Expert tips for childproofing home office, activity areas, and craft rooms. Includes tips for securing storage and keeping kids safe around laundry supplies.
Activity areas such as the laundry room, craft room, and home office are filled with fascinating and dangerous items and tools, so its critical to childproof these areas when your baby becomes mobile.
Childproofing a Laundry Room
Both its big, warm, and noisy appliances and its colorful detergent boxes attract small children to the laundry room. Detergents, starches, bleaches, cleansers, fabric softeners, and stain removers can all be toxic, so don’t leave any of these supplies sitting out on the washer or dryer. Be sure to wipe up any residue after use and dispose of empty containers in the outdoor trash.
For maximum safety, unplug the washer and dryer when not in use, always keep the washer lid and dryer door closed, and store mops, brooms, and other cleaning equipment in closed, safety-latched closets.
Iron with care. Wait until your child is napping, happy in a playpen, or otherwise unlikely to disturb you. All it takes is one small bump on the ironing board to send the heavy, hot iron tumbling down. A sturdy, built-in ironing board with a childproof latch on its cabinet door is the safest option.
Never leave the iron sitting on top of the ironing board or within a child’s reach, and never leave an iron plugged in. A better bet is a cordless iron that shuts off automatically should you forget to turn it off.
Put a lock on the laundry-room door or use doorknob sleeves. For times when your child keeps you company, or if the area does not have a door, a playpen is key to keeping baby safe.
Childproofing Craft Rooms
In craft and sewing rooms, keep spools, thimbles, needles, pins, scissors, and other paraphernalia locked or latched in drawers or cabinets. Instead of having to put everything away each time you stop working, it’s much easier to set aside a sewing area that can be locked away behind folding doors. Or purchase a sewing machine that shuts away in its own cabinet. When it’s not in use, unplug and cover the sewing machine.
Keep toxic or otherwise dangerous craft or hobby supplies well out of your child’s reach—or locked up. Read labels and use only with good ventilation.
Childproofing Home Office Areas
Home offices present an array of childproofing challenges. If it’s in reach, you just might find your baby chewing on the CD containing all of this year’s tax information. These tips will help with childproofing home office areas.
If your home office doesn’t have a door that can be locked, consider folding doors that can close off a desk or a classic roll-top desk so you can easily lock up your work when you leave.
Pencils, pens, erasers, paper clips, staples, rubber bands—anything that is sharp or toxic or small enough to go into baby’s mouth should be kept well away from small visitors.
Make sure that your telephone and its cord stay out of baby’s reach. Route electrical cords where your child can’t get to them.
Eliminate, hide, or tape down extension cords, and keep them unplugged and stored away when not in use. Cap or cover electrical outlets.
Put a lock on the door to these areas or use doorknob sleeves when these rooms are not in use. For times when your child keeps you company, or if the area does not have a door, a playpen is key to keeping baby safe.