Childproof audio

Long-time reader, first-time poster.

The past year has seen the arrival in my home of sweet-sounding monitors on spiked stands, nice cabling, components... and an infant boy :-)

I hope someone can share their thoughts about childproofing a quality audio system in an average home.

Off the top of my head: Only buy grille-covered speakers. Somehow tether the speakers to prevent them getting knocked over.
I would think tethered floor standers might make sense. Hot and or sharp components should be out of harms reach. Even speaker ports welcome investigating hands, the contents of which are not something one would want in small mouths. Cables and power cords should be kept from reach and possible tripping. Delicate turntables may take some real effort to keep safe. Large CRTs and their stands are notoriously unstable and are a serious concern. Some of the new softer video screens can be easily damaged by "creative" little ones. All in all if you can keep a seperate locked room from children till they are mature enough is the best solution. Nothing beats complete adult supervision.
We have a 2 1/2 y/o baby girl. I have an open audio rack with gear that could get destroyed if she puts her hands on it, particularly the disc tray on a high end CDP. And, I have 50 lbs. active speakers on 24" stands with spiked feet. We live in an average home with a living room with system that gets lots of traffic. We have not "baby proofed" any of this system, although we've gone to great lengths to baby proof just about everything else in the home. From the beginning, we've insisted that she not touch any components, speakers, cables, etc. and on the rare occasion she has touched something audio related, we have intervened quickly. She understands we're very serious about this and she respects the expectations.

This has worked very well. She loves to listen with us and we now have a dance floor in front of our system, but she knows not to touch the audio gear as it belongs to mommy and daddy. As we have set good ground rules, she doesn't even test us in this area, although she does test with a lot of other everyday stuff like a good 2.5 y/o should.

I have a neighbor nearby whose speakers got ruined because he allowed his toddler son to bang on the grilles mimicking the bass when they'd all be listening. I don't understand how he'd allow this to happen. He now has thin speakers mounted on the walls.

My good supervision, redirecting, and eventually firm ground rules, you may save yourself a lot of hastle trying to baby proof something that is inherently unbaby proofable. They're smart little people who can be taught and will respect parents wishes if parents take the time to teach and provide accountability.

Good luck!
I've said this before here on Audiogon. One can not expect young children to follow house rules, even if the rules are for the childs own safety. This is the very essence of maturity. Some developmental disabilites may not be evident until 2 years of age. These disabilites are becoming much more common than once thought. Autism which is rarely diagonsed before two years of age strikes 1 in 166 now. Falling TV's have caused fatalities. Please consider ther rules of risk management. Does the the benefit of the risk outweight the consequences of the risk?
We did exactly as Sammie did, we now have a 6 year old daughter who thinks of the Audio Room as Daddys "indoor toy". Daddy doesn't play with my toys... I don't play with daddys' toys, unless daddy is supervising me. BTW she loves music and dancing and thinks TV just "sucks your brains out"
Back when I grew up, children were expected to follow the rules of the home. Forgive me if I differ in opinion from another poster.

These days it appears there is a disease to fit every problem, rather than an expectation of reasonable behavior from the children of today.

Having raised two children, now adults, who passed through college and are now successful and well-adjusted adults, it would appear to me that the "old-fashioned" way still works.

"Falling TV's" .....give me a break. Why not make all your rooms padded and have nothing in the house. Life is not without risk, at any age. Setting proper and responsible limits for children works quite well, tempered with common sense.


Paul :-)
Make own box stands that match monitors..Fill with rock and sand.Then get tie down winch that willconnect to floor (will need repair later adm,itedly/Use excess to not around wich down mechanism..Use blue tack between speakers and stands.ZSounds redicul;ous but m,ay be safest.Other option is floor stander (my busddies Thile had 4" deep cement filled front baffl;es.Man geting them up a flight of wide stairs was murder and i wiegh 250+ not not all flab mid you).Trget makes wall mounts for tun tables and they in addition to keeping gear high and out or reach also have lss vibrationb and beter sound than would floors.Could also make L shaped wall mounts (still trying to keep monitors tweeter as close to ear level as possible).just use hevay oak have carpenter build and give enough breathing room easpecailly if speaker iis rear poted but geting them at leasta foor out is best for sound.Rember locks on low step brother just had one of his twin swallow a 2:" nail (came out find no blood in stool).Look for best AC receptacle pugs unsued.HT should be a problem.Sub isn't dangerours just use lot's of velcro to hold center onm top of TYV or get speaker mounts.Can you fence off area wherer speaker are?Been kicking a lot of this aroun with step brother.Remember wall mounts have less danger and beter sound for components.Atandrad CD/LP racks cabn be bolted ionto wall studs.
I place this across the front of the system, works very well:
Beemer, what I'd like to do is give innocent children a break. Do a search on "Fallen TV's". An estimated 2300 children a year visit emergency rooms each year due to fallen TV's. I'm no kid myself. I survived not even being tethered by seat belts never mind car seats as a kid. Does that mean its smart to continue to do that today? I guess it all comes down to whether one loves the free use of their audio gear more than the health and well being of one's children.
Shorter tthis tiome but in mind of what Usound said just wall mount EVERYTHING and you can still have your cake and eat it too.And no I don't work for rack manufaturer.
I think one of the main things to think about is the CD Player's drawer. As your child gets older this will definitely be a fascinating thing to open and close.... and pull and press on. I have built a shelf with glass and key to keep everything under control.

You can see my system here:

My system is titled, "Mark" I am inbetween Riko and Michael America.
One thing that has really helped me was those Rat Shack I.R. repeaters. Everything I own is tube (with no cages), so I just put all my equipment in a built-in with closing doors, yet I can still use all my remotes. If I am using my music server, I can change songs,albums I have recorded onto digital, or all my cd's and change volume without opening any doors that hide the stereo.
If they are kids, there will always be a badly thrown ball,pillow fight,etc. Hide that gear.
These are great responses! Thanks a lot to everybody.

I guess I'm probably going to go with...

Parenting (!!!)
Wallmounted equipment
CD source, no record player for the time being
Floorstanding speakers with grilles

But I also like the idea of the gear in a cabinet reached by an infrared repeater.

And by the way -- kids love music too :-)
Congratulations! You seem to be on the an ideal path. Your so right! When ever my child really loved the music he used to hug my floorstanders (with supervision). Best of luck!
Hello Unsound:

It would appear that I was unaware of a problem that was far larger than I first thought. Please accept my most humble apologies in good faith.

I still beleive that proper limits set and adhered to make good children and responsible adults. I love mine dearly, however I always felt that my life had it's considerations that were important as well. Music has and always will be my stress relief valve. I needed it when the kids were young sometimes more than now.


Paul :-)
Beemer, no apolgies necessary. Forgive me if I was overly adamant.
I do agree that "proper limits set and adhered to make good children and resposible adults."
I couldn't agee more with you, when you say "Music has and always will be my stress relief valve. I needed it more when the kids were young sometimes more than now." Ahmen!
It is nice to share the experience with the little ones now and then as well.
Best Regards,
Resprung, with a 6 and 3 year old at home, I'm living your question!

Came to the same conclusions as already stated, but let me throw out another idea on speakers: Martin-Logan.

They're practically bullet-proof, and unless you try to electrocute yourself they're just about as safe as can be.

Fwiw, my 300Bs, 5687s, 6sn7 and 5u4 roast away on the top of an open rack--and my kids still have all their fingerprints.

Nurture & nature.