Today’s hint, one more of the childproofer’s tips, is to childproof areas you don’t want your child going to by creating a nearby distraction that will keep them occupied.
For instance, while the professional babyproofer said we could further childproof our fireplace by sticking a beanbag in it, he liked that we had set up a play area right on the hearth with a ton of our daughter’s toys. The toys, he said, were likely to distract our daughter and keep her from climbing into the fireplace.
Similarly, to help keep our daughter from trying to jump out of the windows near her play area, he suggested putting a large difficult-to-climb toy storage area in front of the windows. This, he said, should distract her away from the windows themselves.
Finally, in our kitchen, he liked that we had transformed our wine bottle cubbyholes into a play area for our daughter (see the image above) with her toys and kitchen item non-toy toys (like measuring cups). This kitchen play area, he said, was likely to help distract our daughter away from other more dangerous spots in the room.
To be sure, this distraction method is no replacement for supervision and for other necessary childproofing steps like securing cabinets and dangerous items.
Still, just like distraction can come in handy as a method for disciplining your young child and snapping him or her out of a temper tantrum, it’s also a handy and cheap childproofing trick. Others advocate the distraction method as well. BabyCenter, for instance, suggests setting aside a kitchen cabinet for your baby “that’s not too close to the stove and oven” and filling it with “safe but interesting objects,” making sure to “change the contents occasionally” to help “keep your baby happily distracted” from opening other cabinets.
How have you used the notion of distraction to childproof? What are other cheap childproofing tricks you recommend?