If chairs and couches are well padded with rugged upholstery and if tables have smooth, rounded edges and corners, your child and your furnishings can coexist happily with minimal risk.
Choose easy-care upholstery fabrics in patterns and colors least likely to advertise stains and wear-and-tear. Look into stain- repellent fabric finishes, whether applied by the manufacturer or sprayed on by you.
Childproofing Tables & Chairs
Tables with sharp, hard edges (especially marble or glass) injure many stumbling toddlers. Attach edge protectors and add corner guards. Better yet is a table with smooth, rounded edges or one made of soft wicker (without protruding reed ends) or plastic.
Sturdy Furniture for Kids
Make sure that all tabletops are anchored securely to their bases. Also, a draping tablecloth is an invitation to an accident: A small child can grab the cloth for support (or simply out of curiosity) and pull down everything that rests on the tabletop.
Tuck dining chairs under the table so your child won’t be tempted to use them to climb up onto the tabletop.
Check freestanding bookshelves for stability. If at all unsteady, they can be anchored with screws to wall studs. If that’s not possible, use spreading anchors. Bookshelves with cabinet doors at the bottom are harder for kids to climb. And such cabinets provide a good place to keep small paraphernalia out of sight.
Wedging books tightly on shelves helps to foil the toddler’s game of pulling them off the shelves. Breakables should go out of reach or behind locked doors. Be sure that china cabinets are stable, unclimbable, and have locks or safety latches on their doors.
Keeping Kids Safe Near Electronic Equipment
For the safety of both your child and your expensive equipment, place your television, stereo, and other gear out of reach in cabinets, or at least against a wall (but with allowances for air circulation on all sides and on top to prevent overheating.) If you keep the television behind closed doors now, it will also be easier to monitor your child’s viewing later on. See more about childproofing electronics.
Lamps & Kids
All freestanding lamps, especially floor lamps, are easily pulled over. For ideal lamp safety, temporarily eliminate table and floor lamps in favor of ceiling-mounted lighting. If that’s not possible, make sure that your lamps are sturdy and are placed where their cords drop out of sight and reach. If necessary, use 2-inch-wide clear packing tape to secure cords along the floor or baseboards. Reduce the wattage of lamps that have hot, bare bulbs exposed beneath shades. Never leave a lighting fixture without a bulb in its socket.
TIP: Don’t forget to add corner guards to any kitchen or bath countertops that do not have rounded edges.