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Jeff Root
2011-Oct-04, 10:27 PM
At what age is a baby (toddler, whatever) likely to be able to reach
and turn the knobs on the front of a stove? At what age could one
reasonably hope that a child would understand the dangers and
not turn the knobs as soon as you look in the other direction?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

swampyankee
2011-Oct-04, 10:36 PM
At what age is a baby (toddler, whatever) likely to be able to reach
and turn the knobs on the front of a stove? At what age could one
reasonably hope that a child would understand the dangers and
not turn the knobs as soon as you look in the other direction?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Part 1: before they can walk.

Part 2: for most, probably by 3 or 4. For some, never. Can't trust my mother near a stove any more.

billslugg
2011-Oct-04, 11:22 PM
My stepdaughter was walking at age 9 months. I know this from family history as I was not around during that period. My boy was not walking until 12 months but he could crawl at 6 months, pull himself up on shelving and destroy valuable items at 8 months. I would say 8 months would have been his best window of opportunity to turn on the stove and burn the house down. There is never a time when they will not turn on the stove just for the fun of it.

Gillianren
2011-Oct-04, 11:39 PM
Depends on where the knobs for your stove are. For ours, you'd have to climb on top of the stove.

baskerbosse
2011-Oct-05, 12:41 AM
At what age is a baby (toddler, whatever) likely to be able to reach
and turn the knobs on the front of a stove? At what age could one
reasonably hope that a child would understand the dangers and
not turn the knobs as soon as you look in the other direction?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

As soon as they start crawling, I'd suggest getting a playpen for when you can't watch them.

There are other things than the stove that are not obviously dangerous until you let a baby near it..
Bookcases, lamp cords, chests of drawers (if you pull all the drawers out, they tip over unless secured to the wall), cords for blinds, open windows, stairs...

If you have a freestanding stove, make sure the oven door is child proof. Climbing on the oven door can tip a freestanding stove. Not good if there's food cooking on top. Should also be secured to the wall.


I recommend the playpen.

Peter

billslugg
2011-Oct-05, 01:38 AM
Also, just after children learn to walk, some of them go through a phase where they are fascinated with locating shiny objects and placing them in the trash can. I could not find my key ring one day. It, and the wedding ring on it never showed up. They were apparently the victim of molecular disintegration. One day, I observed as my one year old boy carefully picked up a shiny piece of foil off the floor and gleefully carried it over and dropped it in the trash can. So must have gone my ring.

swampyankee
2011-Oct-05, 01:43 AM
They'll also eat almost anything. One evening, as I was cooking supper, my daughter reached up and grabbed a freshly-peeled clove of garlic from the counter, popped it into her mouth, and ate it.

This was not repeated.

Nowhere Man
2011-Oct-05, 02:25 AM
If you have a freestanding stove, make sure the oven door is child proof. Climbing on the oven door can tip a freestanding stove. Not good if there's food cooking on top. Should also be secured to the wall.
Most if not all stoves these days come with a bracket that mounts on the floor. It prevents the stove from tipping out and still allows it to be slid in and out of its position. If a pro installed the stove, the bracket should have been installed as well. I suppose you can test it by trying to tip the stove. Do not do it like this. (http://failblog.org/2011/07/18/epic-fail-photos-planking-fail/)

I second the playpen. (Some of my friends would recommend duct tape...)

Edit to add: Hmm, post #2,500 for yours truly. Milestone or no big deal?

Fred

Solfe
2011-Oct-05, 02:48 AM
Milestone I would think. You didn't wreck it with post 2501 just to see if it was a milestone. :)

(Ok, what does the palm face smiley look like? It has to be better than that.)

My children never did the "normal" things like going for the stove. However, my oldest climbed on a counter top to get his little mitts on a meat cleaver to cut up strawberries. Pure nightmare fuel since I was the parent on duty that day. Someday I will start taking pills to treat the hyper-vigilance that event caused, but not until all three kids move out.

baskerbosse
2011-Oct-05, 03:55 AM
I second the playpen. (Some of my friends would recommend duct tape...)


