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AIBU to pull husband up on his attitude to our toddler's safety?

(98 Posts)
stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 16:15:59

I have to keep asking him to keep the kitchen and bathroom doors shut to prevent our daughter (just turned 2) from being in there unattended and endangering herself.

He gets very cross when I mention it and says that he always watches her, but he doesn't. Often when I'm having a break and he is supposedly in charge I discover him being lax about safety. Here are some examples:

1) several times he has left the kitchen door open when there are scissors and knives on the worktop.

2) He often forgets to close the safety catch on the cupboard under the sink where all the cleaning products, bleach etc are stored.

3) He went out of the room and left her to sit unattended at the table which had a candle burning inside a hurricane lamp. At least the candle was covered, but our little girl could have burnt her fingers on the glass. At the time I was running a bath for myself and he had said he would look after her, then I came back into the room and saw him leaving her unattended.

I just think it's so simple to agree to keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed so that if someone forgets to put away knives, cleaning fluid, whatever, at least our little girl can't get in. But you'd think I was asking for some enormous and unreasonable favour, judging by the reaction I got.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 16:45:55

Tee2072 grin you could be onto something.

bobbywash Thu 27-Jun-13 16:49:50

I trust you have also warned DD that she musn't open cupboards, or reach up or touch things, I know at age 2 their understanding is limited but the basics should be clear to her.

Dont theink DH is being too unreasonable, but it should be a joint effort to get things right

littleomar Thu 27-Jun-13 16:54:03

My dh fell out of a train with ds1 in buggy when he was 2. I didn't pick him up on his attitude. He didn't mean to and he was hurt too.

HeySoulSister Thu 27-Jun-13 16:54:16

When you came downstairs whilst running your bath, what did you do? Had you drained the water or left the tub full?

PiHigh Thu 27-Jun-13 16:56:29

confused I must be a slack parent! We've never had safety locks on the cupboards, no stairgates fit our stairs and we don't even have a door on the kitchen grin

OTOH I do agree that he should be watching her when he says he will.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 16:58:00

Well, she does understand the boundaries, but sometimes gets a very naughty grin on her face when she knows she shouldn't be doing something, so I don't feel too confident. She knows what the boundaries are, but doesn't really care about them.

I just want to take sensible safety precautions around the house, and not feel that I'm being a nag when I ask him to make the effort too. What is so bad about having a rule that we keep sharp things and chemicals out of reach, and keep doors shut? Does anyone else have a DH like this??

HeySoulSister Thu 27-Jun-13 16:58:01

You can't rely on doors being closed.... Visitors, the wind etc etc...

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 17:00:53

We live in a small flat, so if the bathroom door is open I can see the bath from all rooms of the house.
I don't think I understand your point, but thank you for commenting anyway confused

HeySoulSister Thu 27-Jun-13 17:03:55

So you can't get distracted and take your eyes off the bath full of water for a minute??

No need to thank me for posting! It's a public forum....

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 17:04:47


MatersMate Thu 27-Jun-13 17:04:49

a hurricane lamp on the same table as a toddler is madness anyway, would take a split second.

why aren't the knives away, and cleaning products up high?

Honestly not being snarky op,I get what you're saying, but it would make for fat less worry if her getting these things didn't rely on xyz.

I feel down a flight of concrete steps with dd recently after stupidly trying to pull suitcase and hold her hand, shit happens.

ZipItShrimpy Thu 27-Jun-13 17:04:53

I think heysoulsister just means that you can't rely on a door being closed to prevent them from getting into mischief. Doors can blow open, be accidently be opened or be opened by the child. The danger itself needs to be removed from reach/locked away.

NatashaBee Thu 27-Jun-13 17:06:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 17:13:30

Sorry, I think people have misunderstood - the scissors and knives are kept up high, but DH uses them, forgets to put them away, leaves them within easy reach of the LO then leaves the kitchen door open. Likewise the cleaning products are locked away but he opens the cupboard door, forgets to close it then leaves the kitchen door open. This thread is about what I should do to make him realise that they have to be kept out of our toddler's reach.

