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Keeping Toddlers Away from Power Buttons with Sugru

toddlers and power buttons can mean trouble. A simple solution.

A few weeks ago, two-year-old Anna discovered the power button for our computer. It’s actually kind of amazing that she didn’t notice it before – it glows a lovely light blue color when it is on. Pretty glowing buttons make keeping toddlers away from power buttons nearly impossible!

Like most toddlers, Anna enjoys learning about cause and effect. She was thrilled to discover that, when you push the button once, it turns blue. Push it again, and it turns black. So exciting!!!

Whoever decided that power buttons should glow did not have kids. Here is our solution.

Unfortunately, I was much less excited. We don’t have a good hiding place for the computer tower, and I don’t enjoy having my computer turned off in the middle of photo editing. One minute Anna would be playing happily on the floor next to me. Then that little light would catch her eye, and she would stand up, walk over, and turn off the computer. I suppose she was being green.

Using sugru to toddler proof our electronics

Around this same time, the PR people of the awesomely moldable glue, Sugru, contacted me. I had written about Sugru before; was I interested in trying it again? I saw the solution to my problem, and said yes.

Using Sugru to hide power buttons from toddlers

Once the Sugru arrived, I used the silver grey color to build a small fortress around my power button. You can still access the button from the back, but nobody sees the light any more. Anna did a double take the first time she saw it – that’s how I got the photo above. Sugru turns into a rubber-like substance as it dries, so it’s a pretty solid barrier and very securely attached to the computer tower. She hasn’t paid any attention to it since she did that first double take. Some kids would still get into it, but at least this way the pretty button is hidden from view!

Do you have any innovative baby proofing hacks to share? The people who lived in our condo before us also had a toddler, and when we moved in they had left packing tape over the locks in the bathrooms. Apparently, their son had been locking bathroom doors. I thought the packing tape was a pretty good solution!

What mischief does your toddler get into? Anna is pretty mellow – all three of my girls have been. She does get more destructive if she is hungry or tired. Johnny used to take just a couple bites out of every piece of fruit on the kitchen counter, and I decided to graduate him from his beautiful heirloom wooden high chair because he could climb up the side and then stand on the tray by the time he was ten months old.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

13 thoughts on “Keeping Toddlers Away from Power Buttons with Sugru”

  1. We used a cover plate for the tv power buttons, with baby #1… Just moved the tv back for baby #2, who wants to touch the screen.

    I think Black electrical tape would work, too, but what an ingenious use of sugru! That stuff is awesome

  2. I don’t know, I’m sure I had some pretty amazing hacks with 3 toddlers in the house, but I don’t remember them now. Isn’t it amazing how our brains forget what we don’t use?

    Oh, wait I do remember ocnvincing my kids concealer was an amazing medicine that cures all owies.

  3. I prefer to toddler-proof as much as possible rather than saying “no” all the time – limiting day-to-day frustration and saving the “no” for important things. This is a terrific solution!

  4. I had all the buttons and slots on the top of our computer covered with an electrical tape system when my daughter was at the stage- a strip of tape long enough to go all the way across the top, and another, shorter piece in the middle of that, sticky sides together. So there is sticky bits on both ends to attach it to the sides of the computer, but the middle part covers the buttons without sticking to them. You could push the button through the tape if you knew where it was, or push it out of the way far enough to push a button or use a USB port, but my daughter left it alone because the buttons weren’t so obvious any more. Electrical tape is also awesome for taping up the backs of the remote controls so she had no chance of taking them apart! She is over that stage now, thank goodness!

  5. We switched the locks around with our escape artist, J. He would climb out of his crib and pop out to the living room when he was supposed to be sleeping. He would just pop off the door knob protector things. We duct taped it shut, and he would remove the tape to then pop off the cover. Reversing the locks was our last straw. We also lowered the crib side when he started climbing out, so he wouldn’t have as far of a drop but still had roll protection during his active sleeping (not sure how that’ll go now drop-side cribs have been recalled). We have the spring loaded outlet covers also because my first was able to pick out the normal ones fairly easily and at a young age too. Too bad they don’t make them for the two prong outlets which are in abundance in older apartments. We hide those outlets behind furniture and such.

    1. Johnny climbed out of his crib like that. We didn’t have a drop side crib, and we wound up taking the front wall off (it was designed so that you could) because I figured that was better than his falling from the top rail to the ground.

  6. I think this Sugru thing will not effect on my toddler. I’m sure if she see this on the power buttons she will really get this. Thanks for sharing this post.

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