Sometimes they can get cranky if they can't see you, in which case I recommend the 'immobiliser', or as the baby shop calls it "Baby Activity Center" (-It's really an immobiliser..)


Peter

Jeff Root
2011-Oct-05, 10:44 AM
Congratulations Nowhere Man! You're 1/4 of the way to nowhere!

I'm actually most interested in an answer to my second question:
When should a child understand sufficiently that there is a serious
physical danger from a stove to excersize useful self-restraint?
The "baby" in this case is past the age of being confineable to
a playpen. I'm just wondering about my next-door neighbors.
It has been a while since I saw their stove. It is newer than mine
but AFAIR it also has the controls at the front, and I was thinking
how the baby used to play on the kitchen floor. (Making sounds
that I misidentified for months. I thought it was a mouse inside
the wall playng with some little piece of metal, like a punch-out
from an electrical junction box. It was actually the baby playing
with something like a metal dish that he repeatedly dropped on
the floor so that it would spin around on its edge. There really
was a mouse, too, but it wasn't responsible for those particular
sounds. It apparently died or left last spring.) I can't imagine
mommy keeping watch every second. She seems to be alone
with the kid most of the time, and it is a small apartment -- not
many places to explore.

My mom says that on the day we moved into our house, when I
was seven and a half months old, we also got our first TV. My
playpen was temporarily placed next to the new TV during the
moving, and I must have copied what I saw my dad do a few
minutes earlier: I pulled myself up and turned on the TV.
Fifty-eight years and five days ago. It still isn't safe to leave
me alone with a TV!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

closetgeek
2011-Oct-05, 01:15 PM
Congratulations Nowhere Man! You're 1/4 of the way to nowhere!

I'm actually most interested in an answer to my second question:
When should a child understand sufficiently that there is a serious
physical danger from a stove to excersize useful self-restraint?
-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Shortly after they are paying their own medical bills...

Ivan Viehoff
2011-Oct-05, 01:16 PM
Almost as soon as ours could walk, and without any prior suggestion or instruction in the possibility of standing on things to reach, our daughter pulled a child's chair across the kitchen and stood on it to gain access to what was on the work surfaces. The first thing she grabbed was a carving knife.

From about the time they can hold onto things to pull themselves into a vertical position, for the next couple of years, they are positively suicidal and have to be very carefully watched.

Grey
2011-Oct-05, 01:34 PM
They'll also eat almost anything. One evening, as I was cooking supper, my daughter reached up and grabbed a freshly-peeled clove of garlic from the counter, popped it into her mouth, and ate it.

This was not repeated.When he was young, our son saw me filling the pepper grinder, picked up one of the whole peppercorns, chewed it up and ate it. I figured that he'd figure out on his own not to do that, but instead he proceeded to eat six more before I decided maybe that was enough. Turns out he really likes spicy food.

DonM435
2011-Oct-05, 01:41 PM
Our son could always escape from the playpen.

Pretty soon, your playpen will become a safe place to store things that you don't want the baby to get to.

One of our neighbors set up her Xmas tree in the playpen to protect it from the baby.

Fazor
2011-Oct-05, 01:46 PM
... chests of drawers (if you pull all the drawers out, they tip over unless secured to the wall) ...

You know, I'm almost 30 and still haven't learned that lesson. Once every few years it seems I'll be looking for something in a filing cabinet or drawer, and in my hurry, won't close one drawer before opening the next, etc, until the whole thing just about flattens me.

Grey
2011-Oct-05, 03:19 PM
You know, I'm almost 30 and still haven't learned that lesson. Once every few years it seems I'll be looking for something in a filing cabinet or drawer, and in my hurry, won't close one drawer before opening the next, etc, until the whole thing just about flattens me.Most recently made file cabinets and chests of drawers that I've seen have locks to make it impossible to pull out more than one drawer at a time. That doesn't help the existing ones, of course.

Fazor
2011-Oct-05, 03:26 PM
Most recently made file cabinets and chests of drawers that I've seen have locks to make it impossible to pull out more than one drawer at a time. That doesn't help the existing ones, of course.

