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Babyproofing/Childproofing Questions & Answers at Alphamom.com

DIY Childproofing

By Amalah

The rails under our dining room table are super sharp.  I worry that our grandson is going to split his head open! Any advice?

Ooof, yeah. While I’ve never been a “childproof your home into a padded cell” type of parent, that most definitely looks like a bloody head injury waiting to happen.

While the childproofing aisle of any big box baby store will likely sell something that promises to pad and round out the edges of furniture, in my experience those products tend to be pretty overpriced and not terribly effective. We tried a few different products for table/counter corners that always fell off too easily, or could be removed by the very small curious child they were intended to product. They were all soon banished to the back of our kitchen junk drawer. (Which also had the remnants of a plastic childproof drawer latch screwed into the top of it, a latch that my husband broke literally the first time he opened the drawer after installing the stupid thing.)

For a rail that deep, I’m wondering if a pool noodle would work? Cut it to size — leaving an inch or two extra on each end — then slice it open halfway through, right down the middle. Insert the cut edge over the rail and secure to the underside of the table with duct tape. Not the prettiest or most camouflaged of solutions, but cheap and temporary, just until you’ve made it through the wild drunken stampede of the toddler years. Possibly a hardware or craft store might sell some kind of rubber tubing or foam block that would also work, but you’ll want something pretty substantial in thickness to prevent both injuries from the sharp edges AND the random blunt head bump from the side angle. Yeah, I’m feeling like a pool noodle would be a good choice here.

Commenters, feel free to correct/update me on any specific childproofing gadget and brand that you would recommend for this table (it has been a few years since my youngest’s head finally cleared the undersides/corners of our furniture). Or if you don’t have one, why not share your own best/personal ingenious DIY childproofing hack?

Photo source: Depositphotos/chrisbrignell

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Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Comments

  • Vickie

    I have used bubble wrap and packing tape for a lot of things. In fact I still use it to protect my own toes or shins on a few things around the house.

  • Palila

    Pipe insulation is sold in long tubes (like pool noodles), but already has a cut down the side and a sticky strip down both sides of the cut. Easier to find year-round, too.

  • LISAatUND

    I second the pipe insulation!

  • Lisa R

    Depending on how often your grandson is in your house you could do the pool noodle, but skip the damaging duct tape and just have it shoved on during the visit and then take it off when the danger is past. Another idea is find something like sugru (https://sugru.com/) to make the corner less sharp (it would probably still hurt to bonk, but it would look better than a pool noodle…)

  • Stephanie

    Eh. As the owner of a “death-trap” coffee table (and matching side table with extra scary death!) and a toddler who has somehow magically successfully avoided bumping, scraping, bonking, or otherwise endangering herself on or near the table, I don’t think I’d do anything. A pool noodle is probably just going to attract toddler attention anyway.