What kind of safety measures/safeguards do you have implemented in home?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by erbaledge, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Obviously we can't keep our special kiddos safe from harm/themselves 100%, as they have creative little minds. But, I'm trying to figure out safety measures for my home for when my oldest does return home from PMIC (I think she's a difficult child, but I haven't quite figured out that term yet)

    Anyways, here's a starter list I came up with, and I'd like any suggestions you all might have, things you've had work and things that haven't:

    1) Door Alarm for bedroom door - any suggestions on where to purchase one?
    2) Lock up all medications, prescribed and OTC
    3) Lock up all kitchen knives, scissors. I was thinking paper clips too? Or is that too much? (daughter has been doing superficial self harm, and I know at one point she used a paperclip)
    4) Lock up all bad sweets (candy, little debbies if we have em, etc) - due to the eating issues - haven't figured what I will lock these in, but will figure that out

    5) Lock up razor's
    6) Lock up Lighter that's for grill

    SO, what am I forgetting?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child means "gift from God"- meaning the child that brought us here. Many use a different nickname or abbreviation if they are more comfortable with it but this one is familiar to all on the board.

    I'd recommend double checking for matches/lighters and depending on previous problems it might be worth considering locking extra keys to the house and car. Regarding cutting, my son went thru that for a while and I kept most things locked up like razor blades- or at least I tried but really, with that one it's almost impossible. My son was in a hospital and still found a way- he pulled the laminate finish off countertops and also used a piece of plastice broken off a lzundry basket. Then he used his own fingernails.
  3. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Thank you for telling me what difficult child stands for! :)
    I sooooo forgot razors! Bless you! Gonna add that too the op, so I have a running list. I also hadn't thought about locking the long lighter that I use for the grill! Thank you!

    Keep those ideas/suggestions coming! :)
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    We had slightly different issues in that our difficult child tended to use things as weapons against us, but here's the run down of what we did.

    All tools in a locked tool box.

    All kitchen knives and forks in a locked tool box.

    No glass cups. We did have Corel plates and coffee cups, but those are relatively innocuous - when they get broken, they shatter into a million pieces and have pretty much zero value as a weapon, but those shards could be useful in terms of self harm. Depending on how far you want to go, you might consider plastic plates.

    No breakables in his room (ceramic lamps, knick knacks, etc.) As he broke the lamps in the rest of our house, those were replaced with- cheap metal lamps - still could be used as weapons but they weren't terribly heavy and I felt pretty confident I could disarm him.

    All medications in locked tool box (this included stuff like hydrogen peroxide, Bactine, rubbing alcohol, mouthwash - everything but bandaids). I didn't buy toiletries in bulk because that extra bottle of shampoo or tube of toothpaste was a mess to clean up.

    All cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet.

    All toys that could be used as a weapon were tossed - I never allowed swords or guns, but you'd be amazed at what damage a matchbox car can do when used as a missile.

    Lighter fluid, plant food, gasoline for the mower, all locked in a cabinet, as well as sharp lawn tools.

    Anything of sentimental value to us (knick knacks, pictures, etc) were boxed up. He tended to go for those instinctively.

    Basically, it got to the point where everything in the home was evaluated for potential weapon value (did you know that toddler booster seats like they have in restaurants hurt like mad when you get hit by them???) and nothing came into the home unless it passed the weapon/breakability test.

    We had a safety plan for the other kiddos (non-difficult children, aka pcs - "perfect children" (tongue in cheek ;))). If my difficult child started raging, I would wheel my oldest into my bedroom, and youngest son would get my daughter and go into my bedroom - door would be locked. I kept a cellphone on me in case things got unmanageable and I had to call for reinforcements. When difficult child got older, we put a keyed lock on the hallway door upstairs so that youngest 2 kids could be safe up there in their rooms while I dealt with- difficult child.

    It took a while to get used to but it at least kept us all safe.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    One of the places to get window and door alarms is Radio Shack. I dont think they are very expensive but I could check. I know I have seen several folks here on the board mention getting them there.

