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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.

GoIntoBusinessWithAGrizzlyBear Thu 27-Jun-13 20:31:59

u need to tak acshun init yo

keep dem dangeroushizzle fings out of da way

den u dont ned 2 worrie bout dem babba hurt demselves

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 20:33:52

Interesting replies, thank you.
Helpyourself said "DH was a little like this... he took toddler dd out the car and put her wobblily standing in the road while he got her pushchair out,"

Yes, I can relate to that. My husband doesn't do that now, but he used to. He does learn eventually but it always feels like such a tortuous process, getting him to engage his brain about safety.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 20:40:13

I think you have misunderstood - the things are supposed to be kept where DD can't get them. The point is that my husband takes them out, uses them and leaves them around where she can get to them.

I started the thread to get suggestions about how to make DH wake up to the dangers around the house. Maybe I should ask for this to be moved to the relationships forum....

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 27-Jun-13 20:41:32

My 18 month old PFB can open doors, so I don't think it will be long before your LO can get anywhere she wants.

We let him in the kitchen and bathroom, and just reinforce a million bloody times that the oven is hot and we don't touch it. Same with plug sockets. We've got some brilliant magnetic cupboard locks (you need a magnetic key to open them) so we lock away all the cleaning products. We also lock the rest of the kitchen cupboard because he likes to swing on the rotundas and they aren't designed for his weight.

I sort of think that keeping a toddler out of a room constantly is just asking for trouble when they get curious and able to get in there themselves.

As far as general safety - I'm the lax parent here. I don't let him play with knives, but I do let him explore climbing on the table etc if he wants. But I keep an eye on him. Maybe go on a child first aid course, we did one and it's really eye opening.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 20:46:32

The child first aid course is a good idea - thank you.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 20:47:06

Have you ever tried what I suggested earlier? Actually asking him, in a calm moment, why he doesn't think these are things that DD needs to be protected from Why he doesn't see them as a risk?

Mind you, my friends DH is a very intelligent something-or-other engineer (hugely well paid and well thought of in his field) but not one jot of common sense. He lifted their 13 month old up to a platform about 6ft high (ladder one side, slide another side & a firemans pole on both other sides - their DD hates slides) and walked away, when questioned he really couldn't even see the problem with that???

teenagetantrums Thu 27-Jun-13 20:48:55

if you don't trust him not to let his child come to any harm don't leave her with him ever! if you do trust him just step back let him get on with it.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 20:55:14

Chipping - believe me I have tried doing that. The trouble is that whenever I raise safety issues, he gets worked up. When he's in that mood he just argues, then the next day he apologises and says that her safety is so important and says that he knows he can be careless and that his head is in the clouds. So then he's fine for a while, then he starts to lapse again.

Onetwo34 Thu 27-Jun-13 20:55:48

DH is like this. Leaves the teapot with the handle out over the side, full of boiling water, cooks on the front ring on the hob instead of the back when DC can reach the front flames... Just two kitchen examples!
He is that forgetful in other ways though. Including general safety things. sad
Leaves the back door slightly open all night after letting the cats out, leaves lights on downstairs all night, leaves the oven on all day after making something.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 27-Jun-13 21:14:35

you're asking for advice on how to change your husbands personality. As that's impossible, that's why noones giving you advice in it. So accept you can't change him and look to other ways to make things safer. Closing doors is ott imo. A 2 year old is old enough to understand what's not to be touched. Cleaning stuff can be put up high, and besides I be never really understood how a toddler could get the top off anyway. The knives st reachable height is a problem. Could you invest in one if those magnetic wall things do it's really simple to put the knife out of reach?

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 21:23:31

Arethereanyleftat all

No, the knives are kept out of reach; he just forgets to put them away.

I didn't make that clear enough in my OP and the thread is too long to be read all the way through, so people keep missing the bit where I clarify that.

I'm seeking advice from people who have felt that their partners don't take safety seriously enough, and there have been some helpful comments.
Re your point about "trying to change my husand's personality"...I don't think it's an inherent personality issue. It's just one of the many areas that have to be negotiated in a relationship, particularly when a child comes along. We have a lovely relationship mostly; this is pretty much the only thing we clash over.

