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  #1  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:17 AM
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Default Child Proofing Help! URGENT!!!

Okay, so I have this railing in my living room that I didn't think anyone could *EVER* fit through the balusters (I think that's what they're called). They come within legal specifications as far as I know (seeing as how our home passed a home inspection a year ago). But today, just a short time ago, my 16 mo DCB managed to slip everything but his head through the bars and was standing on the OTHER SIDE.

My 3 yo old DD started shouting, "Mommy come quick, come QUICK!" with a note of real panic in her voice. My back had been turned for less than five seconds as I put snack dishes in the dishwasher (immediately off the playroom within sight of the railing where he was). My heart practically stopped beating, I thought I was watching a nightmare come to life. I got to him and grabbed hold of him over top of the railing and managed to get him back through the other side (thank GOD his head was too big to fit through). His body was barely small enough to fit through the bars and it was a job to get him back through.

Now I am freaking out; I have no idea how to child proof this safely! We've always planned to replace that railing with a half-height wall someday, but that's bound to be expensive and we don't have much extra money right now...Help! How can I possibly manage to make this safe so that this can't happen again?!?

The railing: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:30 AM
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http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/prod...p?SKU=14996346

http://www.amazon.com/Deck-Shield-Ch.../dp/B0015GPMTW

http://www.target.com/16-Kidsafe-Dec.../dp/B0002KWTF2

http://www.walmart.com/ip/KidSafe-Ba...ci_sku=5358624

Last edited by JenNJ; 09-29-2010 at 08:31 AM. Reason: added another link
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:35 AM
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cheap idea...
How about pool noodles, sliced down the side, wrapping around each post?
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:38 AM
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THANK YOU!!! Will be ordering one of those today...first I gotta get to naptime so that I can find the tape measure and find out how many feet I need protected. I couldn't even think what to search for. So grateful...just wish I could go buy one today!
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:46 AM
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No problem!
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:56 AM
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Pool noodles, I love that idea! It would look so colorful too!
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2010, 09:11 AM
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A friend of mine has a huge railing over really high stairs. She put a piece of lattice tied with those plastic pull tight straps over it. Lattice is cheap and easy to cut to size. It may not be the most beutiful but if you painted it white or black it would blend in for the time being. You can get a piece of lattice at a home improvement store for like 15 or 20 bucks in wood or finished pvc.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:55 AM
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pool noodles are great in theory but toddler like to bite them. Not just a few toddlers either.. MOST of them LOL don't ask how I know this.. just trust me..LOL
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:00 AM
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chicken wire?
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:21 AM
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for the immediate time being, I would get some baby gates, open them all the way and zip tie them to the railing. Like tonight. or if you are like me, I have some extras laying around, lol. After that I would look at getting that banister replaced ASAP. I wouldnt bother with netting or guarding. Id do immediate relief and then get to having it replaced. You may be able to get a local contractor to let you pay on time. ? Here I would call my r and r and see if they have someone who works with them on things like this. Or call a building inspector/home inspector,.. they may have someone who will give you a break. Then it would be done, right, and permanent. No matter how much proofing you do you will never feel secure with the banister there. Good luck,.. wow,.. big big hugs and an extra tall glass of chocolate milk to your child for alerting you!
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:36 AM
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On another note, not to worry you any more-but, from the pictures it looks like the rocking chair and some toys might be close enough to the railing that a child could climb on to them and fall over the railing. Not sure if it is possible or not, but I'd hate for a child to try it
So thankful your little dcb is safe!
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2010, 11:44 AM
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You could place plexi-glass on one side of the railing and mount it to the wall and run it the whole length of the railing. It would be clear, you could see through it, but no one could get through it. My sister had to do that in her house.
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2010, 01:58 PM
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Silver

I think you have a lot of issues with that room. I can see a lot of danger there. I hope you can take this advice... as it is coming from a kind heart.

I don't think that's a safe place to care for kids. You have a lot of issues with the first one being the fall zone from the top of the rail to the floor below by the front door. I don't know how many feet it is but when you look at that angle of the picture it looks like at least eight foot.

If a child climbed that rail and stood on it his/her head could be as much as eleven foot plus off the ground. That's a fall zone that could kill a kid.

The second issue is the railing itself. You have now seen that a kid can get their body thru it. The other thing that could have happened was the child getting their body thru it with legs dangling down... and hanging from their neck.