    You might find that it is easier to just put a really good deadbolt lock on your bedroom door if that is possible. It wasnt for me because I live in a mobile home and doors are made of paper. Rubbermaid makes a good product that is supposed to be a small shed type thing but almost looks like a pantry and you can lock it with a padlock. Unless she goes through it with a blow torch, I dont think she would get in. If she is using a torch, you have bigger problems...lol.
  6. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Wow, slsh, you have a great list there! I don't know that I have to go as far as the dishes yet at this point, but will definitely keep that in mind.
    I did just clear out the upstairs/kids' bathroom a few minutes ago - took out the extra shampoo's and some otc that was up there.

    I need to do a thorough deep clean/check of her bedroom. I am thinking even hair clips need to be put away for awhile. Now, she does have 1 picture in her bedroom with glass on it. I don't know if removing it would be going to far or not, since she hasn't as of yet broken anything and then used the broken item to harm herself. This I will contemplate.

    I will call Radio Shack sometime soon DammitJanet, thanks!
    As for the locks on our doors - not a good idea here. While my difficult child hasn't had a full blown-out rage the whole time she's been at PMIC, she can and is capable of breaking through the type of doors we have when locks are on them or when the door is held shut. I'm not sure if us having cheap doors is a plus or a negative, but I'm thinking it's a plus, because if/when she does break one, it won't cost my pocketbook a ton to replace it.
    Thankfully, no torch use, lol. The Rubbermaid thing, I know what you are talking about. I'm wondering if I could even go a cheaper route, and buy one of the Fake wood bookcase type things with doors on them. I'm thinking they cost between $30-$40, and then just get some type of lock for the door handles? This would be kept in my bedroom - a room they aren't to enter, but alas, I know kids, especially my difficult child, and I don't put it past her sneaking in there.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We got our door/window alarms at Wal-Mart. Now if I could just get them installed...

    Beware, if the child is bent on hurting themselves... Onyxx used broken light bulbs. You can only do so much honestly.

    As for sweets locked up - um. You may need to lock up more than that. We go through 20-lb bags of potatoes in a week. I will have one, maybe husband, maybe Jett. ONE. I gave up there, just don't buy them unless I have a reason.

    As for locks... Honestly? You do need them. Deadbolts, maybe no. But I can tell you this - our difficult children know how to pick locks. Honestly. And if they don't... They learn!
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I see her point on the locks. I tried them too and now have doors off hinges and huge holes all the way thru the doors as a result. It's not worth it. The only safe haven I have left for putting things away from difficult child is the trunk of the car.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I didnt lock my bedroom doors either because all it took was a good hard shove and the lock was busted right through. I could have put a 50 dollar dead bolt on it and all it would have done was take out my door frame with it.

    For extreme things I didnt want my kid in like medications or small things, I did buy a Honeywell combo safe which I mounted on a shelf. I could lock up medications, car keys, important mail, would have been check books but that was already gone. \

    Years ago when the kids were small, we did buy a cheap metal gun safe for about 50 or 60 bucks. The ones that are black thin metal? It has a cheap key lock on it. Not very secure but might be enough to use for now. You could always put a chain through the handles too.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Janet, if I locked things up in a small safe my problem then would be a missing safe with everything in it gone. Did you have a way around that?
  11. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Yep, she's ruined a few door frames, and it's hard to reinstall the door lock door jams things once one has already been ruined. Unless you replace the frame, you gotta move up the door handle area or down, and it just destroys the door frame more.
    If push comes to shove, I will do locks on bedroom doors, but for now, I'm not going to.

    Hadn't thought about a gun safe, i may watch craiglist for that - not for guns! I have none, but for all the other items! lol
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I forgot to mention, with all those locked tool boxes and the keyed lock upstairs, I wore all the keys around my neck 24/7 (color coded so I knew which key went to which lock). Locked boxes do you no good if you can't find the key and/or difficult child gets a hold of them, and my brain is like a sieve so combo locks were out. :D I also kept the house keys on there because he had a tendency to try to lock me out.
  13. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i've never had to consider any of this, but i think, if it were me, i'd figure out a way to lock up my purse/wallets/extra checks/credit cards--anything of cash or cash getting value.....

    including piggy banks.

    just in case.

