With increased working from home, the homeoffice is now becoming an ever more familiar part of our lifestyles.
It can bring with it though some special hazards for toddlers and their prying fingers!
For at least 60 years technologists have been promising us the end of cables but notwithstanding the wonders of WIFI, they’re still with us. That can mean tripping and even strangulation hazards for young children.
Fortunately, the fix is usually easy. Don’t drape cables over chairs, string them between items above ground level or have reels of spare cable lying around ‘just in case’.
Instead, run them in long stretches together, bind them together with cable tidies and then box them in with some ducting secured to the floor or skirting boards etc.
Hopefully, the risks here are self-evident and be sceptical about manufacturers’ ‘finger proof’ claims.
Keep them locked away.
You’re perhaps more likely to have a multi-socket gang in your office than in other parts of the house.
So, protect plug sockets as usual with caps and lock your gang away. Electrical devices like PCs and printers should also, ideally, be stored in lockable cabinets.
Kids of a certain age will try and climb anything, with those free-standing storage shelves full of paperwork looking really tempting.
Serious accidents can result, so make sure all racks and shelves are secured to walls etc.
Almost any A&E department will confirm that kids are capable of turning these items into disabling or even lethal weapons.
Smaller items like paper clips and erasers can easily be swallowed, inserted into ears or up noses. Toddlers running with pencils and pens are a serious injury waiting to happen. Staplers can be another type of problem. Most of us also wouldn’t like to think of our children biting into that sweetie which is, in reality, a felt marker pen.
Scissors, pins and paperknives – say no more.
The solution here is to keep all these items in a locked desk or other such drawer. Don’t just assume your child won’t be able to reach them – kids can be ingenious.
It’s fairly common to see chairs on casters for use around a home office.
They may be practical but they’ll also look like hilarious fun to a toddler and given half the chance, they’ll be on them playing away – right until the moment they fall off head-first.
Best to avoid this type of chair if you can or if you can’t, find a way of securing it.
If kids can reach it, they’re likely to try and pull it down for a look-see.
In truth, the risks here are probably more to your wallet than your child but even so, keep laptops locked away.
The office door
The obvious universal solution to all of these problems is to have a lockable door to your office to secure it away. You’ll need to be disciplined in using it though or your toddler will be in there in the blink of an eye.
If you go this route, try to remember to take your child in regularly and supervised. It’ll help demystify the room and that might help forestall at least some of their intrusion efforts!