The Baby Proofing Debate – How much is too much?

Babypool I  just finished reading a blog from a woman who felt that baby proofing is nonsense.  She believes that parents are worked into a "frenzy of fear" and are talked into purchasing every available baby proofing item on the market to create a bubble around their children.   Her recommendation is to allow children to explore their home and the world, exercise their natural curiosity and just teach them the meaning of "no."  What disturbed me even more were the numerous postings in response from parents who completely agreed and felt that germs in the home were actually helpful to children and "all of this baby proofing stuff" was ridiculous.

As The Safety Mom I try to get moms smart about safety.  I completely agree that you can’t keep your child wrapped in a bubble but I’m concerned by the philosophy of "we didn’t have all this stuff and we were fine."   

According to The Safe Kids Council, over 1 million children die every year from accidents and many more are permanently disabled.  In the United States more children ages 1-14 die from unintentional injury that all childhood diseases combined.  90% of these are completely preventable.  Baby proofing does not take the place of parental supervision and children do need to be taught the word "no," but items such as a gate at the top of a staircase, straps to secure furniture to the walls (children can pull down even sturdy furniture if they climb on it) and removable fences around pools will save lives.  We never assume an accident is going to happen but unfortunately it does.  Just as you wear a seat belt in a car to protect you in the event of an accident, some realistic baby proofing is a parent’s safeguard against potentially tragic accidents.

I agree that parents shouldn’t become paralyzed by fear but there is a balance between "neurotic parenting" and "pragmatic parenting."  We’re talking an ounce of prevention here. 

What do you think?  I’d love to hear what your baby proofing philosophy is!

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