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Baseboard heaters have become an important part of our daily comfort, especially during the cold winter season as they keep us warm amidst severe temperatures. However, if you don’t take the necessary safety precautions, they can become a hazard for the young ones in your family. For that, it’s important to learn how to baby-proof baseboard heaters to prevent a tragic accident from happening.
Interestingly, there are some great additional steps you can take to protect your kids from baseboard heaters. This article looks at some of the most popular solutions you can use! First, let’s look at the dangers of baseboard heaters!
Why are baseboard heaters dangerous for children?
One of the biggest issues of baseboard heaters with kids is their location. Specifically, baseboard heaters can either touch the floor or be mounted just off the floor. As a result, children of all ages can easily touch them. So, if the unit gets hot to the touch while heating the room, it can burn your child’s skin when they touch them.
Another challenge of baseboard heaters is that their design makes them appealing to kids. For instance, the different holes and slots where air exits or enters the unit entices children to poke, touch, or put their toys inside the device. This can either damage the baseboard heater or injure your kid.
Lastly, electric baseboard heaters require plenty of clearance around them to ensure proper airflow. Unfortunately, some parents park couches in front of the devices to keep children away, thus blocking the airflow. This can easily damage your baseboard heater due to overheating or even start a fire in your home. Therefore, you need to come up with creative baby proofing solutions to keep your children safe, without compromising the baseboard heater clearance requirements.
Here are some effective baby-proofing methods you can use to keep your kids safe from baseboard heaters!
5 simple ways to make your baseboard heaters safe around children
Install baseboard heater covers
Electric baseboard heaters usually become very hot to the touch, which makes them a burn hazard for toddlers that are learning to walk or crawl. So, if you’ve toddlers in your home, the first step to babyproofing your baseboard heater is buying an ideal baseboard heater cover. That way, the cover will offer an extra layer of protection between the heated surfaces or sharp razor-like fine tubes and your kid’s fingertips, thus reducing the risk of burns and injury.
In addition, baseboard heater covers keep small toys away from the slots and holes in your heating unit. Better still, most baseboard heater covers are perforated to allow proper airflow to the device. At the same time, this makes it more difficult for curious kids to stick things into the hole.
Put a child play yard barrier around the baseboard heater
Alternatively, set up an extra-wide baby gate or modular play yard around each electric baseboard heater. Moreover, some options have wall-mounting kits that hold them securely and prevent kids from tripping when they try to climb on the panels. At the same time, this allows your little ones to continue playing while protecting them from accidentally bumping into the heater by keeping them away from areas that could potentially harm them.
Another benefit of child play yard barriers is that they feature connected panels that allow you to arrange them however you want. More importantly, they’re easy to set up since you only need to surround each baseboard heater with the barriers to keep your kids several feet from the unit.
The only issue with these barriers is that they can take up a lot of floor space depending on how you set them and how large they are. As a result, they can clutter the space and interfere with furniture placement. So, before you decide to go with this option, check out the available floor space in your home to determine if this approach will work for you.
Use fireplace screens
The use of fireplace screens to baby-proof baseboard heaters is a more affordable alternative to baseboard heater replacement covers. Best of all, you can put them as a barrier to your electric baseboard heaters in every room or the rooms where your toddler is likely to crawl the most. This will protect your kids from getting injured or starting a fire by jamming their toys in the baseboard heater.
However, fire screens may not be the best solution for tiny apartments since they’re bulky. So, if you live in an apartment with baseboard heaters, consider other options for baby-proofing the unit to protect your kid.
Exercise caution around kids
Like any other heat source in your home, baseboard heaters can pose a danger to your children. Therefore, it’s important to baby-proof baseboard heaters to keep kids away from the units since directly touching their heating elements can cause serious burns.
Also, take extra preventative measures by ensuring that your kids don’t put toys and other items inside the heater. More importantly, if your kids are old enough to understand, make sure you teach them how electric baseboard heaters work, their potential dangers, and how to be safe around them. That way, they will be less likely to get curious about these heating units, thus reducing their risk of injury.
Consider alternative heating options
For safety and energy conservation concerns, you can consider energy-efficient alternatives to baseboard heating such as a portable, wall-mounted heater. Also, you can consider using a heat radiator since it’s easier to baby-proof compared to an entire baseboard heating system. Alternatively, you can use a ductless heat pump to heat a room if your home does not have air ducts. These units are usually mounted higher on the wall, making them a safer option since kids cannot access them.
However, avoid propane and kerosene space heaters as they emit harmful fumes. Instead, choose energy-efficient devices that combine heating and air conditioning in one unit like portable air conditioners with heaters.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to protect your kids from any safety hazards at home all the time. Learning how to baby-proof baseboard heaters in your home is a great place to get started. So, use the above methods to ensure every baseboard heating unit in your home is covered and out of reach of young children, especially in rooms that have heavy traffic. Baby-proofing your heaters will ensure that your home stays warm all winter while keeping your kids safe!