Child-proofing a TV
June 14, 2010 3:25 AM   Subscribe

How do you child-proof a TV?

Our wee darling has just discovered that - when he repeatedly presses the big button on the front of the TV - not only does it get an interesting reaction from the TV, it also really winds mummy and daddy up!

Trawled the net to find a gizmo that might make the button child-proof, but can't find anything.

Any suggestions gratefully received!
posted by Blackwatch to Home & Garden (19 answers total)
Velcro tabs and a cover of some sort?
posted by Gungho at 3:28 AM on June 14, 2010

You could take a piece of PVC pipe the length of your finger, and tape or glue it over the button. You can put your finger through the tube to press the button, but your kid won't be able to reach. Maybe cut the TV end of the tube on a slant, to make it less awkward to use while standing up?
posted by embrangled at 3:45 AM on June 14, 2010

A cover (a plastic bottle top maybe?) would do it. I'd probably use tape myself, although whether you need to maintain access to the button would depend on whether you leave your TV on standby (which isn't particularly evil on most newish TVs).
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:46 AM on June 14, 2010

I think a "TV Guard" is what you're looking for.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:53 AM on June 14, 2010

I'm going to ask the dumb but obvious question here: you can't wall mount it?
posted by MuffinMan at 4:16 AM on June 14, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry - should have mentioned that I'm in the UK.

Can't seem to find any TV Guard-type products for sale in Britain.
posted by Blackwatch at 4:18 AM on June 14, 2010

I had this exact situation with my son over 16 years ago. Sadly he just graduated high school last week, so he doesn't do this any longer. :-)

I used a small piece of plastic and two thin strips of double sided foam mounting tape to cover the button. We then used the remote to turn the television on and off.
posted by rglasmann at 4:21 AM on June 14, 2010

Many televisions have a child lock function to disable the front controls (and then you hide the remote). You may want to check if this is a feature of your television.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 4:37 AM on June 14, 2010

unplug the cable from the back and put in in a drawer when you're not using it?
posted by runincircles at 4:37 AM on June 14, 2010

As a variant of runincircles' comment, one of those remote-controlled power socket thingies would do the trick.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:53 AM on June 14, 2010

Take a cap off another product - shampoo, mayonnaise, whatever is the right size - and tape it over the button.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:33 AM on June 14, 2010

When I worked in a big Data Centre (a room full of mission-critical servers running 24x7), we guarded against cleaners accidentally hitting the big red power-off button by glueing velcro strips either side of the buttons, then the other part of the velcro strips to a piece of perspex, which was then velcroed over the top of the buttons. It meant the button couldn't be "accidentally" pushed, but could still be accessed if required.

Admittedly, this won't stop wee fingers as they get stronger and more curious. But maybe it will be a decent stop-gap.
posted by Diag at 5:45 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just to throw it out there - you might want to protect more than just the button.

Some good friends of mine just bought a fancy new flatscreen TV, and as soon as it came home, they mounted a 1/4" piece of plexiglass over its' entire face, covering the front of the TV completely.

They have a pair of very rambunctious boys, 4 and 6 years old.

Needless to say, it was less than 48 hours before the plexi proved its' worth.
posted by swngnmonk at 6:32 AM on June 14, 2010

If you know anyone that's handy with electronics (and with the warning that if it's a CRT there can be potentially harmful charge built up even when it's off and unplugged) you might be able to just open up the case and disconnect the header that connects the front panel to the main board. This wouldn't work if that header also carried the IR receiver signal.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:05 AM on June 14, 2010

Is there an equivalent in the UK of a Babies R' Us - a store that sells all kinds of baby-related equipment? The one near me sells lots of safety gadgets including several types of tv protectors.
posted by kittyloop at 7:19 AM on June 14, 2010

Put it on a wall bracket out of reach.
posted by Phanx at 7:30 AM on June 14, 2010

When this started happening with my computer, I just removed the plastic "friendly" shell button, so that you had to put around to hit the teeny tiny electronic switch the button covered.

You probably don't want to do that with the TV.

Put the TV on a power-bar/power-strip that has it's own on/off switch.

After your little one attempts to press the button a few times (while the power bar is off), they will tire of the game when nothing happens and typically forget about it entirely.
posted by jkaczor at 8:22 AM on June 14, 2010

My 13 month old LOVES pressing the big button on the front of the tv too! How do we deal with it? With a firm NO TOUCH, but that's it.

Picking her up and moving her only makes her want do it more (can't wait for the teenage years!). I think now she gets a bigger kick out of us saying NO TOUCH that she really is just messing with us, as in "let me make daddy use his firm voice."

So in short, don't reinforce the action by trying to move them, try the firm no touch, and it will likely be a passing fad.
posted by doorsfan at 10:18 AM on June 14, 2010

If the buttons are at the bottom, a sign holder cut down to the right height with the base put under the tv would stop poking fingers but allow the remote to still work.
posted by fief at 10:37 AM on June 14, 2010

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