I've seen filing cabinets like that (ours obviously aren't), but I hadn't seen that in chests of drawers.

Trebuchet
2011-Oct-05, 03:41 PM
They'll also eat almost anything. One evening, as I was cooking supper, my daughter reached up and grabbed a freshly-peeled clove of garlic from the counter, popped it into her mouth, and ate it.

This was not repeated.

I had a cat that did that with a slice of jalapeno pepper. Also not repeated. The expression on his face was hilarious.

Fazor
2011-Oct-05, 05:06 PM
I had a cat that did that with a slice of jalapeno pepper. Also not repeated. The expression on his face was hilarious.

One of my two dogs is a fuzzy garbage disposal and will eat anything. I've tried "teaching her a lesson" when she starts begging while I'm working with a very spicy pepper or sauce.

"Yeah, you think you want this? Well okay...."

. . . she promptly eats it and begs for more. *d'oh!*

R.A.F.
2011-Oct-05, 05:31 PM
Hmm, post #2,500 for yours truly. Milestone or no big deal?

I "vote" milestone, however this post puts me 100 away from 10,000, so I'm probably the wrong person to ask. :)

Gillianren
2011-Oct-05, 05:48 PM
I had a cat that did that with a slice of jalapeno pepper. Also not repeated. The expression on his face was hilarious.

One of the rare things my boyfriend and my cat bond over is a love of jalapeņo chili. (Wow! Spellcheck provided the tilde for me!) I once came home to discover that D's paws were all red and freaked out until I realized that he'd been eating chili--he dips his paw into it and licks the paw.

closetgeek
2011-Oct-05, 06:59 PM
Poor Jeff Root. The conversation has digressed into cats eating spicey foods and he still doesn't have an answer. At best I can say that there is no safe age because children learn at very different rates. In most cases, I would feel that a good indication is when you can have a continuous verbal exchange with the child and it's evident that the child is comprehending what you are saying and returning with their own interpretation or ideas. Of course, in my situation, all my kids are in their double digits and I still find myself asking them how many times I have to be right before they will just take my word for it.

swampyankee
2011-Oct-05, 09:01 PM
Closetgeek has the best answer. Of course, after stoves come power tools. Some people never quite get the hang of these. I know one guy who managed to cut of two of his fingers -- the same two fingers (they were reattached both times) -- twice.

Gillianren
2011-Oct-06, 12:17 AM
My older sister nearly cut off her own finger with a pair of garden clippers a month or two before I was born. She was two. But I don't think any of the three of us ever got in trouble with the stove.

elizabeth25
2011-Oct-06, 11:55 PM
I never had that problem with my 2 children, i put a lock on the kitchen door near the top so they couldn't get in there, now they are 4 and 7 years old, i still have the lock, but i have had to put a nail in at the top of the doorframe and hang the key on there as my 4 year old son likes to get anything he can stand on to reach and open the door. but he cant reach it when its on the nail.

BigDon
2011-Oct-15, 03:08 PM
Another thing to watch carefully for if you have an electric stove is children are fascinated by the cherry red glow of the heating elements. I had a lot of company one time and a friend and I needed to drain this huge kettle of pasta. We each took a side and walked it over to the sink and when I looked back my oldest, who was still not tall enough to see over the stove top was none the less reaching her tender little hand for a red hot heating element.

I was ten feet away and holding one side of a three gallon kettle full of boiling water so I did the only thing I could do.

I screamed "no" so hard that the other guy holding the pot nearly dropped his side and Julia Grace was so spooked she jumped and then did a sit down and cry.

Her little hands were saved.

DoggerDan
2011-Oct-16, 09:49 AM
At what age is a baby (toddler, whatever) likely to be able to reach
and turn the knobs on the front of a stove

Sooner than you think! When they can climb up onto the couch?


At what age could one
reasonably hope that a child would understand the dangers and
not turn the knobs as soon as you look in the other direction?

I didn't let my kids out of my sight until they were 16. Doesn't mean I didn't trust them. Just means that I didn't relinquish my parental rights until I would be willing to stand in a court of law and say, "I trusted them to do the right thing."

