Extreme Baby-Proofing

Cynthia Dermody

Lenore Skenazy is one of my favorite bloggers. You might remember her as the mom who let her 9-year-old ride the subway alone. I love her "Free Range Kids" philosophy of raising children -- that we should stop all the hovering, directing, and overprotecting and let our kids be kids.

In a recent post, Skenazy talks about babyproofing fanatics who are not only obsessed about insulating their toddlers from dangers in their own homes, but in other people's houses, as well. Skenazy writes,

"Now of course, the idea of a kid getting into someone's cabinet and chugging the Palmolive is very disturbing. But so is the idea that the world has to be baby-proofed. You can't lock every cabinet and cushion every corner, and I'm pretty sure you shouldn't even try. At some point -- and I do mean point -- a child learns: Corners hurt! Steer away! And thus begins a lifetime of trying to avoid careening into things."

When I was pregnant with my first, I was paranoid about our radiators and was determined to build covers for them. I had terrible visions of my little toddler crawling up the burning hot metal rungs and getting third-degree burns. Well, life takes over, and we never made the covers. To this day, our radiators are exposed, and somewhere along the lines, through trial and error, I suppose, our kids did learn to stay away -- without a trip to the ER.

What about you? Are you a baby-proofing fanatic or are you like Skenazy?

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