Working from home has allowed people to spend more time with their families. However, if you have children, you’ll want to be careful about them entering your workspace. A home office can be dangerous for your children if you don’t make the necessary arrangements. Childproofing your home office is a relatively simple process. As a result of your efforts, you can leave your children unsupervised for a minute or two in your office without worry. With that said, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to childproof your home office.
While childproofing predominantly keeps your children out of harm’s way, it can also prevent damage to your equipment. So, you can minimize disruptions to your work and potential costs due to repair.
Tips on How to Childproof Your Home Office
A home office can be a place of intrigue that your child may want to explore. So, they may look for opportunities to enter the room even if you’re present there. So, you should childproof the room as soon as possible. It can help to get onto the floor and view the room from your child’s perspective. This way, you’ll be able to better identify potential areas that are dangerous. For example, the table’s corner may be at their head level, which can cause injury if they crash into it.
So, here are some tips on childproofing your home office.
Keep Electronic Equipment on Tall Desks
It’s best to keep electronic equipment, such as a desktop computer or a laptop, on a tall desk. This way, your children won’t be able to reach it. A tower PC can be especially dangerous because it can fall onto your child. So, make sure not to keep it close to the edge of the desk.
Take Extra Precaution with Paper Shredders
At the same time, you should also keep paper shredders and printers on a tall shelf or desk. For obvious reasons, paper shredders are incredibly dangerous for your children. You should also make sure that your paper shredder is turned off and unplugged whenever it’s not in use. Your child may figure out how to turn it on if you leave it plugged in. It’s best to avoid using one in front of your child to avoid piquing their curiosity. Keep it in a locked bookcase when you’re not using it.
Keep All Cords Away
Electrical cords can be extremely dangerous in the hands of a child. If they bite or tear open a cord, the voltage could be enough to kill a child. Therefore, you should use a zip tie or other cable management solution to keep cords behind your desk or anywhere that your child won’t be able to reach. You could also tape loose cords to the ground so that your child can’t access them. In addition to a shocking hazard, electrical cords can cause your little one to trip. So, keeping the cords in control is vital for childproofing your home office.
Use Safety Covers on Electrical Outlets
It’s best to put safety plug covers on all electrical outlets that you’re not using. This way, your child won’t be able to stick their finger into it and get a terrible electric shock. However, it’s best if you use a sliding cover plate that closes when the outlet is not in use.
This is a permanent solution, and it prevents a choking hazard. Traditional safety covers have small parts that your child can easily remove from the outlet and put in their mouth. In addition to that, you should get safety covers for power strips. These covers also protect your child if they touch the power strips. It’s best to keep power strips out of your children’s reach.
Anchor Your Furniture
In the United States, a child dies every week because of toppled furniture. So, it’s vital that you anchor all of your furniture when you childproof your home office. Children like to climb things, so make sure furniture such as filing cabinets, chairs, bookshelves, and others can’t move from their places. It’s also best to place and secure cabinets and bookshelves against the wall.
Make sure to anchor other smaller and lighter pieces of furniture in the room. Your computer monitor may seem safe, but it can be heavy enough to injure your child. This is especially so if your child can reach the cords.
Don’t Place Piles of Books Atop Furniture
You should also not place piles of files and books on tall shelves. Your child can easily shake the shelf enough to cause the file onto them. Books can be heavy and extremely dangerous because of that. Instead, place files and books within locked cabinets. In addition to that, don’t leave stepstools, boxes, or any such things that your child can use to increase their height or climb furniture.
Lock All Cabinets and Drawers
You should keep all of your cabinets and drawers locked when you’re not using them to properly childproof your home office. Drawers can make it possible for your child to climb the piece of furniture. Moreover, it will also provide them access to various types of things in the home office. Therefore, keep small items like the following out of your children’s reach:
- staple removers
- letter openers
- printer ink
These items can be attractive to a child, and they can pose a choking hazard or other types of injury. Moreover, printer inks and other similar items like permanent markers and correction fluid are toxic. Considering the colorful nature can intrigue your toddler, you should keep these items locked and out of their reach.
Cover All Sharp Corners and Edges on Your Home Office Furniture
Sharp corners and edges can cause severe injury to your child’s head or body when they’re navigating through your home office. So, you should install safety covers on all sharp edges on your home office furniture. Make sure that the safety cover is made of a soft material. In addition to that, it should be easy to remove. This way, your child won’t be able to remove the cover without you knowing.
You could also consider replacing some of the furniture in your home office altogether. Get furniture that’s made of soft materials and has rounded corners and edges. If you can’t afford one, you could rearrange your furniture so that the sharp corners face the wall—away from your children.
Control Your Children’s Entrances and Exits to the Home Office
An important part of how to childproof your home office includes controlling your children’s entrances and exits to your home office. You can’t keep an eye on your children every single second. So, you should install a safety lock at the entrance/exit of your home office. This way, your child won’t be able to get into the room unsupervised.
Use a Garbage Can with a Lid
It’s best to use a garbage can that has a lid. This way, your child won’t be able to see your trash, reducing the chances of them going through it. That said, they can still open the lid and rummage through your trash. So, it’s best not to toss small items like those mentioned above in this garbage can. Instead, place it in a garbage bag, fold it nicely, and dump the bag along with its contents into your home’s trash.
Last Few Words
Now that you know how to childproof your home office, you can spend quality time with your children when you’re taking a break from work. Childproofing is a much better and healthier option for your children than keeping them away from the home office. If possible, create a small play place for them within your office with child-friendly toys to play with. This way, they can enjoy being in your company and distract you less when you need to focus.
If you’re looking for furniture and other accessories for your home office, visit FlexiSpot! There are a variety of options for you to consider.