My son is 9 month old, and our rental apartment has an electric baseboard heater, similar to this http://cadetheat.com/show_product.php?prodid=1004

enter image description here

I'm sure it's very dangerous to touch it when it's hot/turned on, but it is attached to the wall very low (the website does say it must be placed lower than the window), and I'm afraid even if we never turn it on, he might get hurt anyway since there's a lot of metal edges. Any idea how to baby-proof this? [bonus] Is there any chance that I can baby-proof and still use it for heat?

4 Answers 4


I don't know the layout of your apartment, but won't some kind of baby fence do the trick?

baby fence

Otherwise it'll be difficult to baby proof it, since there has to be a distance between the proofing and the device.

Depending on how hot it gets you may be able to use corner or edge softeners with a little help of duct tape (but not the paper/transparent one, a proper thick electrical tape!).

edge proofing

  • 1
    Rather than fencing the little guy in, could you put a fence around the heater and fence him out?
    – Marc
    Jan 4, 2014 at 23:21
  • That's the idea! I thought it was obvious.
    – Dariusz
    Jan 5, 2014 at 0:01

Why not teach your toddler that it is a bad idea to touch the heater? Take your toddler near it when it is off and say "ouch!" and stress that touching it is a bad idea. When it is on and hot, bring your toddler near it -- close enough to feel the heat, but not to burn the little bugger -- and say "hot! ouch! don't touch!"

Do this over and over. Reinforce the idea. And if your toddler does experience hot first hand, reinforce "hot! ouch!" so that the connection can be made in the toddler's brain.

This worked very well with our little girl, though she learned "ouch" with a new heater after we moved house. We also applied the same ideas to picking berries: blueberries and raspberries are good. Lily-of-the-valley berries are "bleah! yuck!!" (and poisonous).

You'd be amazed at what they can learn if you give them a chance, rather than putting up barriers, even though the barriers are meant to protect them.

  • 1
    I love this answer. The fact of the matter is: as soon as you baby-proof one thing, they get into something else, and if you keep it up, everyone ends up in a padded room strapped to a chair. No fun! Kids have to learn boundaries, and, that ultimately (eventually, with guidance!) they are the ones responsible for their own well being. I've read that in France, there is no such thing as baby- proofing.
    – Jax
    Feb 10, 2014 at 1:56
  • I pretty much did this with my son. Here in the UK we have water-based central heating radiators which become painfully hot to touch but not hot enough to injure. I just said "No! Don't touch! Hot!", but did nothing to stop him touching it. He learned! May 9, 2016 at 16:39

I have this same issue, I built a prototype baseboard tape and have it at quirky.com.

For now, you could build the prototype as I did. Go to Lowes/Home Depot and get some mesh drywall tape with only one sticky side, and get some rolls of magnetic tape. Put the drywall mesh tape together so that it is wide enough to cover the opening in the heater. Then use the magnetic tapes to secure the mesh to the heater. It has worked at my apartment so far with the heat on.

  • 1
    +1 Interesting, do you have pictures? :) Does it affect the heat?
    – user69715
    Jan 9, 2014 at 18:07

You can purchase baseboard heater covers that will replace or go over the existing covering and has holes too small for children to put their fingers in, preventing most burns. The cover will still get hot, but as long as you allow normal convection airflow and keep the area immediately around the heater open, the covers should never get hot enough to burn.

They are simple enough that you could even make one yourself using punched, decorative sheetmetal.

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