Childproof Your Trash
Waste paper may be one of the least glamorous aspects of the home office, but it still requires attention. To keep curious children out of disposable papers, get a trash can with a cover. This serves two distinct purposes. A covered trash keeps small hands from finding things like staples and paper clips, which are choking hazards. The cover also keeps children from finding more important documents and throwing them in with the junk as they try to emulate mom or dad. Telling the accounts receivable department you are late on payment because your child must have thrown out the invoice is akin to suggesting the dog ate your homework. And it's just as likely the paper your daughter decides to junk could be a check. Avoid the cans with the hinged lid connected to a foot pedal. These become a toy quickly and result in pinched fingers. Using a Rubbermaid tub with latching lid is a safe alternative to traditional rubbish bins or just don't keep trash in the office and throw it away in some other part of the house.
Paper Shredding Safety
Paper shredders are a must in the home office. Sensitive documents, like financial statements and private contract information should not be thrown away with regular trash. Unfortunately, the noise made by a paper shredder is a potentially inviting sound for small children. It doesn't matter what Wyatt is doing elsewhere in the house, if he hears me shredding paper, he drops everything, dashes into the office, cocks his head sideways and says, "Hey, Jake, What was that?" I can close the door and he still knows what I'm doing.
Shredders are a danger for two reasons. The obvious one is the potential for small fingers to get injured in the paper cutting mechanism. Another potential risk is the potential for small fingers to insert important documents into the shredder. Watching the paper disappear looks like great fun for small children who can't tell the difference between a credit card application and an important contract from a major client.
Keep the paper shredder up out of reach by either keeping it put away when not in use or by placing it out of reach. Unplugging the shredder and putting it in a closet until needed is probably your safest bet.
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