32 answers

Babyproofing a Fireplace

Help! We have a marble fireplace and my 8 1/2 month old daughter that is pulling herself up now fell and hit her head on it yesterday. I was trying to catch her but didn't get to her fast enough and she fell back and hit her little head. She is ok but we were really scared. What have others done to babyproof their fireplace to keep little ones from getting hurt?

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They do sell fireplace protectors... rubber guards to go around the edges. We had (or maybe still have) one but never had a fireplace to worry about (it was given to us). I would think you could find them online. If I find mine I would make it available.

I got big pillows and put them around my fireplace to cover all of the sharp edges. It comes in handy as a sitting area too.

We used foam rubber. There was a sheet 2 inches thich on top of the bricks in front of the fireplace and pieces on the sides. My mother in law covered the foam rubber with cloth, but you could hold the pieces together with duct tape (a typical male solution) and cover it with a sheet or some other covering. WARNING Remove this covering when using the fireplace as it would be a fire hazzard.

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I don't like the look of the bumpers they make for foreplaces, so we have our brick one covered with a queen size comforter. It is folded to make it more padded.

My son fell back into our fireplace when he was 1 1/2. He had to have three staples. We went to BabiesRUS and bought fireplace guards. They are rubber foam pads that stick to your fireplace edge. They come off without damaging the fireplace but at that time I didn't care because my child had already been hurt. We still have them on the fireplace because the boys are very busy (6yr old and 3yr old twins)!! I highly recommend them.

Have you thought of surrounding it with some sort of baby gate? Not the most attractive solution sure but just keep it up until she's a little more stable on her feet. If you have company, take it down until your guests leave. Kids toddle, stumble, wobble, fall and yes sometimes crack their heads of fireplaces that's just a part of growing up. Maybe she will stay away from it more often now knowing it can hurt her.

Wow can I relate to this one! We have a fireplace that has a brick hearth along the entire wall that had always made me nervous. I always took a blanket and folded it along teh hearth so the edge was covered in case my boys would be playing near it and while they were pulling themselves up......I reccommend finding something you are comfortable with, becasue still now while my boys are 3 and 5 it still makes me nervous. I'm still afraid they might fall against it and crack their head open..(we moms are always expecting the worse, it's our job). I also tried to keep their attention elsewhere like making sure their toys were not near it so they would try and play elsewhere. If this didn't work, I just moved our loveseat in the way to ease my mind, but then once I moved it out of the way, it seemed to draw more attention to the area.

You can go http://onestepahead.com/home.jsp then at the top click on safety and then to the left of that click on gates.

The last picture on the bottom right is the gate for the fireplace or what we did was go to Babys R Us and purchase the Playyard (which you see on the bottom left) and used a portion of it to put up around the fireplace using things to hold it up on the sides.

We are in the process of getting a full padding to cover the whole fireplace to get rid of the gates.

I got big pillows and put them around my fireplace to cover all of the sharp edges. It comes in handy as a sitting area too.

I've seen people put a gate - like a fence - around the whole thing. Or maybe you could put some foam padding on it.

The best way to babyproof a fireplace is to put a padded hearth guard around the entire brick or stone fireplace hearth. The most dangerous aspect of the fireplace is the corners and front edge of the hearth. We carry products that will solve this problem for you. The cheap gray pads held on with a double stick tape, don't do the job very well. We carry a custom made hearth protector that actually turns the hearth into a bench where people can comfortably sit. It's custom made of fire retardant fabric and will not burn , is easy to remove, and doesn't require any drilling into the brick or stone. Additionally, we carry a product that will lock access into the fireplace itself. We've got over 18 years experience childproofing homes. Call us today at 314-962-BABY or on the web at www.childproofers.com.

Hi we had a similar nightmare with our fireplace and also hardwood floors. I went to Sams club and got those puzzle piece foam mats. They havethem other places but, Sams was the most reasonable I think it was 10 large pieces for $20. Anyway that was my comfort. It helped alot! Good luck!

They make a bumper pad to put around the entire edge. My parents have a brick fireplace that is about a foot off the ground. They have a dark brown bumper (made for fireplaces) around the entire thing. Works great and looks much nicer than a gate. I think they got it at a store that specifically sells items for fireplaces.

I babysit, & we use a gate which we made out of lattice panels & a wooden frame. It is anchored on each end by a piece of furniture. Looks tacky & is difficult to work around, but serves an important purpose.
Prior to the gate (or when I have older children), I just use an old heavy-duty comforter. It also works well!

When we were going through that stage we didn't have the money for the fancy bumpers. I just lined the fireplace hearth with pretty quilts and crocheted blankets. It padded the bricks very well and showed off my Granny's handiwork.

I purchased a nice size rug with lots of padding to cover the area where the stone was,incase my son were to fall..... which he has and it's helped alot:)

I am not sure if they still make them but when my kids were little you could buy cut to fit bumpers for the edges from Babies R Us.

go to a fireplace shop, yhey make soft foam guards for around fireplaces, a friend has them around her brick front .. call around to make sure they have in stock

I don't have a ledge around my fireplace but I have seen people cover them with those foam squares that have letters or numbers and fit together like puzzle pieces

They have padding to go around the fireplace. You can find them in a childrens store. I have a fireplace to and it was not to expenisive.

