulled out.

Watch out for Christmas trees that can be pulled over or decorations that can be broken/eaten. It is quite effective to put the tree in the playpen. Obviously not when the toddler is in there grin.

Also watch out for resourceful toddlers climbing on the toilet then reaching things on a high shelf (like I did as a LO- with resultant stomach pumping in A and E, my mother was distraught).

Garden ponds need covering with very strong mesh or filling in.

Be very careful if skipping ropes are taken near swings, slides or climbing frames (risk of strangulation- and I know someone who this happened to sad).

I remember the constant effort to be one step ahead with my two. Not easy.

Remember- more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else. Your house should be safe for everyone not just your toddler. It is so easy to be complacent and to take risks at home. Please take precautions and have first aid supplies in, fire detectors installed and fire extinguishers handy (in the kitchen or near open fires).

LBsmum Mon 18-Oct-10 14:28:13

we recently purchased on line a strap for a flat screen tv that fixs the tv to stand, it was sold as a device to protect your tv from falling in an earthquake - so hopefully child -proof

We turned down the water temperature on the water heater. This was in case one of the twins grabbed the hot tap and turned it on while in the bath.

We also rearranged the book shelves so that there was a large gap between the first and second shelves so they couldn't be used as a ladder.

We tied up all blind cords as children have managed to strangle themselves in them.

We had a dead bolt installed high up on the front door and put closet locks high up on the guest room and closet doors. I have heard several stories of children getting out of a house and going halfway down the street before their absence was noticed.

It is a good idea to teach them the concept of 'freeze' early on. Our Kindermusik teacher taught it using a sort of musical statue game.

Another useful rule is that the only things to go in the toilet are poo, pee and toilet paper. We had toilet locks too, having heard (many times) the story of my sister trying to flush a much despised outfit down the toilet and the resulting plumbing expenses.

mathanxiety Mon 18-Oct-10 19:44:06

Can't really talk, as DD1 drank bleach, DS electrocuted himself by putting a staple in an outlet (in the US), and rode his little plastic car down the same flight of ten outside stairs twice in one weekend, DD2 let herself out the front door and ran off to the local park unbeknownst to me at age 3, DD3 was a climber of bookcases who was utterly fascinated by the TV, and DD4 fell down the stairs twice in the same day while a crawler/walker, resulting in a trip to the emergency room and questions from the doctors such as, 'Who was looking after the baby?' and, 'Where were the gates?'

Frrrrightattendant Mon 18-Oct-10 19:56:50

We keep our TV on the floor, that way it can't fall off anything. It just sits in an alcove, the fireplace etc. It's a CRT.

If you have it on a wooden table perhaps it could go towards the back of the table.

Kids tend to be obsessed with one thing at a time, get bored with it after a week and move on. You get a feeling for when the dangerous phase has passed, say with sockets, or the loo or whatever.

Stop worrying so much, it's unlikely anything dreadful will happen to your child, maybe a minor knock or two - it's inevitable.

hidingunderthecovaarrrggghh Mon 18-Oct-10 20:05:14

I wouldn't go bonkers with childproofing. I found it easier to childproof one room totally (DS's bedroom) so I had a place I could leave him for more than a few seconds (to have a shower, go to the toilet, hang the washing out).

In the other rooms i did the minimum (cupboard lock on under-sink cupboard for instance, gate on stairs). For everything else I just keep my eyes and ears open - mainly for worrying silences that means some trouble is underway!

Morloth Mon 18-Oct-10 20:25:58

I find lots "No!" the most effective form of babyproofing. Also tossing them in their cot if you need to do something when they will be alone works a treat.

They don't always like it very much but they get over it.

TrinityRhino Mon 18-Oct-10 20:31:40

I just had a playpen and taught them no

else how can you go to other peoples houses?

ray81 Mon 18-Oct-10 21:27:45

I never childproofed and my DD1 is 8, the only accidents we had were hot tea (my Fault) and a fall down the stairs again my fault for leaving gate open. With everything else i just taught no and moved her away from whatever it was she was doing. Childrens minds are like sponges they learn very quickly. I found this helped when we went to others houses as she knew what she could and couldnt do.

