My friends Karen and Todd recently celebrated the arrival of a baby daughter named Tess, and while I adore teaching her games when I see her and picking out fun gifts for her, they say one of the most rewarding parts of parenting is watching their little one learn. Karen told me that her daughter picks things up so quickly, and that it's great to see how many common things baffle her entirely.
But since they live in Southern California, Karen and Todd's house is warm year-round. They used to like to sleep with an electric fan circulating the air around their bedroom, but they removed it when they baby-proofed the house.
Karen said that she wasn't sure if she was supposed to do this, but since she is a new parent, she wants to make sure that everything in her house is as safe as it can be for baby Tess. And while she's happy that Tess's little fingers are not at risk, she really misses the breeze from her electric fan.
I did a little research and found out that most baby-proofing advice says to keep electric fans out of the reach of children. Free standing fans meant to sit on the floor or on top of a table are a bad idea, since they can come within the reach of a child. But fans that babies can't reach are perfectly safe. I recommended that Karen replace her current fan, which sits on the floor, with a window model. Since the windows in Karen's house are fairly high off of the ground, they are out of baby Tess's reach.
I told her that it is equally important to keep the electric cords out of Tess's reach, since babies are very curious and pulling on these can be extremely dangerous. Karen was so happy when I told her that she can still use a fan, as long as it's the right type. She and Todd now sleep comfortably, knowing that baby Tess is safe.