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11 Baby Proofing General Issues


This article is from the Baby Proofing FAQ, by Sandra Smith, sandra@cs.toronto.edu with numerous contributions by others.

11 Baby Proofing General Issues

From: Mike Fields, The Boeing Co., MMST, Seattle, Wa.

First, it is important to realize that there is no such thing as
"child proof" (adult proof yes, but it can't stop a child!). The
best thing to do is get down on your hands and knees, crawl around the
house looking for anything you can to hurt yourself with. It's
amazing the things you can find down at that level!! There are
a number of books out which cover a lot of this stuff. If you can
find it, the "Childwise Catalog" is pretty good. As our
pediatrition told us at our son's 1 year checkup "you have done a good
job of raising him so far, however, for the second year, your job
changes. It becomes one of suicide prevention!" He wasn't kidding!!


I got the childwise catalog over at walden books, however, it is several years
old, and many places don't seem to carry it. Try calling the larger book stores
in your area. One thing we did that has worked well for us - we have a raised
hearth on our woodstove (brick). I put that polyfoam pipe insulation you can
get for protecting pipes from freezing over the edges (cut a 90 degree section
out so it fits the edge. You can glue it on or whatever works for you. It also
works well on the legs of our 80 gallon aquarium - provides a reasonable amount
of padding. I built a stereo cabinet in the corner of the living room that
hinges out on a piece of water pipe. This allows me to have easy access to
the back and yet when it is closed, little hands can not reach anything!!
Works great. The other thing I have done for some wires (aquarium etc) is to
use that white 2 inch PVC pipe used for built in vacs. I run the wires thru
that with the 90 degree fitting on the end over the outlet. Keeps the busy
little hands elsewhere (and into other trouble I might add ;-) ). One last
thing that I did was to drill several holes in the upper track of the sliding
glass door which go thru the top edge of the door with a 1/4 inch drill. I then
made a "pin" from a piece of 1/4 inch steel (a bolt would work). By proper
choice of location, I can pin the door closed (providing additional security),
5 inches open (ventilation) or all the way open. This allows you some
ventilation while at the same time, the little ones can not get their fingers
crunched in the door!


Yesterday (1-6-92) on a local station (KOMO) there was a show called
"Northwest Afternoon" (60min). They were talking to parents who had
either lost children due to drowning, poisoning or had had close calls.
There were some scary things that were brought up I thought I would
mention for the benifit of the net. One child was essentially a
vegatable due to baby oil!! When he was 17 mo?, he drank a bottle
of baby oil (mineral oil). No one was too worried at the time, however,
within the hour, his breathing became irregular etc. Turns out he
had apparently coughed and inhaled some into his lungs. By the time
they got him stable, he was a vegatable due to brain damage - very sad
to see. The Dr. on the show mentioned the fact that if they eat a
whole tube of toothpaste, it is possible to get a lethal dose of
flouride. They also had several people who had lost their children
on a waterbed, and drowning in a tub with just a few inches of water.
They stressed the importance of knowing what to do for a choking
infant (face down on your leg with their head protruding past your
knee - three sharp slaps with your open hand in the middle of their
back, then listen for sounds of breathing). One woman had almost lost
her daughter when she choked on a piece of carrot which lodged in
her windpipe - the child was ok, but it took surgical measures to
remove the carrot. Peanuts were mentioned as the worst for kids, since
if they are inhaled, they will lodge in the lung and breakup. This may
require removal of part of the lung to get!! They also mentioned
draino (lye crystals) - if a child eats some, DON'T give them water -
it activates the stuff!! Call poison control IMMEDIATLY!!!

That is all I can remember (I missed the first 1/2 of the show), but
it was spooky listening to the people talk about the baby oil etc (they
sued Johnson and Johnson and only partially won - they got money, but
J & J would not put a warning on the label which is what they really
wanted to have to prevent others from the same thing (It was sad - they
had both boys there - they were twins - the "ok" one was alert,
interactive and really a nice little boy - the one that got the oil
obviously had no idea even where he was :-( )


Greetings misc.kidders! I just found this little item in rec.woodworking
where a discussion has been going on about making things for kids/babies.
The issue it addresses is a key to us all!!

> From: bl528@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ken Meinken)
> Subject: Children's furniture - URGENT!
> Date: 28 Feb 92 15:21:19 GMT
> Organization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, (USA)

> Recently there have been a number of messages in the newsgroup
> regarding children's furniture and suggesting that items like
> toyboxes are more useful, along with a warning about safe design
> to prevent falling lids from banging fingers, etc.


> I used to be a volunteer EMT. One of my early life squad runs was
> on a young child (put to bed for a nap) who got out of bed and
> crawled into the toy box and fell asleep there. He never awoke.
> Despite our CPR efforts and the hospital's efforts, he could not
> be revived.

> Although its been 15 years and a thousand other emergency runs have
> come and gone, I still shudder every time I see an unventilated
> toy box in a store.

> Ken

at our son's 1 year checkup, the Dr. told us that our job had changed- it
had gone from simply taking care of a baby to suicide prevention! He
wasn't kidding!!

Hope this helps even 1 child!!


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