Another issue is the rocker could be used to jump off over the rail or as a way to get to the top of the rail. The toy box could be turned upside down and be a step stool to the top of the rail.

If there is ANY way you could do daycare in a different area I would really consider it. I have 31 years experience and I could NEVER manage any age group kids with that configuration and that high of a fall zone.

Even if you somehow block off the vertical bars on the railing it still will be dangerous. The fall zone from the rail is just too high for small children that don't belong to you. It's a huge huge risk to provide care with that configuration.

Nan
ETA•Vertical posts or pickets in deck, balcony, and stairway railings should be no more than 3 1/2 inches apart if a young baby will have access to the area. The space between horizontal rails or bars, and between the floor and the first horizontal rail or bar, should be no more than 3 1/2 inches.
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  #14  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:00 PM
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Default How about this?

I think they sell some variation of this in Walmart too.

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/...oductId=131755

Otherwise, I would go with the plexiglass idea as someone else suggested.

Last edited by misol; 09-29-2010 at 03:00 PM. Reason: link not working
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie View Post
A friend of mine has a huge railing over really high stairs. She put a piece of lattice tied with those plastic pull tight straps over it. Lattice is cheap and easy to cut to size. It may not be the most beutiful but if you painted it white or black it would blend in for the time being. You can get a piece of lattice at a home improvement store for like 15 or 20 bucks in wood or finished pvc.
That's a very interesting idea and I'm going to have to think on that one...something like that could even be a short term solution to the height issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laundryduchess@yahoo.com View Post
for the immediate time being, I would get some baby gates, open them all the way and zip tie them to the railing. Like tonight. or if you are like me, I have some extras laying around, lol. After that I would look at getting that banister replaced ASAP. I wouldnt bother with netting or guarding. Id do immediate relief and then get to having it replaced. You may be able to get a local contractor to let you pay on time. ? Here I would call my r and r and see if they have someone who works with them on things like this. Or call a building inspector/home inspector,.. they may have someone who will give you a break. Then it would be done, right, and permanent. No matter how much proofing you do you will never feel secure with the banister there. Good luck,.. wow,.. big big hugs and an extra tall glass of chocolate milk to your child for alerting you!
I want to replace the banister, but we just don't have the money. WE are barely making ends meet right now and are doing all we can to pay off credit cards so we can do some more of these things.

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Originally Posted by momofsix View Post
On another note, not to worry you any more-but, from the pictures it looks like the rocking chair and some toys might be close enough to the railing that a child could climb on to them and fall over the railing. Not sure if it is possible or not, but I'd hate for a child to try it
So thankful your little dcb is safe!
I'm not teribbly worried about the stuff that's along there, actually--the rocking chair is actually pretty far away from the rail and it would be HARD for someone to climb over there--plus the drop is relatively short on that end. The pillows and stuffed animals are there but squash down so far that I'm not concerned. It looks bad in a picture, but not so bad in person! I'm very careful about what goes on that stretch of the room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broncomom1973 View Post
You could place plexi-glass on one side of the railing and mount it to the wall and run it the whole length of the railing. It would be clear, you could see through it, but no one could get through it. My sister had to do that in her house.
Plexi-glass is another interesting idea that I will have to look into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Silver

I think you have a lot of issues with that room. I can see a lot of danger there. I hope you can take this advice... as it is coming from a kind heart.

I don't think that's a safe place to care for kids. You have a lot of issues with the first one being the fall zone from the top of the rail to the floor below by the front door. I don't know how many feet it is but when you look at that angle of the picture it looks like at least eight foot.

If a child climbed that rail and stood on it his/her head could be as much as eleven foot plus off the ground. That's a fall zone that could kill a kid.

The second issue is the railing itself. You have now seen that a kid can get their body thru it. The other thing that could have happened was the child getting their body thru it with legs dangling down... and hanging from their neck.

Another issue is the rocker could be used to jump off over the rail or as a way to get to the top of the rail. The toy box could be turned upside down and be a step stool to the top of the rail.

If there is ANY way you could do daycare in a different area I would really consider it. I have 31 years experience and I could NEVER manage any age group kids with that configuration and that high of a fall zone.

Even if you somehow block off the vertical bars on the railing it still will be dangerous. The fall zone from the rail is just too high for small children that don't belong to you. It's a huge huge risk to provide care with that configuration.