But I had to make my own determination, based on my experience of their efforts, before I stepped onto that platform.

grapes
2011-Oct-16, 10:12 AM
Another thing to watch carefully for if you have an electric stove is children are fascinated by the cherry red glow of the heating elements.Our daughter was two, and was much more serious about getting into things than her two older siblings were, so we weren't that prepared. She would climb up a shelf to a cupboard, and pull herself onto the top of the refrigerator, to get at the bowl of halloween candy there. She'd be cross-legged, eating candy, on top of the refrigerator in a matter of seconds.

One time I was on the phone, which was mounted on a wall of the kitchen. I heard a banging behind me--she'd opened up the lazy susan shelves, crawled up those, walked across the counters to the electric stove top, and was energetically struggling with the door of the microwave, mounted above the stove, because she'd seen us put that bowl of candy in the microwave. Just as I jumped from the phone, she managed to get the microwave oven open, and she swung out to open air, still dangling from the door handle. She looked across the room at me, wondering what she was going to do then.

DonM435
2011-Oct-16, 12:56 PM
One day I put these little plastic thingies in the exposed electric sockets. These were sold with the idea that it'll keep the baby from poking anything else in there. However, our baby son was very observant of his surroundings, and he noticed almost at once that the sockets now had these lighter-colored strips over the dark plastic, and moved towards them, which was not what we had in mind. I had to replace them later with darker ones. So ... if you do this, try to match the colors.

billslugg
2011-Oct-16, 03:14 PM
To cure a kid of electric sockets, get them right near one and shove a paper clip in it. As it blows the breaker, the bang and the spark will insure the kid never goes near one again. A similar technique is used to remove match fascination. Show them how to light kitchen matches with your thumbnail. Sooner than later he will get a matchhead stuck under his nail just as it ignites. Note to DFACS, I never actually did this, some guy told me.

DonM435
2011-Oct-16, 04:42 PM
Probably most effective, but the durn do-gooders out there wouldn't approve.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-16, 05:42 PM
You guys still haven't switched to safety matches?

It seems like every week here I get a reminder of how incredibly backwards your country is.

swampyankee
2011-Oct-17, 12:24 AM
Probably most effective, but the durn do-gooders out there wouldn't approve.


Yeah. Even the least do-gooderish get annoyed when you defenestrate their misbehaving kids from the school's 3d floor. Durn parents, don't believe in discipline.

Swift
2011-Oct-17, 01:35 AM
You guys still haven't switched to safety matches?

It seems like every week here I get a reminder of how incredibly backwards your country is.
That's not appropriate.

Van Rijn
2011-Oct-17, 04:02 AM
To cure a kid of electric sockets, get them right near one and shove a paper clip in it. As it blows the breaker, the bang and the spark will insure the kid never goes near one again.

Heh. One of my earliest memories is sticking something in a socket and seeing a big flash. I'm pretty sure I did it, but I don't remember details - it's an isolated memory but I remember it as a BIG EVENT. I doubt socket covers were common back then. Anyway, I know I've always had a healthy respect for electrical sockets after that . . .

BigDon
2011-Oct-17, 01:59 PM
You guys still haven't switched to safety matches?

It seems like every week here I get a reminder of how incredibly backwards your country is.

I thought he was joking Swift.

Speaking of childish behavior...

Henrik, did you know that strike anywhere matchs can be fired from a .117 caliber pellet gun and ignite and stick on impact with a solid object? Like your ceiling?

Makes your mom mad though.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-17, 03:11 PM
Henrik, did you know that strike anywhere matchs can be fired from a .117 caliber pellet gun and ignite and stick on impact with a solid object? Like your ceiling?

Makes your mom mad though.
I would have thought the friction in the barrel would be enough to ignite them, I wonder if anyone's tried to determine which it is.

And no, though the though of taking the pellet gun out and firing it straight up in the air at night to test if it was indeed in the barrel it was ignited did occur immediately, it was followed rather fast by the thought of a burning match dropping from the sky onto I wouldn't know what. Guess I've gotten all growed-up.

