10 surefire ways to kid proof your electronics

You want to keep your baby safe -- but it's hard to keep the kids away forever. It's time to kid proof your electronics.

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  • You've spent a lot to have the latest and greatest device and you love it like a child. The problem is, your kids love it too. How can you let your kids enjoy the great apps and games, but still protect it from their grubby little hands?

  • 1. Buy kid tough cases and accessories.

  • It's just a matter of time before your kids drop, or step on, your phone or tablet. Make the investment in a durable case and it will save you the expense of a replacement down the road. This i-pad mini case is constructed from a special non-toxic foam that provides shock absorption and impact resistance.

  • There are a variety of products out there from keyboard protectors for sticky fingers to twistable foam headphones that can take your kids' abuse.

  • 2. Get a waterproof pouch.

  • If your phone will be accompanying you and your kids to a day at the beach or poolside, bring a waterproof case to put it in. This will protect your baby from kids coming dripping wet and sitting on the phone, as well as from curious toddlers who like to see what happens when you throw things in the water. A quick internet search will show you several case options, some as low as $5.99. For a quick and easy fix, bring a sealable plastic sandwich bag.

  • 3. Keep a bowl of rice handy.

  • If your child does, per chance, introduce your cell phone and water, end the relationship immediately. Turn your phone off so it does not short circuit. If your phone has been in water, assume it is water logged even if it is still working. Remove the cover, battery, sim card and unplug any accessory ports. Dry things off the best you can with a soft cloth, then bury the phone is a bowl of rice and leave it overnight. Rice is super absorbent and will draw out water. Don't try turning your phone on again until after 24 hours.

  • 4. Use screen protectors.

  • The first thing to do when you get a new device is put a screen protector on. This prevents it from getting scratched up while kids play with it. The particular product your device needs completely depends on its make and model, but most electronics stores carry a wide variety of sizes and brands. Some stores even apply the protector for you if you're nervous about handling the thin polyester film yourself.

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  • 5. Provide screen cleaners and show your kids how to use them.

  • Whether you prefer moistened electronic wipes or a simple screen cleaning cloth, teach your kids the right way to clean off fingerprints. Show them where you keep the screen cleaners and make them easily accessible. If you don't, your kids may come up with their own cleaning ideas — and it won't be pretty.

  • 6. Keep hand wipes placed around the house.

  • The best way to keep sticky fingerprints and crumbs off your devices is to get your kids in the habit of washing their hands before using them. Keep some hand wipes or baby wipes placed strategically around the house so they are always handy to wipe-up with before playing games on an electronic device.

  • 7. Designate an e-zone.

  • Tired of never being able to find your phone or tablet? Set up an electronic zone in your house where the kids are allowed to sit and use your devices. That way, they don't get carried all around the house and yard and left on the floor. It's also a good idea to prohibit food and drink in this e-zone.

  • 8. Set passwords.

  • If your kids can't get past the home screen, they are less likely to use the phone without permission and do unsupervised browsing and buying.

  • 9. Turn off buying options.

  • You can turn off buying options all together on your phone to protect yourself from surprise charges on games or social media. Go to your phone's settings screen where you can find options to set restrictions on purchases, require a pin number for purchases, or turn them off all together.

  • 10. Get device usage apps.

  • Certain apps, programs, and even browsers can help protect your gadgets and electronics by limiting the ways in which your kids can interact with them. Many of these are free. The KidZui browser blocks inappropriate content and prevents online purchases. An app called Kytephone allows parents using Android phones and tablets to track online activity, messaging and other actions. It also facilitates setting up timers for things like games.

  • 11. Attach it.

  • If you're going on a road trip, investing in a seat mount for your tablet may be a good idea. In the car, it's way too easy to drop it, smear food on, or otherwise damage your device. An internet search yields a variety starting at $25.99.

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  • It's also easy for small items to get lost. This stylus slap-band will help keep that pesky little pen from ending up between the seats.

  • Smartphones and tablets are a big investment in a sensitive but powerful tool. Go the extra mile to make sure your electronics are protected from little hands. With a little planning, you and your kids can enjoy using your favorite devices.

  • Check out more awesome accessories to kid-proof your electronics.

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Megan Wallgren is a freelance writer and mother of four energetic children.

Website: http://kinetickids.blogspot.com

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