Nan
ETA•Vertical posts or pickets in deck, balcony, and stairway railings should be no more than 3 1/2 inches apart if a young baby will have access to the area. The space between horizontal rails or bars, and between the floor and the first horizontal rail or bar, should be no more than 3 1/2 inches.
Nanny, thank you for your concern, and believe me, I'm working on fixing it! Not one of the kids (even this dopey monkey boy) have ever tried climbing like that--I have outlets for climbing in other areas of the room and the house. The rail is impossible to stand on as it is much to thin. I don't block the bars because of the climbing issue--what's in front of there is squashy and doesn't offer much purchase. Honestly they spend all their time where the "good" toys are in the rest of the room. What you're seeing isn't really play space, it's walking space. I can't do daycare anywhere else due to the set up of my home--no matter what they'll be in that room part of the day as it's the main room and directly off the kitchen. I wish I could, but it just won't work. Every house in my neighborhood has this style and design...and most of them still have this original railing, too. I know I'm not the only home daycare in here either. I am working on it, but it's going to take time and money and I don't have either at the moment! I know what you're trying to say though and I appreciate it--coming from the viewpoint of someone who doesn't know me, my kids, or my setup, I can totally understand your concern, and I share most of it as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by misol View Post
I think they sell some variation of this in Walmart too.

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/...oductId=131755

Otherwise, I would go with the plexiglass idea as someone else suggested.
This looks great and I'm probably going to order it tonight after I talk to DH about money.

I ended up getting http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2328540 this one at BRU tonight because it was cheap, it looks like it will do the trick for now, and I could get it NOW instead of ordering it. I'm looking into better/more permanent solutions, but they are going to take a lot more time and money and hassle to implement.

For now, thanks to everyone for your advice and recommendations; I love having a board like this where I can get advice on this stuff!
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  #16  
Old 10-09-2010, 04:17 AM
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This is a case I have been following for a while. The experienced provider had a number of violations but specifically to a child getting caught in a railing it is informative. You can see the fencing at about the minute mark in this video.


http://www.kmbc.com/video/25308805/detail.html
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2010, 05:28 AM
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OMG! The parents should never had allowed their kid there due the provider having too many kids. The fencing looks like it would pass any regulations and I wonder how she managed to get into it. Poor family.
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2010, 07:20 AM
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Just from watching this small snippet, it almost looks like this was as much about the children being left either unsupervised or undersupervised as it was about the safety of that particular piece of picket fence type thing. 14 kids in care seems (assuming it was just the provider and not some assistants) way too high as well. I am licensed for eight at any given time, but I have almost never been that high, I normally keep it to 6 as it is a much more manageable number. Those poor parents, I wonder if they had any idea that she had that many children in her care?
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:11 AM
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I too have been watching this case for awhile. In the state of KS, up until June, daycare providers could be either registered taking care of a maximum of 6 kids, or licensed and able to provide care for up to 10 kids. Registered homes are not surveyed prior to opening by the state dept of health and environment as are licensed homes. They do have to pass a fire inspection, but as long as there are no complaints the state surveyor does not visit. It is now a law that all homes will transition to becoming licensed as their certificate renewal comes up, meaning that by June there will no longer be registered providers in KS. It is first and foremost the providers fault for what happened. From what I understand, there was a small wooden fence separating the babies and toddlers and Ava was interested in babies. The child pushed a chair toward the fence, stood on top of the chair, fell on the fence and her neck got stuck between the slats. She was strangled. The children were in the basement and the provider had gone upstairs when this happened. I do think though that the parents of all of the other children attending this daycare should have been aware of the providers registered status and her ability to only legally care for 6 children. Someone should have been aware that there were too many children there. My parents know the maximum amount of children I can care for because I tell them at their interview. It is very tragic that this occurred and just goes to show you that it only takes a quick second for something to happen.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:35 AM
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That is absolutely heartbreaking. Nannyde, thanks for sharing it, although it's hard to think about something like this, it's a good reminder for all of.
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2010, 10:10 AM
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This is sad and eye opening. Thanks for sharing.
On a lighter note I am happy that I am able to provide safe care for children, as I am know you all do too! Unlike this lady who perhaps was just in it for the money.
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
That is absolutely heartbreaking. Nannyde, thanks for sharing it, although it's hard to think about something like this, it's a good reminder for all of.
She just published a book less than a year ago and one of the articles I read said she dedicated it to the child who died in her care:

