Read comments posted to child safety forums, blogs and discussion boards, and you will likely find an angry group of protesters determined to overthrow the evil, fear mongering, child safety advocates. I picture these protesters sitting in a dark room, in front of their computers, surfing the blogosphere, prepared to squash the efforts of the Safety Freaks!
I’m here to set the record straight; however I'm not here to defend my industry, myself, safety advocates, or the non-profit agencies working vigorously to reduce childhood injuries. Instead I'm here to defend the parents who recognize the importance of childproofing. Maybe then these trolls (def: someone who disrupts discussions with obnoxious posts), will channel their energy into other areas; such as watching their child in their un-babyproofed home, instead of posting insults against parents who are just trying to do the best they can.
So, here is my attempt to counter this group's most common childproofing criticisms.
Instead of babyproofing, parents should just teach their children that no means no
No touching the stove! No climbing the furniture! No playing with the outlet! No! No! No! If you are constantly trailing behind your child with your “no” alarm ringing, you will rapidly drive yourself (and your child) crazy. What would happen if you barked NO at your spouse all day long? He would quickly tune you out. A toddler is no different.
It is innate for a child to explore the world around him and it’s a parent’s job to keep him safe. Babyproofing your home allows your child the freedom to explore and allows you the opportunity to relax and watch in amazement. Gate your stairs, strap your furniture, and latch your cabinets and you'll find your no’s will turn to yes- and that will be music to your child’s ears.
Hiring a babyproofer is laziness
Hiring a child proofer to install baby gates, furniture straps and other babyproofing gear is not for everyone; however, whether you choose to DIY or hire a professional, childproofing your home is a must. Many parents hire professionals because they do not have the time or skill to do it themselves. Your childproofing products can become the hazard if not installed correctly. Additionally, some clients hire professionals to avoid unnecessary damage, and others want a professional eye to find hidden hazards. Would you hire a painter to paint your home? A service to mow your lawn? Or a cleaner to clean your house? I ask critics…what's the difference?
Childproofing is a scam
Every year, about 2800 children die from preventable injuries in the home. Millions more end up in emergency rooms. Research has shown that by properly childproofing your home, you can reduce your child's likeness of injury by more than 70%! Furthermore, Safe Kids USA has found that children ages 4 and under have the highest fatality rate from unintentional injury; more than twice that of all other age groups. Childproofing is not a scam, it’s common sense.
About Michele Spahr: Childproofing and safety expert Michele Spahr is founder of DC's leading childproofing company, Safe Start Baby, and DC’s eco-consulting company, Safe Start Eco Baby. Even more importantly, she is mom to four energetic children who challenge her every day with their inventive ways of finding all possible safety hazards. AKA, The Safety Freak, Michele gives tips, recommendations and the facts you need to hear, not just what you want to hear, about your child's safety. Follow The Safety Freak at Twitter @TheSafetyFreak