Childproof Your Home Office

Filed under Career Resources, Work-at-Home Parents

When childproofing your home, don’t forget your home office!

childproof your home officeIn an ideal world your home office would be a distraction-free zone, completely impervious to curious little fingers. But this is the real world and “distraction-free” isn’t part of a child’s vocabulary. Keep your home office child-friendly with these tips:

Oust the ouchies! When it’s time to work, your home office says, “This is where productivity happens,” but when it comes to children, your home office screams “Accidents waiting to happen!”

Keep your kids safe from easily avoidable accidents by instituting these childproofing plans:

• Trim window blind cords or install Child Safety Blinds
• Add guards pr cushions to sharp furniture corners, like these options from BabiesRUs
• Affix bookcases to your wall so that they cannot be pulled down or tipped over on top of your child
• Unplug your paper shredder and keep it away from the floor when not in use

Sweat the small stuff. Small home office supplies are the Vegas-caliber, flashing neon signs of choking hazards. Anything shiny, like paper clips and staples, are appealing to small children. Let’s not even think about colorful push pins and rubber bands that look like candy to kids. All of these items should be kept out of reach. Store small office supplies in a locking drawer or on a high shelf. Or both.

Do the electric slide. The plugged-in nature of telecommuting is an electric shock hazard for children curious about exploring your home office. Childproof your electrical outlets by using outlet covers that slide shut when a plug is removed. Try the KidCo Universal White Outlet Cover available at Bed Bath & Beyond or the Mommy’s Helper Safe Plate Electrical Outlet Covers from Amazon.

Surgetastic. In addition to childproofing your electrical outlets, ensure your surge protectors are safe as well. Philips’ Surge Protector has the same automatic slide shut feature as the KidCo and Mommy’s Helper outlet covers. You can also purchase a childproof security case that fits over any standard one-row surge protector from My Precious Kid. These office gems prevent children from unplugging items in your surge protector.

Access denied. For particularly perilous parts of your home office, the only childproofing solution is to completely block access.

• Install a safety gate that stretches from your desk to the wall, to prevent your children from accessing your computer and other electronic devices, as well as their associated cables
• Add drawer and cabinet locks to your home office furniture
• Use a waste pail with a lid, like this simplehuman trash can with a slide lock

In addition to keeping your children safe, childproofing your home office will keep your productivity on track. Instead of worrying whether your child will bump her head on the corner of your desk or pull a bookcase down every time she sneaks in for a smooch, you can focus on your work. The faster you get your work done, the faster you can close up shop and enjoy some quality time with your kids.

We want to hear from you! Which of these childproofing tips will you implement first? Do you have additional ideas for home office childproofing?

image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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