Childproofing your home office

Consumer Reports News: December 29, 2009 05:08 AM

Kids love to explore every nook and cranny of your home—including the home office. Here are some handy childproofing measures you can take:

Anchor any furniture that’s on wheels. If furniture can move, your toddler will push against it and the next thing you know his legs will be out from under him. One good choice is to use those rubber coasters sold to protect floors from furniture feet. They capture the wheels to prevent them from moving. Just be sure they’re large enough not to be a choking hazard, and check periodically to be sure that they are securely fastened to the wheels and that no small pieces are loose.

Keep wires out of reach. In a home office, your computer, monitor, printer, and other devices may have resulted in a nest of wires beneath or behind your desk. You’ll want to keep those wires organized so you can tell which ones go where, but also so you can keep them out of your youngster’s reach to prevent her from trying to use them as a jump rope, or worse. (Learn more about the increase of computer-related injuries.) Also, use a covered power strip to keep your child away from the plugs and outlets.

Keep little hands out of your electronics. Make sure your children can’t get their hands inside any of those high-tech devices. Either keep your electronics in an enclosed cabinet or buy a guard that will prevent little hands from exploring them.

Install sliding outlet covers. Some caps designed to keep fingers out of outlets are small enough to be a choking hazard. A better idea is to replace your outlet covers with ones that incorporate a panel that automatically slides closed when you remove a plug. To use the outlet, you have to use the plug to align the holes in the sliding panel with the outlet holes. Another option is to use a device that fully covers the outlets, even when they are in use.

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