Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic cannot go on forever, but we’ve been slapped by another harsh reality: COVID is not going to end soon. So, until then, I presume work at home is the norm. But, what happens when you have to work and at the same time supervise your kids?
Childproofing your office is the only answer we have right now!
Securing Your Work Supplies and Equipment
Place Electronic Devices on High Desks and Surfaces
If you use a desktop computer, place the computer tower on a high desk or behind a raised sealed cabinet. This will keep your child away from the computer tower and keep them from injuring themselves.
In addition, if you use a printer or a paper shredder, make sure it is placed on a high surface and out of reach for your child. You can use safety straps to secure your electronics so they don’t fall and injure your child.
When Not in Use, Keep Keyboards and Printers Covered
Keyboard, computer, and printer covers are available at your local electronics store. Covering your equipment will protect it from spills and sticky fingers in your workspace.
Many children are fascinated by keyboards and will press every button if given the opportunity. When you’re not at your desk, use a password to protect and lock your computer, so your files aren’t at risk if your child gets their hands on your keyboard.
All Drawers and Cabinets Should Be Locked
Use door stops on cabinet doors and drawer locks to make your drawers and cabinets difficult to access. You can also add safety strips to your drawers to make them difficult for your child to open and use.
If you have large storage or cabinet units in your office, make sure they are secure and cannot easily tip over.
On All Electrical Cords, Use Safety Covers and Zip Ties
To avoid shock and choking hazards, tape any loose electrical cords to the ground and zip tie any extra cord lengths. Use safety plug covers on all unused electrical outlets to keep your child’s fingers from getting in.
You can also purchase power strip safety covers at your local electronics store to keep your child from touching the power strips.
Any Sharp Edges on Your Office Furniture Should Be Covered
Put safety covers on the corners of your office furniture to keep your child from injuring themselves on sharp edges. You can also move sharp-edged furniture against the wall to reduce the number of hazards in the room, or remove it entirely.
Consider replacing your current furniture with items that have rounded edges rather than sharp corners, or that are made of soft material that will not harm your child.
Keep All Adult-Only Office Supplies Out of Reach of Children
Keep office supplies such as tape, printer ink, and letter openers out of your child’s reach so that he or she does not injure themselves or make a mess in your office. All office supplies should be stored in drawers that are secured with safety stripes.
You should also use a trash can with a lid to discourage your child from looking through your garbage or putting anything in their mouth from the garbage.
Create a Kid-Friendly Environment
Create a Play Area Near Your Office
If you have a baby or a toddler, you can create a play area next to your office with safety gates or keep your child’s playpen nearby. This allows you to keep an eye on your child while also ensuring that they are in a contained, safe space nearby.
If you have an older child, giving them their own work area is the best way to keep them out of your office. Make a mini office space for them in one corner or area of your office so you can keep an eye on them while you’re working. Install a small desk with drawers in the area so your child knows where their workspace and your workspace are. This will help to establish boundaries and create a more child-friendly work environment.
Add Child-Friendly Office Supplies
Give your child a project to work on in their mini-office area using kid-friendly supplies such as crayons, markers, water-soluble paint, and legos. You can even assign them a task, such as painting or building a spaceship, to keep them occupied while you work.