We all know that keeping jew in a home with children is a recipe for disaster if you’re not properly equipped with the right storage equipment and procedures. Leaving a wedding ring out on the counter is like asking to have it flushed down the toilet, thrown in the sink, tossed in the trash, or worst of all – eaten. Kids love shiny things and if they see your jewellery unattended and you’re not there to stop them from taking it, you might as well count on it being messed with and possibly lost. So I thought these child-safe jewellery options would be really useful for other Mums.
So, if you can’t keep the little ones away from the jewelry, then what can you do other than boycotting jewelry in your home? Well, fortunately there are a number of jewelry options that are relatively kid-friendly. In other words, they’re difficult to lose, easy to find, and unlikely to cause choking. With that said, here are five types of jewelry that meet all of those criteria and more to ensure your kids don’t accidentally cost you an expensive piece of jewelry in the future:
1. Have an Unconventional Backup Ring
Ordinary rings with diamonds and other small stones can present a hazard to the little ones because they can do damage to teeth or gums if chewed and, of course, they could also be choked on. Plus, having a ring with big shiny stones just sitting on your dresser is like inviting a child to come see what it is.
Thus, it may be best to have a more casual kind of ring that doesn’t draw as much attention and isn’t as hazardous for when you’re just hanging around the house, and then a fancier “real” engagement or wedding ring that you wear when you go out to eat or to visit family and friends.
That way, you can lock the more tempting ring away from the children while you’re at home, but still have a ring to wear for minor errands like going to the grocery store. Although there’s still no guarantee that the kids won’t mess with your less attractive ring, at least you’ll have your more expensive and appealing one hidden away in a safe spot.
Another good idea is to have one or more ring settings without stones, so you could have a replacement on standby or use this type of ring while around the house to keep kids from becoming attracted to the shininess of a big diamond or other gem.
2. Vintage and Rustic Bead Necklaces
As we mentioned earlier, children love shiny things, so don’t tempt them with an extra long and shiny necklace. Such necklaces are not only more tempting for the kid to want to grab, they’re also more dangerous than necklaces that could be easily broken because they can wrap around the child’s throat accidentally. Consider a nice earthy beaded necklace that isn’t shiny and would easily break instead of potentially strangling someone if it’s caught on something.
Another plus about wearing the more crafty necklaces is that it can give you and the kids a fun activity to do when you further customize the necklace with new charms, beads, and pieces. If you let your kid participate in building the necklace, then they’ll be less likely to want to break their own co-creation.
Another reason why beads are safer than gems and other metallic type necklaces is because they’re rounded and don’t have sharp, jagged edges like many stones and chain links do. Kids can easily scratch themselves on a conventional metal and stone necklace, so it’s better to only have smooth and soft jewelry around them if possible.
3. Larger Medallions and Lockets
One of the main problems with having jewelry around kids is that it typically contains so many small pieces that can be choking or slipping hazards. The medallion or charm at the end of a necklace is particularly temping for toddlers and they will often try to chew it off of the necklace if they get their little hands on it without being noticed.
Of course, this tendency is easily thwarted by opting for medallions, charms, and lockets that are too large to fit into a toddler’s mouth. That way you’ll be able to notice them chewing on it more easily and if they do manage to get part of it in their mouth, there won’t be a risk of it being lodged in their windpipe. Thus, as a rule of thumb you should try to have a minimum diameter for lockets and any other small jewelry items that your kids could get their hands on.
Larger medallions are not only safer and easier to relocate, they can also hold larger photos that are easier for your kids to decipher. That makes larger pieces better teaching tools. Kids are less likely to destroy or lose something if they know what it is and what’s used for. In fact, you might’ve noticed that your little ones start to bring you items that they find and they’ll try to pronounce the name of it. Show them a large locket and say the word “my locket” while pointing at the jewelry and yourself to convey the message that it is important to you. Before you know it, your kids will be helping you find things instead of making you lose them.
4. Wider and More Noticeable Bracelets
Bracelets should also be larger in size to prevent kids from walking off with them unnoticed and to prevent accidental swallowing. Larger bracelets are easier to spot and recover when lost, and kids will have a hard time getting into mischief with them because they aren’t so flexible and thin. Small and lightweight bracelets made of metal can get wrapped around a child’s wrist and leave unsightly marks or scratches.
Even though it’s your jewelry, you can count on the fact that eventually your kids will want to try it on, so don’t give them something they can easily hurt themselves with. Overall, heavier bracelets are harder for kids to handle, easier for adults to notice, and they don’t present the same choking or scratching risks as thin bracelets.
If your kids frequently snatch your watch, you might want to consider switching to a luxury smartwatch. These watches are trackable and equipped with mobile operating systems but they look a lot like regular watches. If you want the locating capabilities of a smartwatch with a look that is more akin to something from the jeweler, then buy a generic smart device from a department store.
5. Hanging Earrings
Earrings are a major choking hazard and losing them is ridiculously easy to do. Fortunately, there are some types of earrings that are much easier to keep track of and too long for a toddler to swallow. Hanging earrings, also referred to as tear drops or dangling earrings, have a much broader profile than their tiny counterparts and are therefore preferable to own in a household with children.
Kids also tend to catch on to what these earrings are used for because they’re more noticeable in your ears, so it’s easy for their developing minds to draw the correlation that “hey, that’s momma’s earring” versus the alternative “hmmm, what’s that tiny shiny thing.” Regularly identifying your jewelry as being your property will make your kids familiar with it, so they’ll be more likely to call your name and alert you when finding it. Teaching your kids about your jewelry not only will instruct them not to mess with it, it’s also a great naming and recognition exercise for kids who are learning to talk.
Another great thing about hanging earrings is that they’re usually very affordable and are available in a wide variety of styles. That means you can have a huge earring collection once again and not have to worry about losing a gem that cost several hundred bucks in one act of juvenile mischief. Even if you have to replace a few pairs eventually, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Get a Lockable Container for the Small Stuff
Ultimately, the only real solution to ensure beyond a reasonable doubt that your kids won’t be able to ruin your jewelry is to simply use a lockable case and store it somewhere they can’t reach. Hopefully that would be an obvious precaution to anyone who has children, but in the event the above tips don’t work and your kids are still trashing your jewelry collection this has to be the logical next step in case you haven’t realized that yet.
Your best bet would be to opt for a case that locks via a number combination similar to a safe. That way you won’t ever have to worry about losing the keys. Any mom who has lost a pair of keys to her kids’ wild adventures should be very familiar with the frustrating feeling that your kids somehow disposed of your keys.