07 July 2006

Childproofing on the cheap

Sara's friend had some good ideas for cheap babyproofing:

Visiting a friend who's had to childproof quickly (adopting a 1-year-old would do that, wouldn't it?) he shared a couple a tricks:

  • You can buy mesh strap material in bulk (like the straps used to strap kids into anything that looks like a seat), and then just put a screw through the strap into walls and part of whatever piece of furniture you're trying to attach to the wall.
  • There's a type of reusable cable tie that looks sort of like beads on a string that are pretty easy for an adult to open and close.  Great for cabinets.  Search for "bead tie cable" (example here:  http://www.avsupplystore.com/btl-100.html)

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With straps like that remember to put as large a diameter washer between the screw head and the strap as possible to spread the force out and prevent the screw head from tearing through the material.

I use steel angle brackets screwed into a wall stud and screwed to the underside of the case top (for open shelf units) or the top of the case top for closed back shelf units.

This isn't just childproofing as in an earthquake anyone can be crushed by a bookcase.

When I described the bead ties to my wife, she said, "Oh, I think we have some of those that we use to tie up basil for cooking." Apparently these were not the correct type, since our son managed to undo them in a few seconds.


Maybe the hardware store ties are a little harder for a one year old to unfasten.

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