DD2 is 5 months and i wont be doing too much childproofing other then stairgates and a lock for the cupboard under the sink. If i need to so something that requires me to leave her i will put her in cot to play.

FanjoKazooie Wed 20-Oct-10 13:37:23

Old style tv is much worse. MIL broke her leg when one fell on her, thank god it was her leg and not a toddlers head.

frikadela Fri 22-Oct-10 00:21:55

Best advice is to teach them no and to expect to have the odd accident. My young cousins (both toddlers) have the most baby proofed house of anyone I have ever met yet both have been in A&E countless times for bumps and bangs. And neither can be trusted in other peoples houses as its like an aladdins cave of things they cant touch in their own house.

Appletrees Fri 22-Oct-10 00:36:17

I would say, those door things at the top of doors to stop them closing.

Also I would say, teach your child how to go up and down stairs as early as possible, even before they can walk. It doesn't mean you don't need stairgates but it's an important extra precaution.

Appletrees Fri 22-Oct-10 00:37:11

And the sockets. A baby who is only rolling can get fingers in a socket. You can't have too many socket covers.

camflower Sun 24-Oct-10 08:14:38

I was Reading this lying in bed bfing ds and worrying about how dangerous my house was when I dropped my iPhone on his head and made him cry blush

My MIL told me the other week how SIL had pulled their TV onto herself when she was little and how we should bolt ours to the stand. LO had until that point shown no interest in touching the TV and MIL is known to exaggerate, so I told her we didn't need to. Then literally about a week later dd started to go up to the TV and pull herself up on the stand, so I'm reading this thread with interest.

I think we're just going to push the TV (flat screen) to the back of the stand so she can't reach it and see how much interest she then shows in it and think about maybe bolting it down. We already bought a door for the stand (good old Ikea wink) so she can't get to the DVD etc.

We don't have any socket covers or anything really other than a stairgate on the kitchen. Not that I mind her being in the kitchen, but it's up a step and round the corner from the TV and before it went up I caught her hanging off the edge of the step craning her neck to watch the TV - so it's more to stop her falling out...

MumAtVineCottage Thu 16-May-13 13:23:42

When we lived in Australia there was a safety brand called Dreambaby that made all sorts of stuff to keep the home safe and it wasn't expensive. We used their TV Straps to secure our flat screen TV to the TV cabinet, it was very reassuring to know it could not tip. I have noticed that you can now get this product here in England. Hope this helps.

Manchesterhistorygirl Thu 16-May-13 13:25:12

My friend in LA has her flat screen on the wall, I actually visited when it was being done and that was an earthquake proof method apparently. Failing that bolt the bugger to the stand and floor.

ZangelbertBingeldac Thu 16-May-13 13:29:36

"And the sockets. A baby who is only rolling can get fingers in a socket. You can't have too many socket covers."

I disagree with this. Socket covers can make plugs MORE unsafe than not having them.

OP, we have a flatscreen TV on a wooden TV stand and we bought a bracket that is screwed on to the tv stand which means the TV can't be pulled over. I wouldn't let DH bring the flatscreen TV into the house without one of these.

pooka Thu 16-May-13 13:31:03

Don't get socket covers. They are actually more dangerous.

www.fatallyflawed.org.uk

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 16-May-13 13:32:12

This is odd. I just spend time with the kids and say NO an awful lot. They learn fast.

Pagwatch Thu 16-May-13 13:35:44

This is a thread from 2010 MumAtVineCottage.

I don't expect the op needs the advice anymore. Her child is probably at uni.

You don't have any connection to the company you mention do you?

pooka Thu 16-May-13 13:36:43

Pah. Didnt realise was zombie thread and possible ad to boot.

Rotary washing lines are another strangulation hazard, in the lowered position, either leave them up permanently, put a cover on or put it in the shed when not in use.

Cloverer Thu 16-May-13 13:50:45

What is odd, Wishi?
Huge flatscreen TVs are a pretty new feature in most homes and much easier to pull over than CRTs, so definitely worth thinking about.

MinimalistMommi Sat 18-May-13 10:43:38

The was a hole on the base of our TV stand attached to the Sony TV, we drilled a hole into our wooden TV stand that TV sits on and actually screwed TV into it so there was no chance of it being pulled over.

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