    (a carton of little debbies is only about a buck where i live--my couch alone could supply her on a daily basis!)
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just wanted to add my agreement that the trunk of the car is an excellent hiding place. Be sure you sleep with your keys under your mattress or something.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We used door alarms for my younger children's rooms so we would know if my difficult child was getting in there - he was very abusive to his sister. At one time, while we waited to get difficult child into a psychiatric hospital long term, Jessie had to wear a personal alarm when she was at home. It was one made for joggers and hung around her neck on a lanyard. The alarms were very very loud. I got them at Walmart - or so years ago they were about $20. If difficult child had a window in his room that would have been alarmed also.

    If difficult child went into a rage and husband was home he kept the other kids in another room or took them for a drive. (NOT helpful when the difficult child is almost as big and much stronger, but we got through it.) If he raged and husband was not home, Jessie took Tyler into my room and locked the door (only room with-a lock). She had the phone ready and if I yelled or if we got really quiet and I didn't answer when she hollered for me, then she was to call 911. I also had a cell phone on my body at all times so that I could call.

    Be sure to check with the police/fire dept to see if you can register an address with your cell phone. In our town you can call and have an address linked to your cell phone number(s). In an emergency the police will have the address come up when the number comes up, just like for the regular phone. This ONLY works for 911, it is not hooked up to the regular non-emergency or child protection numbers so that people can still make anonymous reports.

    Having the number registered saved us quite a bit of time the two times we have needed to call 911.

    We locked up medications, scissors, knives, etc...ESP the pizza cutter wheelie thing and any rotary cutters you have for crafts. Those can leave wicked cuts.

    When the kids were much smaller (esp when we only had two) and difficult child was so terribly abusive to Jess we never left them alone together in a room. Not even to go to the bathroom. I would take Jess in with me and husband would take difficult child with him unless there was another adult to watch them. If we didn't Jess was in tears and had visible marks that turned into bruises. (The need to do this was a major factor in our decision to live with my parents for a few years while husband was in grad school.)

    I did one thing that apparently made a small difference in my difficult child's cutting. I bought a box of those alcohol wipes in the little packets. Every time he cut he was to use on of these to clean the wound. Every time I saw a fresh one I would do it. If what you are going for is pain then you can have it. No need for peroxide if you want pain. (We also did counselling and all the other things anyone suggested.)

    I hope this helps.
  16. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    So very true! Actually, stealing is one of her issues. When she's been here for an overnight, I've just slept with my purse near me, but now, after a more serious theft at school recently from her, this is actually a REALLY Good idea (locking up my purse/wallet)!

    See I knew there was things I was missing! lol
    Thank you all of you!
  17. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    Geepers, hadn't thought about pizza cutters!

    And I hadn't thought about registering our phone number with the police. Though, quite sadly, once they heard our names, they'd know where we are, I think, because they've been called out so many times in the past for her rages.
    Thanks Susiestar!
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My safe is bolted to my bathroom countertop but it is also easily bolted to any shelf or floor joist.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Janet, I agree, to a point. The door frame does come off, either by force, or by chiseling away around the deadbolt. Sigh. I'm becoming creative in my old age ...;)
    Sue, my mind is like a sieve, too, so I carry my keys in my jeans most of the time. I agree, the trunk of the car is a good idea.
    Luckily, we don't have to lock up razors or anything, as difficult child is too afraid to use them :laugh:
    He's more into grabbing my arms.
    I think he's over the hitting with-wood or that sort of thing.
    I like the idea of a lock box, though, for wheat gluten products.
    Don't know what we'll do now that easy child is home for the summer, and she leaves stuff all over, and I mean ALL over ...:(
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    She'll learn not to... One hopes.