So, you have children, they start moving around, you childproof the house, everyone goes about their business in safely padded bliss, right? Right? Wrong.
Child safety fittings are out to get us. Child safety fittings are frankly dangerous. I have evidence.
1. Drawer latches
You know, the ones that let the drawer open just enough for the children to trap their little fingers in them. Repeatedly. Because they don’t learn.* You see, they believe the next time will be the time they get the drawer open and don’t just trap their fingers. They have faith. They have determination. They don’t have common sense. Or any survival instinct.
Still, at least they can’t get anything out of the drawer, right? Right. As long as everything in the drawer is at the very back of the drawer. Ridiculously, The Toddler and The Baby like to prise open the living room drawer as far as the latch will allow, fish around as far as they can reach, and pull out…the spare child safety latches that were left in the drawer.
2. Child gates
In fairness, these have worked pretty well so far. Once places they would actually fit were identified. And the entire house had been remodelled to make the places they would actually fit useful places to have child gates. And the error of having a gate with a death trap/step over bar at the top of the stairs had been rectified.
It should, however, be noted that child gates are at their most effective for containment of grandparents, not children.
3. Padding for furniture corners and edges
Unless you bubble wrap all of your furniture, there will be parts left unpadded. Those are the parts children bang their heads on.
As for the places where there are pads? Removing those pads is the single-minded relentless goal of any toddler. And it will be achieved. Ultimately, those ‘protective’ pads will not prevent damage to little heads, but they will cause damage to furniture when forcibly removed by little hands.
Plus, of course, the children will take themselves out on the coffee table having tripped whilst tearing towards the coffee table because they have spotted padding to remove.
4. Fridge latches
Fridge latches can withstand five attempts to open the fridge without undoing the latch because you have forgotten there is a latch. Then they fall off.
5. Plug covers
There appears to be some contention as to whether plug covers are necessary or even should be used. They are effective at stopping children getting to the plug sockets, however. They stop adults getting to the plug sockets too. Have you ever tried to remove one of those things? If you need to use a plug socket you have put a cover into, I suggest you install a new set of sockets. It’s easier.
Furthermore, plug covers seem to deal with a largely unnecessary issue. Children are not that interested in empty plug sockets. Children are interested in plug sockets with plugs in them. Playing with empty sockets is much less disruptive to the functioning of the house than randomly unplugging every household appliance. And you just can’t superglue your plugs into sockets, you know. Apparently, it’s not safe.
6. The items that are never included
Fully stocked with these impractical/hazardous ‘safety’ solutions, I have noticed that the safety kits never have anything to improve the safety of two of the most dangerous household objects.
Cushions. Cushions are very dangerous. Children use them to climb. This is not sensible. Cushions make for precarious step ladders. Furthermore, children believe cushions make throwing themselves on the floor from a height safer. That’s true, actually. They also believe they will land on the cushions. Less true. What ingenious solution do child safety kits offer for dealing with the hazards posed by these deadly household items? Nothing, that’s what. How have they all missed this gap in the child safety market?
Nor do they address the threat children pose to one another. Children are very dangerous to each other. They never look where they’re going. But do these kits ever supply padding to stick on the children? No, they do not. Never mind the corners of tables, what about when The Toddler collides with the hard edge of The Baby’s forehead?
Therein lies the problem, if you ask me. We are trying to childproof houses. We should be childproofing children. My innovative new child safety kits will include mittens, superglue for feet, and forehead padding.