Adventures in Childproofing

Posted August 19, 2010 by

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When I was growing up, we had a beagle who liked to get into everything. He’d open the kitchen cabinet every day to rifle through the garbage. If food was left on the table, it was not safe from his hungry stomach. Anything left out had a chance of being eaten or slobbered upon.  He even got into a whole bowl of chocolate. My mom was certain that would be the end of him, but he just left her a nasty present later that day. But through all of his craziness, we never dog-proofed the house.

When my son E was a baby, we bought childproofing devices with the intent of using them. However, he kept to himself and all we needed were some gates to protect him from falling down the stairs or getting into the kitchen.  There was only one time when we forgot to block the stairs and that was the time he attempted to walk down them and fell instead. I almost had a heart attack, but a slice of cheese was all he needed to feel better.

And then came my next son, M. Since M became a toddler, we’ve had to cover our electrical outlets, install safety locks on our cabinets, and put all unsafe objects and electronics out of his reach. I’ve recently had to put a guard on his doorknob to keep him from potentially wandering around the house if he didn’t want to go to sleep. It was also to keep him from locking himself into his room. This hasn’t stopped him from getting into everything else though. We found him in his room one afternoon with all the contents of his “junk drawer” (which I thought he couldn’t reach) strewn all over the room and his carpet as an artwork canvas. Luckily, the marker came out. However, I didn’t know how to put the safety lock on his drawer (my dad is the one who installed everything in the kitchen), so I just taped the entire thing shut with a big strip of packing tape.  It looks tacky, but it works. Then he managed to wrangle off the door guard and lock himself into his room. Again, packing tape to the rescue.  I also cannot leave him to his own devices when it comes to bath time. He knows how to turn on the faucets (burn risk right there) and he is able to get in and out of the tub himself (even at the risk of slipping). He also manages to drink some bath water every time, even if he’s just sneaking it off the washcloth.

I guess having a beagle prepared me for being a mother, except I haven’t found garbage strewn all over the kitchen. However, M is very curious about what is in the garbage can…..


Melissa A. and her husband have 2 young sons, E and M, and a new baby daughter. Melissa's son E has hearing loss and wears a cochlear implant. Melissa works as an administrative assistant for a non-profit and also runs a bullying prevention group and a book-related fan group, in addition to blogging for Empowering Parents. You can check out Melissa’s personal blog here.

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  1. Kyle (Edit) Report

    I also found that having to “puppy proof” an apartment was good training for childproofing. I wasn’t around many small children growing up so I was a little surprised at what little hands could manage to get into.

  2. Brittany Roshelle (Edit) Report

    This is a great article. Many people talk about “baby proofing” and what is really needed is Childproofing when they are old enough to do something about their curiosity!

    I especially like the difference between the two children. My siblings and I were so different from each other growing up!



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