How to Baby-Proof Floor Heaters: A Complete Guide
Do you have small children? Are you worried about them getting injured by your floor heaters?
Then, you’ve come to the right place!
We know how much toddlers love discovering the world around them. If you have floor heaters, finding a way to baby-proof them can be challenging.
To help you out, we searched for some of the best ways to baby-proof floor heaters. This way, your little one can enjoy exploring, and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your child is safe from harm.
Let’s check them out!
Table of Contents
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The Importance of Baby-Proofing Floor Heaters
Once your child takes notice of the floor heater in your home, there’s no going back. It becomes a magical place where keys, pens, and other small items fall in, but don’t come out.
You have to admit it’s cute at first. Then, it just becomes annoying. Things get lost in the abyss or they get stuck. Either way, you lose your stuff and the heater gets damaged.
The real scare, however, comes if your child slips their fingers into the heater vents. It can result in serious injuries or burns.
This is why it’s important that you take the time to baby-proof your floor heaters. It’s the best way to keep your child safe during their exploration phase.
Teach Your Child to be Cautious
There are some stages in your child’s life when they’ll try everything for themselves, no matter how much you warn them against it. Sticking their fingers into every available opening in your home is one of these stages [Source].
Yet, it won’t hurt to try to discourage your child to stay away from dangerous areas, including floor heaters. If your child is still crawling, you can act out that you got hurt after touching the heater.
Also, children at this age are easily distracted [Source]. So, use that to your advantage. Shift their focus on something else by distracting them with a toy or a book.
Remember that even though they’re distracted easily, they forget just as easily. So, don’t be surprised when you find your little one heading for the floor heaters once again.
When this happens, use our baby-proofing tips. They’ll help keep your children safe and your heaters in good condition.
The Most Effective Ways to Baby-Proof Floor Heaters
Since prevention is much better than a cure, here are a few of the most effective ways to baby-proof a floor heater.
Secure Registers in Place
This baby-proofing option will cost you next to nothing, but it will require a bit of handiwork. All you have to do is either screw the vents in place or nail them in. This ensures that the vents don’t move and your child’s fingers don’t get stuck.
The one problem with this option is that there will be potential damage to the vents or floors. Another drawback is that it can only be done with wooden vents.
So, what do you do if you have plastic or metal vents? You can use velcro or double-sided tape to keep the vents in place.
Install Plastic or Wood Vents
Metal covers are sharp. They can cause severe cuts and bruises if your child sticks their fingers through the openings. This is why replacing metal vents with plastic or wood reduces the risk of your baby getting injured.
The good thing about these vents come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. You can easily find the one to match your room decor. And see the previous section on how to secure them, so your child can’t get their fingers stuck!
Put Up a Deflector
Air deflectors (click to check the price on Amazon) are designed to distribute heat evenly throughout the room. They reduce overheating and help save energy.
Another advantage is that it acts as a barrier to prevent your baby’s fingers from slipping into the openings. There’s also no risk of anything accidentally falling in the heater.
These deflectors are made from clear, high-quality plastic. They can expand to fit different sized heaters. Another bonus is that they’re easy to install, with the help of magnets situated on either side of the unit. AND, they fit on floor, wall, and even ceiling vents!
I use these air deflectors in the master bedroom, and they work great! Seems like the room heats more evenly too!
=Related post: 12 Easy Ways to Baby Proof Dog Food and Water!=
Cover the Heater Vent
Covering up the vent is a guaranteed way to safeguard your children against the dangers of floor heaters. However, you want to do this in a way that allows the warm air to flow through without anything going in.
Below are a couple of fool-proof ways to cover the heater vent.
Add Stainless Steel Screens
Placing a stainless steel screen cover (available at your local hardware store, or of course, you can get them on Amazon) over the heater openings is an easy and budget-friendly option to prevent anything from falling inside the vent. More importantly, it protects little fingers from getting hurt.
All you need is to pick up some screening from your local hardware store. Then, measure the heater and cut the screen accordingly.
Remember to add a couple of inches on each side. Remove the heater cover, fold in the extra screening underneath the cover. Secure everything in place once again.
Use Air Vent Extenders
Air vent extenders (click to see them on Amazon) were originally designed to redirect air from the vent when the heater is covered by a piece of furniture. They protect the furniture and allow for better ventilation.
Extenders are closed on top and have an opening on only one side. They offer an efficient way to boost airflow and save energy. Plus, they’re easy to set up and can be adjusted to the size of your heater.
So, since they’re so practical and efficient, why not also use them to baby-proof your floor heater? Their closed top means nothing can pass through, which means little fingers can stay safe.
You could even put an air vent extender over your vent, then move a piece of furniture over top to really child-proof it!
Install Plastic Vent Screens
Many of these plastic vent coverings (available on Amazon) are designed for outdoor use. They cover up external vents to prevent bugs and insects from finding their way into your home. However, they do just as well of a job when it comes to baby-proofing floor heaters.
They’re made of durable plastic that doesn’t bend or rust. They’re available in a wide range of sizes and you can spray paint them to match your home decor.
Best of all, their small opening allows the warm air to pass through the vents. Yet, they’re too small for little fingers to get caught or for any small items to pass through.
=Related Post: How to Baby-Proof a Water Cooler=
Block Off the Area
Even if your children have passed the exploring phase, they still may trip or fall, and injure themselves on the razor-sharp openings. Blocking off the area where the floor heater is a good way to protect your child from all these mishaps. It’s also a practical alternative to buying and installing vent covers or screens.
Here are a couple of ways you can baby-proof floor heaters by keeping your child away.
One way to baby-proof floor heaters is to use a safety gate (click to view on Amazon). Yet, instead of using the traditional gate that blocks off doorways, you can get one with panels.
They’re more versatile because the panels can form an enclosure around the heater. A safety gate will allow your kids to play freely without fear of being injured on the heater. Plus, it’ll give you some peace of mind knowing that they’re not in harm’s way.
I have one of these huge baby gates around my fireplace. And while my toddler can reach through the gate, she can’t get any of the stuff on the other side!
Fireplace Screen Guards
Another way to block off the area is to use a fireplace screen guard (available on Amazon) You can place it as a barrier to secure any potentially hazardous area in your home, including floor heaters.
Fireplace screens are sturdy and won’t easily budget or fall over. They come in a variety of colors and add a touch of elegance and style to any room. Most fireplace screens are made from wrought iron and given a powder-coated finish.
Hide the Floor Heater
Do you know the saying: out of sight, out of mind? By hiding the heater with a piece of furniture, you eliminate the risk of your child coming near it. You can use a chair, a sofa, or a table to cover up the heater.
There are two possible drawbacks to this option. For starters, hiding the heater means there will be less heat flowing from the vents into the room.
Another problem is that the piece of furniture you use may get damaged from the heat. Even worse, it may even catch fire.
If you’re going to rely on this option, you can use an air vent extender like the one we mentioned earlier. It’s a temporary solution. Yet, it can preserve your furniture and your heater while safeguarding your children against injuries.
The takeaways from babyproofing your floor heaters
We know how important your child’s safety is. Yet, their inquisitive nature can pose a threat, especially when you’ve turned on the heaters in your home. So, what’s a parent to do?
In our article, we listed several ways to baby-proof floor heaters. Take a look at each option and decide which works best for you and your family. Keeping those cute little fingers away from floor heaters is one way you can keep your child safe and injury-free this winter season.