How to Babyproof Baseboard Heaters

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Are you wondering how to babyproof baseboard heaters? It's not an easy task because of the location of baseboard heaters and how they work. Constant supervision is the only sure way to keep your little one away from baseboard heaters, although it's not realistic to watch your child every second. However, you can use some babyproofing methods to make the heaters a little safer for your baby.

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How Baseboard Heaters Work

Baseboard heaters are usually installed along the baseboards under windows and use convection to warm your room. When cold air comes in through the window, it drops into a vent on your baseboard heater. Heated components inside the unit warm the air, which flows out of the unit and into the room to heat the air. You can get electric baseboard heaters or hot-water baseboard heaters.

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Dangers of Baseboard Heaters

The location of a baseboard heater is the biggest issue with kids. Because they're mounted just off the floor, little ones of all ages can reach them easily. They also have to get very hot to warm the room effectively, which means the heater is very hot to the touch. One touch could burn your child's skin.

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The design of the baseboard heater can also make it appealing to little ones. The different slots and holes where the air enters and exits often entice kids to touch, poke, or put things inside the unit. This can injure your child or damage your heaters.

Baseboard heaters need plenty of clearance around them to allow for proper airflow. That means you can't just park your couch in front of the baseboard heater to keep your little one away because it will block the airflow. This requires you to get creative with babyproofing your home to keep your little one safe.

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Baseboard Heater Covers

Baseboard heater covers primarily work to keep little fingers and small toys away from the holes in a baseboard heater, not to prevent burns. If your child sticks his fingers in the holes, he can get hurt. Toys going into the holes can damage your heaters.

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Using baseboard heater covers allows the unit to still work properly by maintaining proper airflow while also making it more difficult for your curious child to stick things in the holes. However, the covers are typically made out of metal, which still conducts heat. The cover might be a little cooler than the heater itself, but it still gets hot and could still burn your child.

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Child Play Yard Barrier

Another option is to set up a modular play yard or extra-wide baby gate around each baseboard heater. These systems feature connected panels that you can arrange however you want. Some have wall-mounting kits to attach them securely and prevent tipping if your child tries to climb on the panels.

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You can simply surround each baseboard heater with the system to keep your child several feet away from the heater. The barriers take up several feet of space depending on how large they are and how you set them up, so this can interfere with furniture placement and clutter the space. Consider how much space you have available to determine if it will work for you.

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Replacing Baseboard Heaters

If it's time to replace your baseboard heaters anyway, consider switching to a different heating method. Ductless heat pumps are an option if your home doesn't have air ducts. These systems typically have an outdoor unit and indoor units in each room to heat and cool the space. Because they're typically mounted higher on the wall, your little ones can't access them, which makes them a safer option.

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