Climbing hazards

climbingWhen my son was two, he suddenly had the urge to grasp everything outside of his reach. Curiosity ruled the day – fear was nowhere in the picture. Every direction was up.

He climbed on chairs, bookcases, the dog, the stairs… He climbed into boxes, cabinets, the bathroom vanity… He was not one to sit idly by – ever.

I discovered that for safety’s sake, it would be a good idea to get down on my knees and see the world from his eyes. I learned a lot! Here are a few tips for first timers:

• Folding chairs are flimsy and can gobble up a toddler. Put them away.
• Dining room chairs lead to the dining room table! Keep the chairs back against the wall.
• Bookcases may appear sturdy, but they can come crashing down on top of a mountain-climbing tot. Anchor them to the wall near their top.
• Know your dog. Will he snap when Junior is pestering him too much, or will he just get up and move?
• Stairs are irresistible. Pressure gates are a real blessing until you can teach your mountaineer the safe way to go up and down. “Practice makes perfect,” so have fun with him while he learns the right way!
• Didn’t you know that boxes can be more fun than the expensive toys that come in them? Make sure they are sturdy if they’re going to be climbed on or in. 
• It’s fun to climb into a kitchen cabinet and pull out all the pots and pans. Make sure whatever is in reach is not breakable and that the dishwasher soap and other cleaning supplies are up on a high shelf. (Some kiddies are very good at opening “childproof” locks!)
• Bathroom cabinets are fun for your kids to get into as you’re taking your shower. Again, keep all cleaning products out of reach. That goes for nail polish and makeup, too.

Do any of you seasoned parents have other suggests to add?

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