A redlined, psychological Hemi engine of unfathomable curiosity powers your kid’s new mobility. It’s all revved-up as they explore the planet they’ve inhabited for mere months. Their tools of discovery are diverse: eyes, hands, ears and mouth. In fact, that’s the general progression. They see something interesting, grab it, give a squeeze (or a shake) to discover if it makes noise, and then put it in their mouth. (Huh. Sounds kinda like your first real date. Except for the part where you asked for consent. Right?)
The problem with this method of discovery is that it can literally kill them, because your house is chock full of poison. And that’s bad news when your kid is basically the most reckless scientist ever. They’re like that idiot Dr. Jeckyll just drinking some crap he mixed up. Except there’s no Mr. Hyde in this situation. There is Mr. Death. And that dude is way less fun.
The point is that you’ve got to poison proof your house. Luckily, what follows is all the information you need to make your hacienda safe for your wittle maddy-waddy scientist.
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Things like household cleaners and pesticides are pretty obviously poisonous. So poisonous, in fact, that you probably have them stored in a special cupboard (and, ya know, not next to the Frosted Flakes or whatever).
So go ahead and take the time to secure that stuff. There are variety of baby proofing tools you can use to make this happen. But understand some baby proofing tools stop working once your kid has the dexterity to foil them. But just because your kid can get past the baby proofing, doesn’t mean they aren’t still curious. And that poison will remain poisonous regardless of how old they are. So, for the more awful stuff, you may want to move them out of the house altogether or go full locking cabinet as a more permanent solution.
The kitchen is a big poison zone thanks to all the cleaning supplies. If you’ve already done the lock-up, you’ve probably taken care of a serious chunk of these hazards. But there are other poisons you may not have considered, or need to leave out for convenience. So be sure to watch out for:
- Any over the counter medications that you need to reach for when your kid is giving you a massive headache. These look delicious.
- Any prescription medications hanging out on windowsills or counters. Make sure they’re in a childproof container and that it’s sealed tightly.
- Colorful and yummy smelling hand and dish soaps that are oh-so drinkable.
- Unlabeled spray bottles that look like they’d be fun to spritz.
- Booze or wine that is left on the counter for convenience.
- That junk drawer full of things that could be swallowed and wreak all kinds of havoc.
The room where you take your daily constitutional is basically the sleeper cell of poisons. The thing is, you take it for granted that the stuff you put on your pits, or rub on your jock, is safe. The key phrase for this stuff is, “for external use only.” What’s worse is that a lot of this is kept within easy reach so it can be used and applied in the brief time you’ve given yourself between the fifth snooze alarm and when you have to GTFO the door. You’ve got a couple of tasks here:
- Make sure all personal care products are out of reach. That includes hair products (yes, shampoos too), as well as deodorants, makeup, mouthwash and toothpaste.
- Make sure you also take care of any sneaky cleaning products lurking under the sink.
- Old medication? Get ‘em outta there.
Depending on how you and your partner roll, the bedroom can present varying degrees of poison probability. The most obvious poisoning culprits will be any meds that you might have on your nightstand. The less obvious poisons are the lotions and … Uh … Lubricants that you might have squirreled away. Secure these items so your kid’s innards aren’t subject to and “pleasing tingling warmth.”
The Living Room
Of all places in the house, you probably have your guard down the the most in the main living area. But it’s dangerous too. The poisons in the living room are most likely related to making the place smell nice and helping you relax. Your kid’s enemies in this zone include:
- Liquid scent type plug-ins or room deodorizers
- Vaping supplies like liquid tobacco
- Weed, if you happen to live in a state that allows it (lucky SOB)
The Utility Rooms
It’s true that areas like the laundry room, the garage and the utility closet aren’t places where your kid will normally hang out, but they could pass through. Keep candy colored laundry pods high and out of sight and lock up any pesticides or cleaners.
The fact is that you want your little tuned-in explorer to explore. Once you do the initial room-by-room de-poisoning, go through again to double check. With some good planning and forethought your home will be your kid’s oyster. Unless they’re allergic to shellfish.