Having children is a huge responsibility that changes your entire world, including how you can or cannot decorate your house. Baby gates, foam on sharp corners, and locked cabinets are telltale signs that a toddler is living in a home.
Kids are inquisitive and love to explore their surroundings. They spend most of their time at home during their early years, which means that they are going to investigate every nook and cranny that they can find in your house. You have probably spent a great deal of time babyproofing, but there is one danger that you may have overlooked: lamps.
Many lamps pose a variety of dangers to small, curious children. To ensure that your home is a safe place where your child can play, learn, and grow, you may want to limit your lamp use and choose other types of lighting.
When you know the risks that a potential hazard can pose, you are better able to safeguard your children against it. Some things to watch out for with lamps are:
Appliance cords are tempting for children. If your teething baby gets a hold of a lamp cord and it ends up in her mouth, as so many things do, she could get a terrible shock. If you have a pet that has already gnawed on and weakened the cord, the chance of your baby chewing her way through it increases even more.
Using extension cords to place lamps in the center of a room gives your child an even longer cord to play with or accidentally trip over. If the plug is unprotected, it can sustain damage over time from your toddler repeatedly pulling it out of the wall. If the plug bends or the cord frays, you have a potential fire hazard on your hands. To reduce the risk of fire and shock, place lamps near outlets so that you will not need an extension cord.
PULLING LAMPS DOWN
When your little one pulls on a cord, the fixture attached to it can fall off the table. A shattered lamp and bulb can injure your child, as can the fixture falling on him.
If your lamps do not have sturdy, weighted bases, they will be easier to pull down and knock off the table when an unsteady baby takes his first steps or grabs onto an end table for support. Oversized light fixtures are trending in 2019, but large lampshades are not a wise choice when you have little children. Small shades give them less to grab onto, and they also increase the stability of a lamp so that it is less likely to topple.
Many Electrical Accidents Are Preventable!
FLOOR LAMPS FALLING
Floor lamps pose a different risk than table lamps because the entire fixture can entice little ones, not just the cord. They are also heavier than table lamps, so they will fall harder if your adventurous little lady decides to try to climb one.
Sometimes, your kids might not even be interested in a floor lamp, but it is still a hazard. If your school-age child breaks the rules and throws a ball in the living room, the light could come crashing down. If your kids are chasing each other around the house, floor lamps are easy to bump and knock over.
Something about hot surfaces seems to be a magnet for little hands. You can combat this by using bulbs that have a wattage below the fixture’s maximum because they create less warmth. LED bulbs are a safe alternative because they produce virtually no heat.
If you decide to use hot incandescent bulbs, it is important that you never use one above a fixture’s maximum wattage, so as to not create a fire hazard.
How to Keep Lamps Safe
If you decide to keep your lamps, there are a few things that you should do to childproof them. First, always cover the cords, but never with rugs or other fabrics. Purchase rubber cord covers because they do not insulate heat or create a fire danger as rugs do.
Bonus Tip: Rubber covers work for all cords, not just lamps!
To keep floor lamps standing, put them behind a large piece of furniture such as your couch. It is a lot harder to tip over a lamp if you cannot get to the base.
If you can’t hide a lamp and its plug behind a piece of furniture, make sure that you use a box outlet cover to keep the plug away from curious fingers.
Safer Alternative to Lamps
One of the easiest ways to babyproof a room is simply to remove as many hazards as possible. Instead of worrying about covering lamp cords and ensuring that they have sturdy bases, choose wall-mounted or recessed lights instead.
Neither recessed lights nor wall-mounted lights have cords for your kids to chew or trip on, and there isn’t anything to be yanked out of the wall. Also, your toddler will not be able to pull a wall sconce onto himself, nor will he be able to knock over a recessed light when he wobbles as he learns to walk.
Wall sconces are in style, especially those with sleek, modern lines. They will be far out of your child’s reach, and as a huge bonus, they save you space! Your room will feel more open and spacious with less clutter on the floor and on your end tables, which gives your child more space to play safely.
If your home is lacking adequate built-in lighting, schedule a consultation with a lighting professional today. Not only will your home be safer for your little one, but the beautiful style upgrade will stay with you long after your child is out of diapers.
As a gift for yourself, request dimmer switches for all of your lights. You can turn the brightness down in the evening to help your child wind down and make the pre-bedtime routine a little bit easier.
Choose the Safest Lighting Option
If you want the safest possible environment for your children, eliminating lamps is essential, especially when your kids are still crawling. You will appreciate having one less thing to worry about, plus you will get to enjoy the beauty and convenience of your new recessed and wall-mounted lights.