I have a fireplace and the first thing I did when I childproofed my home was to buy the bumper pads for fireplaces from Babies R Us. My husband did not like the tape that came with them so he used some truck camper top tape (it is sticky on both sides and is foam in the middle. He put it on the top side of the stones on our fireplace. The only problem that we have had is that both our daughter (now 5) and our son (now 21 months) pulled them off. In fact right now as I look at it only half of the bumpers are on it. My son as soon as he learned how to walk would walk on the hearth (the row of rocks just above the carpet) and pull the bumpers off the fireplace. He thought it was great because of the noise it made. I have also seen them for sale in a magazine called One Step Ahead. Their web site is www.onestepahead.com I hope this helps.

Onestepahead.com sells a foam bumper specifically for fireplaces. When we bought our house the sellers left it on for us since I was pregnant. It saved his noggin many times!

Go to Babies R Us and get the Superyard XT gate. You can span it across to keep her away from it. I have one around mine and it works great. Does not exactly match the decorating motif, but i would rather my kiddos be safe!!! You can also order them online from Walmart and save on the shipping with Site to Store if you want to wait about a week or 2 weeks. Babies R Us sells them for $65+tax and Walmart $50+tax/shipping. I love mine and it has been a life saver!!

The kidco hearth gate is wonderful and if you search nextag you can usually find them for less than $200. Our son is a climber and it has kept him off the fireplace and at a safe distance so that we can still use it during the winter. It's worth the investment.

we had the same issue. one thing we did was buy those foam corner covers that stick on. my daughter was 18 months when we moved in, so she started taking them off. i think we got them at target or babies r us.
another idea i saw at a friends house was they put a heavy piece of remnant carpet over the whole base. that might be a better solution as the corner covers just protect from hitting the edges.

We used foam rubber. There was a sheet 2 inches thich on top of the bricks in front of the fireplace and pieces on the sides. My mother in law covered the foam rubber with cloth, but you could hold the pieces together with duct tape (a typical male solution) and cover it with a sheet or some other covering. WARNING Remove this covering when using the fireplace as it would be a fire hazzard.

They do sell fireplace protectors... rubber guards to go around the edges. We had (or maybe still have) one but never had a fireplace to worry about (it was given to us). I would think you could find them online. If I find mine I would make it available.

Hello,

Boo Boos are never fun at that age and seem to happen often as they are learning to do new things.

You can get a cushiony fire place thing from babies r us. I would check around online, perhaps google it and see if you can come up with an idea that you can make. In the mean time you could try duck tapping (duck tap is an amazing thing) pillows to the fireplace. I know that sounds really tacky and would hate for it to be on my fireplace but it is better than having your daughter hit her head.

If you ever experience a head injury, where they fall and scrap their head....do not freak out if you see a lot of blood. My daughter hit her head just a little on the coffee table and I thought ketchup was flying all over the room. Just be aware that when you hit your head you tend to bled a lot. I am passing this information on because no one told me and I FREAKED out. Of course you do not want to treat them lightly, just letting you know there is a lot of blood.

Hardware stores have a safety isle for kids, they include a bumper pad for fireplaces. I think Home Depot carries these.

We're renting a house and the owners had a couple of little ones. They put what looks like a bumper pad all along the edges of the base of the fireplace. It works great but watch out for her wanting to climb up there eventually :)

1. There are (expensive) fireplace hearth "liners" that can pad the edges...OR

2. You can do what we did and bought 5 or 6 inexpensive large throw pillows (almost "floor" pillows) and lined the hearth with them. This worked great (actually made sitting on the floor leaning against the hearth comfortable for playing with the babies!) and then we passed them on to our friends' with kids younger than ours. I just picked three colors that kind of went with our house and it worked great! I don't recall where I got them..

my sitter has a fireplace in her livingroom that sort of sits up on a brick foundation, several inches high, (i'm not familiar with lots of fireplaces so don't know if this is "normal" or what exactly yours looks like) but she has sort of a quilted heavy pad that has been sewn to fit over it (kind of like those things grandmas used to have to cover up the toaster). i think she or her MIL did it themselves but i thought it was a really good idea. those things are scary with little wobblers!

My parents use short cusions like the ones off of a couch in front of the fireplace. As long as it is not lit, we have a comfortable place to sit on the floor with the kids. My brother and sister in law use the gates in front of theirs. It works great for them!

The best thing we found is the Jack Mat. We tried the bumber guards from Babies'R'Us and my son eventually just pulled those off and it only protected the corners of the fireplace anyway. This is a local company, they build the cushion according to the measurements you give them, you choose the color from a variety on their website and they deliver it to you. It's not just a cushion though, it does have a wooden frame. It's quite sturdy and they were very quick in making it, I think I had it in 2 days. It's been great!! My son climbs all over it and has been for the past year with absolutely no problems. My friend also got one and she raves about it too.
Here's the link to their website: http://www.jackmatllc.com/

There is a company that makes fireplace bumpers (http://www.shopping.com/xPO-Fireplace_Bumper_Pad). It's a bit more expensive than the one found at OneStepAhead.com, but it appears to cover more. I would prefer this over other bumper products, assuming that if they are left on while using the fireplace they are made to endure the heat and may be easier to clean than other baby bumper products. You can shop for bargains and color variety of bumbers and hearth gates at http://www.nextag.com/hearth-gate/search-html.

Of course I would still use a hearth gate if the fireplace was being used. If it is an open fireplace, I would also shop for a good fireplace door or screen to prevent sparks that might pop futher than the gate. You can find a childproof lock for fireplace doors online as well.

Don't you have to wonder how our great, great grandparents kept kids away from fireplaces and wood stoves when that was the only heat they had?

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