Peter Kerin is a father of three and owner of Foresight Childproofing located in Minnesota, serving the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. He has worked as a professional childproofer for more than 10 years, and became one of the first professionals certified as an Advanced Certified Professional Childproofer. He currently serves as the president of the International Association for Child Safety.
First of all, I love kids. Being a professional childproofer is very gratifying. I have changed peoples’ lives by protecting their children and making parenthood easier. Parenting is the hardest job out there and when I help a family, that feels great. It is nice to make a difference. Also, my kids are proud of how I help families.
Absolutely. I have 3 teenagers. I was a stay at home father and it has made all the difference in the world to my business. The challenges I faced, are what motivated me to help others. Clients appreciate that I understand what they are going through.
There are three main reasons: convenience, they are not handy, or it’s overwhelming to them. Often, they’ve been back and forth to the “big box” or hardware store numerous times, and they are so frustrated that they are done with it.
They other reason I hear frequently is, “I have a very unique situation.” While it may seem unique to them, as a professional I have seen many challenging situations. Maybe you can’t use a generic gate, for example, right out of the box. But I am used to finding solutions, and have probably installed something similar before.
By working with a professional, parents gain peace of mind. They know that they are prepared for what’s coming next. Remember, six months from now the kids will be taller, faster, stronger and smarter, but the parents will not be.
We always provide estimates first. The majority of our clients choose our 2-step process. The first step is a safety survey, which takes about 2-3 hours. Together we look at all the rooms in the house and discuss child safety. After the survey, they can decide what steps make sense for their family. We schedule the installation and we complete that in about a week to 10 days.
Monitors on the edge of the crib. Parents set it up this way when the baby comes home, and it stays there even after the baby starts to roll over or crawl, etc. Parents don’t anticipate the changes and now the monitor—which is supposed to give peace of mind—has introduced a hazard into the baby’s crib. Safety tip: Keep crib monitors & cords at least three feet away from the crib.
I do a lot of work with families with special needs children. Recently I worked with a single mother of 3 children, 2 of whom have special needs. It was a unique challenge that required everything from cabinet latches to motion sensors. I took great pride in helping make this mom’s life less stressful and keeping her children safer.
In general, the hardest issue is that some parents want childproofing, but they don’t want anything visible. They want no screws, no gates, etc., yet everything needs to be easy to use and will work safely. We do have to drill some holes, but because we are professionals we do it right the first time and it all looks good and functions extremely well. When it functions well, parents use them safely and consistently.
Referrals are the ultimate feedback. I love it when I hear someone say: “A friend told me, you need to call Peter for your childproofing.”
Taking a few precautions, in my own experience, allowed me to be a better parent. I didn’t have to hover. I didn’t have to chase the child saying “no”, so my energy was channeled in a positive way.