Parents do all they can to baby proof the home. Baby gates, safety sockets, kitchen cabinet locks etc. Not always are the frames around the house considered, yet they can pose a significant risk.
Think of where you have your frames on display around your home. Can a toddler reach them? If they’re on display on a coffee table, sideboard, or on top of a chest of drawers, chances are, if they can’t reach them already, they will eventually be able to.
When they do, what’s the glazing? If it’s glass, then it’s far from safe. If a glass glazed frame takes a knock from any height, there’s a high chance that the glass that breaks will shatter, leaving extremely hazardous glass shards in its wake.
The safest glazing on all frames is perspex/acrylic as its anti-shatter. If the frame does take a tumble, there’s no immediate danger. Not to say there is none because the broken shards of acrylic are still going to be sharp.
Safety with Frame Placements
If you’ve not realised already, no matter what you have on display, it’s a temptation for curious young minds. Putting picture frames on top of a chest of drawers in the bedroom could see the little ones get creative by pulling out the drawers to create a makeshift staircase to get up top for a closer inspection.
Climbing is something toddlers learn really soon after mastering their feet. It starts with the first step, then a climb onto the sofa or dining room chair, then realising they can reach higher places, it’s up to the windowsill for a nosey outside. Needless to say, frames on a bedroom windowsill isn’t ideal for a toddler’s room. Neither is above the cot where there’s always a risk it could fall down either by a wall hanging bracket failing, plaster cracking or just gravity.
Safer Materials and Shapes
For the frames you have that aren’t hung on the walls, how sharp are the edges? Are the frames decorated with fancy beading, mini-gems or any other small parts attached to the frame, often using craft glue that could detach becoming a choking hazard?
Plain frames are safer than those decorated because every toddler goes through the taste-testing phase – when everything they get their little hands on goes into their mouth. Usually, it starts at the teething stage, so that’s definitely when to have a serious think about the materials within reach.
Painted or treated wood frames may contain harmful materials when ingested. Safer materials are plastics, and for wood frames, it helps to know what the wood’s been treated with. You don’t want antique frames that could have been painted decades ago, then repainted to keep it looking fresh as beneath the layers of newer, cleaner paint, could be lead-based paint.
To minimise the risk of any substance and bacteria being ingested of treated frames, have them hung up out of reach and not right beside the cot, on a coffee table, or on lower shelves of bookcases.
For any frames you do want to display on lower furniture, soft rounded corners are the safest option. It could only take a slight tug for a frame to topple off a unit. It’s still likely to cause upset from the hurt, but at least with a rounded edge, there’s less risk of injury by a sharp edge, and even less of a chance of acrylic glazing breaking, resulting in potential injury.