In the Home Office
- Cover all outlets to prevent children from shock.
- Store power strips and cords behind furniture and out of reach.
- Keep paper shredders and other potentially dangerous office equipment well out of reach of little fingers.
- Get covers for trashcans. Children can become trapped in the can or put something harmful in their mouths.
- Secure bookcases and file cabinets with angle braces and anchors so that children can't pull them down.
Top Hidden Danger: Office supplies that can choke or poison. Debra Smiley Holtzman, child safety expert and author of The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety, recommends parents lock up office supplies.
If you've ever given a toddler a pen to appease her while you finish an email, you may be endangering her without realizing it. Not only can toddlers put pen caps in their mouths and choke, some pens and markers have inks with harmful chemicals. Staples and paperclips pose choking hazards as well, while chemicals in correction fluid, printer toner, and glue can be toxic when ingested.
You can't watch your child every second of every day but you can try to make your home as safe—and injury-free—as possible. And don't underestimate your child. "Parents often don't understand what their children are capable of. If you can imagine it," admonishes Ball, "I fully believe there's a child somewhere who can do it."