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Childs-Da.../dp/143920313X
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2010, 11:34 AM
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Oh wow
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2010, 04:32 PM
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OMG. How dare she write a book on this subject under those circumstances. The only excuse would be if she was donating 100% to that child's family. And I don't think she is.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:37 PM
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i agree with nannyde about a child being able to jump off from the chair. moving that would be an easy fix - even if you aren't able to change anything else at the moment. it only takes a second as you found out. he could've just as easily climbed on the chair and jumped over in the time it took him to climb through the bars. just take it as a lesson learned and don't turn your back anymore when the kids are in that room! my son could climb over those bars without even needing a chair to stand on - he actually climbs up the walls in the doorway just using his hands and feet to grip. you just need one brave kid (like mine) and one quick trip to the kitchen for a disaster to happen. trust me, i've done stupid things (if you read the highchair story) but i think that is some good advice.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:34 PM
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I just want to say that while it is clear that you want to protect your daycare kids, I don't think you are being honest with yourself. That area, as it stands, is NOT safe. It would take a child about 2 seconds to flip that laundry basket over and use it as a step. The fact that a child hasn't climbed the railing, doesn't mean that one won't in the future. As for "the drop being fairly short" in that area...that will NOT protect you from a lawsuit or even jail if someone falls. It won't matter if they are not seriously hurt...in all liklihood you will be sued.

I would get the plexi-glass. It will eliminate the problem of a child trying to climb or getting stuck. It might not be a bad idea to get a set of cubbies and place it in front of the railing and use that as a "toy box."

I totally get that you want to pay off those credit cards, but think of all that could be lost if you don't fix this problem TODAY.

Can I ask a question? Did you tell the parent of that child what happened? Can you imagine telling her and then letting them know that you want to fix it, but you're trying to pay off the credit cards?

You were very, very lucky. Please don't let this wake up call go unheeded!
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:49 AM
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Okay, so opinions please. Do you guys honestly think it would be safer to put shelves in front of that railing, all along the long side? (No, I can't put anything on the short end because the built-in baby gate swings back there and if it can't go back, it blocks the hallway) The shelves I'd be putting would be taller than the railing by a bit--I'm thinking I could move the play kitchen (heavy, wooden, by KidKraft), the bin shelf of play kitchen accessories, and enough of the other toy shelves to cover it up to the end.

I love how my playroom is set up now--so that the kitchen/dramatic play stuff is separated from the blocks/other toys, but ya'll have got my brain chewing over this problem endlessly and I'm scrambling to find a solution that will work. I luckily have kids all young enough to not think of these things (my own kid is the oldest) and Daredevil Boy is the only one I worry about at all right now--and I know my kids.

Quote:
I totally get that you want to pay off those credit cards, but think of all that could be lost if you don't fix this problem TODAY.

Can I ask a question? Did you tell the parent of that child what happened? Can you imagine telling her and then letting them know that you want to fix it, but you're trying to pay off the credit cards?
I had written a long response to the credit card thing, but thought better of it. I'm just going to say that excuse me, you do NOT know our financial situation and please don't judge. I CAN'T fix it today, and I CAN'T fix it through any means that costs thousands and thousands of dollars. We do.not.have.that.money. We live hand to mouth; paying down credit cards is the only way we will EVER have the money to change that railing and climb up out of the hole we're in. My DD and the daycare kids are NOT the only children to have spent lots of time in this house--two generations of the family who lived here for 40 years previously grew up here and survived. I know it needs changed; but the house *did* pass a home inspection when we moved here a year ago so it's obviously to some code somewhere and that's good enough for me until we have the money to change it drastically.

Yes, I told his mom. Amazingly enough, to you I suppose, she understood--she knows her son. She was grateful that he was all right, understood that I was right there when it happened, understands that we can't prevent everything that can happen. She appreciates the measures I've taken already to prevent it happening again. Even she was amazed that he fit through there at all.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:55 AM
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How about hanging a piece of lattice from the cieling to the railing. You can hang it from hooks and some nice twine, and then twine it along the bottom to the railing. Then you can use it as a nice bulletin board, even twining some nice looking seasonal foliage through the lattice to make it look sort of "outdoors/natural"

I wouldn't put shelves in front of it, because those could be climbed. I would find a way to make it look attractive, but cover the space that is open so there is no possibility of them climbing over.