My Dh is like it too, just does things (or doesn't) without thinking of the consequences. It is infuriating. Just little things like not bothering to use a coaster and not thinking about the furniture getting damaged. Or not checking the back door is locked before going out. Or leaving his phone in full view on the passenger seat of the car when it is parked. Things that seem like obvious precautions against mishap to me. I just keep telling him over and over and over and to be fair he takes it pretty well when I explain. We did have one fairly major "discussion" about safety when DS first got mobile, he really didn't think we needed to take any particular prcautions, so it has been me that has had to think of and make all the safety arrangements but he has always been fairly good at sticking to it all.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 27-Jun-13 21:32:26

I had meant in regard to putting the knives after he uses them, as I saw your clarification posts. What I meant was, if he uses them and forgets to put them away, what about one of those magnetic strips above the worktop where he uses them, as an immediate visual reference to put the knife back on it, out of dDS way.
Ok it might be dirty, but better than being within reach.

Sorry, that's just my story and no real advice, just a bit of i know how you feel. Spelling out the consequences and asking him to imagine how he would feel if he saw his child injured or worse because of his actions is probably the only way to get through to him. Or, stronger, how would he feel towards someone else whose negligence caused your DC to be injured. Or tell him that you are going to lock the knives away where he can't get at them either if he can't be trusted to behave like an adult with them. Or get his mum on side and get her to point out a few things maybe?

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 21:38:27

Thanks for the solidarity from the mnetters who have similar husbands!
Actually I feel very lucky with mine - this is really my only gripe about him.
But it's still annoying!
WhoKnows - I like the idea of a visual cue for him! Better than a big aggressive PUT THE KNIVES AWAY! sign on the wall....

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 21:41:53

Hmm, no, his mum is no better. Our little girl has a scar beside her eye from an injury which happened when MIL was babysitting 6 months ago. (it's faint now and hopefully will have disappeared by the time she starts school). My husband hasn't let MIL babysit unsupervised since, so it shows that he takes safety seriously, but just doesn't always think it applies to him.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 27-Jun-13 21:53:08

Would a photo of a knife wound above the workh top do the trick?!?

The visual cue thing wasn't me, but agree it is a good idea.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 21:59:35

Sorry, credit to arethereanyleft!

lillibet1 Thu 27-Jun-13 22:27:31

no lit candles or matches in our house when LO is awake unless there is a power cut and we are both sat with him. stair gate between kitchen and lounge all bathroom cleaning products in high up cupboard and even my monkey of a son has (yet) to have any problems

babybythesea Thu 27-Jun-13 22:39:42

Maybe one example from a family my mum knows.

Their little boy (aged nearly 2) found the cupboard where the cleaning stuff was kept at Grandma's house. She hadn't shut the door on it properly and no-one was with him for the two minutes it took him to get the bleach out, undo the 'child-proof' lid and drink a sizeable quantity of bleach. He survived that, but it burnt away a considerable portion of his wind pipe which left him with very weak lungs and poor breathing. He was always very susceptible to colds and flu etc, and at 7 years old, he caught a cold that he didn't recover from. He died after a few days in intensive care. They have never forgiven themselves for leaving bleach where he could get at it, and for taking their eyes off him.

stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 22:54:02

babybythesea sad

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 27-Jun-13 23:13:34

YANBU OP. You need to be able to trust your dh to keep you toddler safe.

There are a few very nasty stories on MN of the consequences of fathers not taking the safety of their toddlers seriously. V Nasty.

Oddly enough my mum used to drive me mad with her lackadaisical attitudes towards my v younger sisters growing up - but with my dc she is totally different because she recognises that I parent differently. She thinks I'm paranoid, I think I'm safe. She respects my wishes when the dc are in her care.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 27-Jun-13 23:19:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McGeeDiNozzo Fri 28-Jun-13 04:40:19

Any occupational therapists here? We've got to think of a workable system to get this sort of thing right. I am just as bad as your hubby, and worry that when DD reaches toddling age my terminal forgetfulness and disorganisation will mean she ends up face down beside a railway track, buggy wheels spinning in the wind while I sob uncontrollably into my cagoule.

Anyway, I reckon there has to be a pre-agreed system in place with a physical reminder that that system is in place - like, a checklist taped to the fridge door or something. Otherwise it becomes this reactive game of 'Put that away!' 'Don't leave that there!' 'That shouldn't be there!', which is deeply annoying for both you and your husband.

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