At the center of every home office is the desk. In a home office, the corporate ergonomics advisor won’t be dropping by to measure the distance between your seated posture and the top of your desk. Height adjustable desks are hard to find outside of high-end office furniture suppliers like Hon and Steelcase. Most of the desks found at office supply stores are of the low quality assemble-it-yourself variety. I know; this guide came to life on one.
Picking a desk with the right combination of functional features and child safety is complicated. What makes a desk safe for children? The best advice is to avoid desks with sharp edges. At age two, I fell on the corner of a coffee table at my grandmother’s house and ended up with a trip to the emergency room for stitches. While falling is an unavoidable part of growing up (and often adulthood), minimizing the damage is possible with careful planning. Look for rounded corners, especially on parts of the desk where the edge may jut into the room.
Avoid rough metal edges which might cut or pinch small fingers. An old desk I owned had nice rubberized round corners, but plenty of sharp metal edges, which cut me each time I reconstructed it before or after a move. More than one stubbed toe was a casualty of the bottom edge of the desk leg. Glass surfaces are also a danger. Many glass-surfaced desks look sturdy, but are held together by metal fasteners with sharp edges.
And of course, don’t forget to invest in Corner Cushions when necessary. These padded corners aren’t perfect, but they certainly help absorb the impact of a full-tilt lunge into a sharp corner. I try to avoid needing the cushions because they don’t stay on well in most cases and tend to get in the way, but if you have exposed sharp corners, it might be your only practical alternative.
- Ergonomics, Chairs, and Children
- Protecting Your Computer Desktop from Children
- Children and Computer Parts Don’t Mix
- Reducing Wires Eliminates Child Temptations
- Consumer Electronics Child Safety
- Keeping Watch on Children From Your Office
- Childproof Your Trash
- Hidden Costs in Childproofing a Home Office
- Create a Child Friendly YES Environment