And, ignore the "judgement" you get here. YOU know what your space is like and what your children are like. You clearly supervise them, so let it roll off your back. Besides, if you passed inspection, then I imagine it's fine, or they wouldn't have cleared you for business. Do the best with what you have and move on.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:59 AM
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After hanging the lattice, I would turn the rocking chair with the back of it facing the railing and place the book shelf I can barely see in your pic next to it so it's a little reading nook and then you have a nice space with the buleetin board behind it emphasizing current themes and seasons. It will also keep the children away from the lattice so they cannot mess with it.
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  #30  
Old 10-12-2010, 06:06 AM
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The shelves would make it safer I think. You could try it to see if the set up is something you could live with.
I have a few cheap shelves with toys on them and my little 2 year old pulled it on top of herself a while back, she is okay I was right there! I bought the clips that connect the shelf to the wall, that is the only thing that I would worry about with the shelves.
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  #31  
Old 10-12-2010, 06:06 AM
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i agree, dont let the judgement of others get you down, your doing what you can! not 'everyone' is as perfect as others LOL

i think what your doing is great!! only YOU know what your place looks like. pictures are not always the best thing !!
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  #32  
Old 10-12-2010, 06:34 AM
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Oh my gosh! I was NOT trying to be judgemental...I was trying to be really honest.

Here are the facts:

1. You have posted pictures of your home and reported an incident where a child was nearly hurt.

2. You have not fixed the problem, and therefore that child at the very least is at risk.

3. If God forbid, there is an accident, finding this information on the internet won't be too tough for investigators.

4. Your financial situation will go from bad to worse when you are held legally, if not criminally, responsible.

I never, ever suggested spending thousands. Plexiglass will cost you about $50. I am sorry about your financial situation, it sucks, I've been there. But, this will seem like a cake-walk if something goes wrong. As I said, it is very clear that you care about the child, I'm just suggesting your cover your butt.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:12 AM
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After thinking about your situation a bit more, I remembered that MANY programs use child lofts to add additional space. These lofts are probably about as high as your space is over the bottom level. They have clear plexiglass sides, and the sides are probably about as high as your railing. SO, if those are considered safe and okay for child care, then I think a piece of plexiglass along there would be just fine. Here is a picture of a loft....

http://kaplanco.com/store/trans/prod...%7C0&PID=40843
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  #34  
Old 10-12-2010, 07:23 AM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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Actually, you're wrong; I fixed the original problem, thank you very much. I have a railnet in place now, I have posted about this before. It was in place before I opened the following day--actually before I went to bed that night. This prevents anyone from getting through the bars, which is what happened originally. The newer issue is everyone's concern regarding the height of the railing. To permanently fix it will be expensive and will take time.

Although I do like the suggestion of using lattice...I will have to chew that one over a bit. It would be a LOT of lattice and I would probably have to paint/stain it myself, but that could certainly work.

Sorry if I sound snarky; I'm pregnant and today's mood is touchy and short-tempered.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Oh my gosh! I was NOT trying to be judgemental...I was trying to be really honest.

Here are the facts:

1. You have posted pictures of your home and reported an incident where a child was nearly hurt.

2. You have not fixed the problem, and therefore that child at the very least is at risk.

3. If God forbid, there is an accident, finding this information on the internet won't be too tough for investigators.

4. Your financial situation will go from bad to worse when you are held legally, if not criminally, responsible.

I never, ever suggested spending thousands. Plexiglass will cost you about $50. I am sorry about your financial situation, it sucks, I've been there. But, this will seem like a cake-walk if something goes wrong. As I said, it is very clear that you care about the child, I'm just suggesting your cover your butt.
If you'd post under your registered username, you may be given a little more credibility. BUT, as an "unregistered", which is how most members see you, your being seen as judgemental.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:52 AM
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MyAngels MyAngels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
Actually, you're wrong; I fixed the original problem, thank you very much. I have a railnet in place now, I have posted about this before. It was in place before I opened the following day--actually before I went to bed that night. This prevents anyone from getting through the bars, which is what happened originally. The newer issue is everyone's concern regarding the height of the railing. To permanently fix it will be expensive and will take time.

Although I do like the suggestion of using lattice...I will have to chew that one over a bit. It would be a LOT of lattice and I would probably have to paint/stain it myself, but that could certainly work.

Sorry if I sound snarky; I'm pregnant and today's mood is touchy and short-tempered.
Maybe you could look into getting a grant to help you with the cost of installing whatever safeguard you have in mind for the railing? I'm not sure how to go about finding them, but I have heard of providers getting all sorts of things paid for this way, and I would think safety would certainly be at the top of the list for a lot of grants.
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