How to Keep Two-year-old Away from My Heater's Floor Ducts Throughout the House

Updated on November 30, 2008
H.H. asks from Capistrano Beach, CA
12 answers

We are moving to a new home which has the heating vents on the floors of each room. My 27 month old son is into everything and I can already imaging the things (crayons, toothbrushes ect...) he'll be sticking through the slats and down into my heating ducts. Anyone have any experience with this?

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So What Happened?

Thanks EVERYONE for your help. It never occurred to me to place screens under the vents. GREAT idea. We'll give it a try. Happy Holidays to all :-)

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answers from Los Angeles on

I had a friend who had a downs syndrome child and when he was older they reused the door gates and created a screen around the floor heaters. They taught him hot but exposing him to the heat so he learned to stay away. When his baby sister came along they did the same thing. but learned they needed to put a screen under the grate as older brother tossed things over the safety gate.

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answers from Seattle on

I second cutting and shaping screen material to fit! You can tack it or tape it to the sides of the floor under the vent cover....then just lift off the vent cover to clean out lost treasures.

We did that, but then (I think because of Murphy's Law), every time I'd check them they were empty.

Either my son was being especially good, or especially sneaky. Eitherway...they worked.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am sure you will have your challenges, but maybe placement of things will help. Try to keep his toy areas as opposite of the vents as you can - maybe place more "grown-up"; furniture near them. It may be a trying few weeks, but at 27 months, he knows what you mean when you say no - just be firm and offer alternatives if you catch him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

Because of allergies we have air duct filters in ours. We found them at Home Depot. They are just a heavy mesh-like material that fiters stuff out of the air before it hits the room, but it also won't let things fall through. Try that! They are not very expensive- 12 were like $3- and worth not having little treasures down the vents:)

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Hi H.,

My husband owns and operates Safe & Sound Baby Proofing here in Las Vegas. Although we are not in your area, I'm sure if you call him, he can give you some suggestions or tell you what products you can purchase and intall to solve this problem, or possibly refer your to another baby proofing company in Orange County. He usually is happy to answer questions over the phone and provide free estimates so your calling and asking him for this info won't be a problem. Here's his contact info:

John Doran
Safe & Sound Baby Proofing, LLC

Good luck!




answers from Phoenix on

I am laughing beause I remember all the things we would find in our heater vents when our boys were toddlers. My husband found some plastic covers for them that allows the air out of the side of them, then he also purchased a magnetic cover when we weren't using the heater or the a/c. Good luck.



answers from Reno on

Take him over there and explain to him "HOT" "OUCH". Let him put his hand over the point it is uncomfortable, but obviously not burning him. Keep reminding him "HOT" if he goes near. This may sound horrible...but all else fails after one or two times touching it...he'll learn. He, even at two, has the reflex to pull his hand or body away instantly with I doubt he could get too hurt. You can only do your best...but placing furniture there is a fire try and help him understand and be consistent. My son knew hot by 16 months cause we have similar heaters. HE IS old enough to understand....just DRILL it in!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hey H.! We had the same problem! We used the metal screens, as a few very smart Mamas suggested, except my husband took the heater vents off and secured them to the other side so they weren't on the outside. Didn't want anyone getting cut by the metal edges. It's worked like a charm! Congratulations on your new house!



answers from Las Vegas on

Hmmmm. I think I have a pretty good solution for you!!!!!

Go to Home Depot or something, and get some screen material (stuff you use to make screens for your house) and put that over the heater, and tape it down with duct tape on all sides. You might want to ask somebody who works there if the screen material can withstand heat. It SHOULD be ok, since screens sit in the hot vegas son all day and don't catch on fire. They may also have metal mesh material there that would suit you better.

If you want to NOT use duct tape, you could use industrial strength adhesive velcro to adhere the screen to the floor. This way it would be easily removable for when the heat it on. Don't know if your 27mo old would be able to remove it though.

Hope this helps. Let me konw.



answers from Los Angeles on

If the vents are metal, Home Depot do I describe a sheet of magnet to go over vents like that. I had to get one for a vent on my wall the only problem was that the vent had been painted and therefore the magnet didn't work on mine. Maybe if you keep them covered while he is in the room and you don't draw attention to it, it will be easier. Good luck!




answers from Los Angeles on

I do not know how to keep her away-but, I grew up in a house w/ those types of vents. I remember my brother sticking everything into them, there was never a fire, but, crayon had a very distinctive smell.



answers from Honolulu on

Time for some serious discipline, mom... He is old enough to understand that there are certain things that you don't ever do. Whatever he sticks down there, he will never see again.

When I was little, I lived in a house that had floor vents and we used to make little tents around the vents and revel in their warmth when the heat came on. We had a hamster that escaped and got into the system (really not a good situation - it smelled for months and we never did find the body).

This is just like sticking stuff in the toilet or electrical outlets. JUST SAY NO!! Then let him know what he CAN do.