Grey
2011-Oct-17, 03:11 PM
I screamed "no" so hard that the other guy holding the pot nearly dropped his side and Julia Grace was so spooked she jumped and then did a sit down and cry.

Her little hands were saved.Heh. I recall doing something similar when we were looking through a house that we were planning to rent (while waiting for our permanent house to be built). My inquisitive two year old had opened one of the kitchen cupboards and was reaching for the set mouse trap. I terrified my son, but there was no physical damage.

BigDon
2011-Oct-17, 03:33 PM
I would have thought the friction in the barrel would be enough to ignite them, I wonder if anyone's tried to determine which it is.

And no, though the though of taking the pellet gun out and firing it straight up in the air at night to test if it was indeed in the barrel it was ignited did occur immediately, it was followed rather fast by the thought of a burning match dropping from the sky onto I wouldn't know what. Guess I've gotten all growed-up.

Oh no! It's distinctly the impact. They didn't go off on soft targets like my brother, for instance.

korjik
2011-Oct-17, 03:44 PM
Oh no! It's distinctly the impact. They didn't go off on soft targets like my brother, for instance.

I think Mythbusters needs to test this. If only to see Jamie shoot Adam with a pellet gun loaded with matchheads.....

BigDon
2011-Oct-17, 03:48 PM
No the whole match! The stick acts as a tail and adds needed weight!

BigDon
2011-Oct-17, 03:48 PM
Uhhhh, don't let babys do this!

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-17, 04:51 PM
Oh no! It's distinctly the impact. They didn't go off on soft targets like my brother, for instance.
Ah, not having grown up with a brother, that was a test that didn't occur to me.

BigDon
2011-Oct-17, 05:52 PM
That's why you aim for the rivet heads on their Levi's...

swampyankee
2011-Oct-17, 10:43 PM
I would have thought the friction in the barrel would be enough to ignite them, I wonder if anyone's tried to determine which it is.

And no, though the though of taking the pellet gun out and firing it straight up in the air at night to test if it was indeed in the barrel it was ignited did occur immediately, it was followed rather fast by the thought of a burning match dropping from the sky onto I wouldn't know what. Guess I've gotten all growed-up.

Oh, that's easy. Wade out a few dozen meters from shore.

Solfe
2011-Oct-18, 08:00 PM
No the whole match! The stick acts as a tail and adds needed weight!

Its all fun and games until you loose the other eye. - told to me by a man with one eye and seven fingers.

nosbig5
2011-Oct-18, 08:43 PM
My kids range from 9 to 13. Up until 4-5, kids can't be trusted. After that, it depends on the kid.

My oldest only had to be told once that things like the stove were off limits, a very obedient kid. The other two got past the stage where they were doing stuff like that because they were curious, and moved right into the stage of doing the same things because they were sure that they could handle the danger despite being told "hot - stay away!" and other such warnings. It was an immediate switch from "I don't know any better" to "I know more than my parents" with no transition period.

There's a good reason that the most common answer in this thread is "you can never trust them."

Solfe
2011-Oct-18, 08:55 PM
Play yards simply made my children cry. A lot. Our solution was a child size rocker and some books. My oldest would turn the rocker over and "drive cars" down the rails. My youngest two were slightly more conventional. One used the rocker for "reading" and the other used it for her dolls to sit in. Usually the rocker would end up in whatever room I was, so it was trip hazard.

I know people who swear by play yards, but my kids acted like it was electrified.

I have friend that keeps a small basket of food themed toys and a child sized kitchen in her kitchen, it provides a distraction from real appliances.

Jeff Root
2011-Oct-23, 08:29 PM
nosbig5,

Thanks, that's prolly about as useful a reply as I can hope for.


Solfe,

I don't understand what you mean by
"Play yards simply made my children cry".

-- Jeff, almost in Minneapolis

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-24, 02:38 AM
Play yards are those baby prison thingies people stick their kids in so they don't crawl off when they aren't being watched.