ZipItShrimpy Thu 27-Jun-13 17:19:21

Well, I think you need to show him that site I linked to and explain that basic common sense has to be the main part of his parenting approach towards safety. Maybe the reality check of seeing the stats on how many children are injured or killed might help.

However, if he doesn't really have much common sense and can't see the dangers in front of him then it's going to be much harder to deal with.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 17:24:33

Well he's very intelligent (graduated with an Oxbridge first) but not very practical, so it's hard! I think that link will be very useful, thank you ZipIt.

ShadowStorm Thu 27-Jun-13 19:01:46


If your DH is looking after your DD, he should be making sure that he's tidied dangerous things away.

The posters saying that you should make sure sharp / poisonous / etc things are put out of reach or locked away out of DC's reach are right, of course, but if your DH keeps forgetting to put things safely away where they should be, all the high cupboards in the world won't help.

And I'd personally not be using candles at all with a small DC is up and about, whether there's a hurricane lamp involved or not.

Showing him stuff like on ZipIt's link might help him to realise that this isn't just you being overprotective or whatever.

Hasitfallendownagain Thu 27-Jun-13 19:12:17

I shouldn't imagine you'll have long before she can open doors anyway - my just turned 2 year old has been able to open doors for a while, so I'd look for another way of making it safer.

DontcallmeSteven Thu 27-Jun-13 19:21:00

YANBU but I have no idea what you can do. If your husband is unable to see that leaving knives and scissors in reach of unsupervised two year olds then that's a worry.

JedwardScissorhands Thu 27-Jun-13 19:24:48

On the fence. Yes, he should supervise her. However, who keeps their kitchen and bathroom doors permanently closed. Really? You would be better teaching your child what is off limits. They do understand, even at that age, if you keep saying "ouch, hot, don't touch", or whatever is appropriate for the hazard in question. I have three and they have all understood what is "just for grown ops" or "dangerous" etc well before 2.

Helpyourself Thu 27-Jun-13 19:37:13

The cleaning products are not safe there. It's irrelevant that she can't get at them with the cupboard closed when its often left open. confused
All toddlers learn to open safety catches anyway.
Move them up high.
Say to dh "look after dd properly. If she hurt herself because you've left knives out, or touches a burning candle, that wouldn't be an accident- it's preventable and you're being negligent. It's also unfair on me as I can't trust you not to keep her safe; its exhausting having to ensure you're not putting her at risk."
DH was a little like this. I had everything I could out of reach. One time after he took toddler dd out the car and put her wobblily standing in the road while he got her pushchair out, I said 'always get the stuff out then dd. if she gets killed because you're faffing about after you've got her out of the car seat, that's not an accident, that's your mistake.'

My DH was a little bit like it as well to be honest, not this bad, but he did seem to think they'd learn from experience which is fine for things like touching radiators but I had to point out that some things were worse than others and you don't get a chance to learn from drinking bleach - even if it's highly unlikely you just can't take that chance. Bleach is still kept on a very high shelf now the DCs are 9 and 7.

lljkk Thu 27-Jun-13 20:02:52

I think you are PFB about the candle in the glass.
The knives-scissors are a minor thing. She must already know they are sharp.*
The chemicals would scare me, I'd harp on that one.

DS2 loves fruit, he once woke me up with a big apple in his hands and a very sharp knife he had carried up stairs at around age 2.5yo <<Shudder>>.

ShadowStorm Thu 27-Jun-13 20:11:10

I don't agree about the knives / scissors being a minor thing.

You can tell a DC that knives / scissors are sharp, but can you really expect a 2 yr to properly understand what that means, unless they've cut themselves on something before?

chandellina Thu 27-Jun-13 20:12:45

Yanbu, it's a very dangerous age. My dh has been shutting our 18 month old in a room with her 4 (almost 5) year old brother while he takes long showers. Ds often opens the door and dd could wander anywhere in the house. Fine for a few minutes but not an extended period of time.

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