Having baseboard heaters in your apartment should be a concern when you’re expecting a baby. Your child can touch it when it’s hot or stick their hands in them and get burned. Your options are to make the heaters safer, or not use them at all.
Tip #1: Cover Them with Baseboard Heater Covers
A baseboard heater cover is a great solution. These are perforated steel covers that fit over the baseboards. They’re easy to install and remove without any tools, so you can use them in any apartment that you move into with baseboard heat. They block the openings of the baseboard heater so that your baby can’t get their hands stuck in it. It’s also a barrier to the baseboard heater itself, so that you baby won’t be able to directly touch the heater or stuff toys in it.
Tip #2: Hide it
Another option is to hide the baseboard heater with furniture. Put couches, bookcases and other furniture in front of it. The problem is that you won’t have an energy efficient apartment when you block the heater with your furniture. You also have to be careful that whatever you’re putting it front of the heater won’t catch on fire or get damaged by overheating. It’s best to view this tip as a temporary solution until you can save up enough money to buy heater covers.
Tip #3: Alternative Heating Options
Using a baseboard heater may not be worth it to you, for safety and energy conservation reasons. Consider alternative heat sources instead. A portable heater mounted on the wall may be what you need. Even using heat radiators would be easier to baby proof, then an entire baseboard heater system. Stay away from kerosene heaters and propane heaters if you can, because of the fumes they emit and safe storage issues. Consider using energy devices that combine air conditioning and heating in one unit, such as portable air conditioners with heaters.
Tip #4: Play Pen and Toys
Don’t depend on a play pen alone as a safety measure. However, it can work well to supplement your other baby proofing tactics. Put some of your baby’s toys in the play pen and allow them to play in for a while, to distract them from crawling to the baseboard heaters. You still have to use covers or try to hide it for the times your baby is not in the play pen.
Tip# 5: Fireplace Screens
A cheaper alternative to baseboard heat covers may be fireplace screens. Place them as a barrier to the baseboard heaters in all the rooms, or the rooms where you allow your baby to crawl in the most. Your baby won’t be able to get to the baseboard heaters to injure themselves, or start a fire by jamming toys in it. The screens may be balky and not the best solution if you have a tiny apartment though.
Try to avoid renting an apartment with baseboard heaters if you have a baby or are expecting one. If you’re already renting one, then you’ll have the extra expense of baby proofing them to protect your child.