I have a six-month-old whom I expect to begin crawling at some point, so I'm beginning to worry about child-proofing the main level of the house. Many of my pending child-safety issues have easy solutions, but I'm having trouble figuring out what to do with our notebook computers. We tend to leave our computers on the tables and counters with the power cords dangling precariously to the nearest outlet. (WiFi reduces some of the clutter, but wireless power doesn't yet exist.)
The best I've been able to come up with is long battery lives and a cabinet with a latching door where we can store the computers as they charge.
What are good strategies for reducing incompatibilities between crawling babies and notebook computers?
MagSafe has been a lifesaver for me, but it's Mac-only.
Aside from that, charge your laptops somewhere where the child can't get to: past a gate or upstairs. If you leave a cord dangling, he or she will pull that cord eventually and it's not going to be pretty.
Also, if you're using a laptop, be very careful about a child coming up from behind it and pulling the LCD screen down towards himself. My oldest daughter broke mine off when she was about 10 months old and it was pretty awful.
Older kids (like my 18-month old) respond well to aversion techniques so I spank his hand if he pulls on any cords and tell him "no." That's about all I've got. It's a constant battle keeping one's gadgets safe from children who are curious what Daddy is doing.
answered 29 Sep '09, 01:46
Some of the nicer desks out there have cable runners and powers strips on the tops. It won't eliminate all the risks, but it will make it much harder for little ones to pull electronics down off the desk by yanking on (or getting caught in) the cords.
If you don't want to splurge on a nice new desk, you can fake it. Just buy a surge protector that has eyelets for screws and screw it to the top of your desk at the back. Then plug all your equipment (computer, monitor, printer, speakers, &c.) into that surge protector.
LifeHacker has a nice list titled Top 10 Ways to Get Cables Under Control that you might find useful.
answered 30 Sep '09, 03:16
I keep my power cord behind my desk where my infant can't get at it, and then make sure that my laptop is not at the front edge of my desk when I leave it to charge.
answered 29 Sep '09, 03:58
We have 3 notebooks in the house and they are rarely on desks. My work laptop, when its home is on the coffee or end table in the living room. Same goes for my wife's. We have a third that spends most of its time in our bedroom as we are "got to look it up Now" people.
We also have a 6-month old who has figured out buttons (thanks to BabySmash). As object permanence is kicking in, he also is starting to recognize a laptop with a closed lid as something of interest.
For my laptop, I have put a power strip behind a sofa I can reach behind. I thread the cord up behind the sofa and into the laptop when in use and store it on the end table next to that sofa when not in use (which is rare). For my wife's we're going to have to give her a separate charging station once the little guy is mobile. For upstairs, I think we're just going to have to put the laptop on a desk somewhere and deal with the delayed gratification.
answered 30 Sep '09, 18:27
I keep my laptop up on the back of the couch with the cord running down behind between it and the wall where its out of reach if I have to leave the room. My child is a year old and still cannot reach anything up on tables (as long as its not right at teh edge) or up against the back of the couch. I don't recommend taking everything away or how will they learn? You cannot completely child proof everything for the first 2-3 years of their life and then expect them to know what not to touch when you want to un-childproof everything later. I would say child proof most stuff but don't be afraid to use your laptop around them and teach them 'no' or 'agh' or whatever your deterant word will be - they are smart cookies and can understand no as early as 6 months.
answered 01 Oct '09, 02:14