I expect Solfe meant that sticking his kids in one of them resulted in a crying kid and no rest for the parents, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

Jeff Root
2011-Oct-24, 08:05 AM
Okay. I couldn't equate a playpen with a "yard".

-- Jeff, near Minneapolis

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-24, 08:42 AM
Okay. I couldn't equate a playpen with a "yard".
I made a guess, then googled for confirmation.

Incidentally, now we are talking baby development, there's a period after they learn to walk/run where they don't understand the link between a laser pointer and the bright dot, and will happily chase/be chased by the dot which can lead to much hilarity.

AndreH
2011-Oct-24, 09:59 AM
At what age is a baby (toddler, whatever) likely to be able to reach
and turn the knobs on the front of a stove?
Both of my daughters started this after they could walk (13 months and 11 months, respectively). Good thing is we have one of those modern gas stoves. You have to press in the knob for a while until the flame ignites and hold for 10-20 more seconds to keep it burning. Even adults who are not used to it have trouble to get it started. There is a kind of thermosensor. Hard yelling at them and not leaving them alone in the kitchen helped.


At what age could one
reasonably hope that a child would understand the dangers and
not turn the knobs as soon as you look in the other direction?


To my experience between 2 and 3, very much depending on the child. Or after they have burned there fingers badly. Even one does not want it to happen to the kids learning by pain really works. ETA: I still would never leave our 3 year old alone in the kitchen!

AndreH
2011-Oct-24, 10:08 AM
I have friend that keeps a small basket of food themed toys and a child sized kitchen in her kitchen, it provides a distraction from real appliances.

We have 2 drawers full of tupperware. Both of our daughters found it a great thing to play with for hours. My wife and I always used to have them in the room where we were. no playpen. If really needed we did put them into the baby bed (in case you have to respond to the doorbell or something). Also if you have them around you, you can teach them immediately when they do things they shouldn't. ETA: Which does not mean they won't do it if having the occasion. Even at 13, they may burn down the kitchen because they want to make some scrambled eggs but walk away from the stove to watch the favourite TV show "until the eggs are well done". Happened to our 13 year old just 2 months ago.....

AndreH
2011-Oct-24, 10:20 AM
........ there's a period after they learn to walk/run where they don't understand the link between a laser pointer and the bright dot, and will happily chase/be chased by the dot which can lead to much hilarity.

you mean cats or babys?

Trebuchet
2011-Oct-24, 02:42 PM
Incidentally, now we are talking baby development, there's a period after they learn to walk/run where they don't understand the link between a laser pointer and the bright dot, and will happily chase/be chased by the dot which can lead to much hilarity.

I just saw a video on "AFHV" last night with an elderly lady having the same problem. It was one of the finalists. Sort of sad.

Our cats may not know the dot comes from the pointer, but they quickly came to associate the jingling noise of the keychain on the pointer with the fun of chasing the dot.

DonM435
2011-Oct-24, 02:52 PM
One of our cats eventually figured out that the laser dot was just light, and refuses to chase it.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-24, 03:38 PM
you mean cats or babys?
Children.

Most cats never get it.

Jeff Root
2011-Oct-26, 05:48 AM
I think I asked years ago -- maybe on BAUT, maybe
elsewhere, before BAUT even existed -- as to the name
of the bright, flitting spirits that are seen early on sunny
mornings when mommy is buttering toast for breakfast.
My mom just referred to it as a "fairy" the other day,
without any prompting from me. I vaguely thought that
it was some specific kind of fairy, though. When I asked
before, I think somebody might have replied that it is an
"angel". Again, I'd think it would be some specific kind
of angel. There are snow angels. Are these sun angels?
Sun fairies?

-- Jeff, practically in Minneapolis

swampyankee
2011-Oct-26, 06:21 PM
Children.

Most cats never get it.

This fact was used in Charles Stross' book Jennifer Morgue.

DonM435
2011-Oct-27, 04:44 PM
Our cat just looks at me as if to say "Okay, you big dummy, do the thing with the light again, I don't care."

BigDon
2011-Oct-27, 06:46 PM
Hey Don, with cats you can't be sure they've figured something or they don't get it at all as it's the same response.