It’s easy to love our kids. But when they mess with or even break our home theater equipment it’s even easier to want to turn into Homer Simpson.

You know when you have toddlers and small children running around they get their little hands into everything. These tiny terrors can wreak havoc and potentially cause $1,000’s worth of damage. Not to mention potentially hurting themselves with falling speakers or exposed plugs.

You’ve spent serious money on a new 4K home theater projector and cinema screen, and you want to enjoy your investment for years to come.

So how do you protect your equipment from kids? What are the best ways to childproof your home theater? Here are some tips to keep your movie watching gear safe from your kids and thus your kids safe from you!

How To Childproof A Home Theater

  1. Get a retractable projector screen - If you have a kid, you know they touch everything! The display surface of a projector can be easily scratched or damaged with oil, food and dirt on little hands. There are ways to clean a projector screen but once marred it can be nearly impossible to fix, meaning every time you project onto the surface you’ll see that blemish. To prevent those tiny appendages from touching or a rogue ball thrown in the house from ruining the surface, the best solution is to get a retractable cinema screen. These screens roll up into the housing, protecting the surface from any possible damage.
  2. Buy a projector with an automatic lens cover - The lens is the most delicate part of a projector. It’s not ideal to remember to put a lens cap on to protect it, especially if you ceiling mount it. By using a home theater projector with an automatic lens cover, like the Epson LS11000, the lens will be safe from dust and fingers.
  3. Mount your projector from the ceiling - Parents know, if it’s within reach children will get to it. So rather than putting it on a table or a shelf that can be bumped, throwing off the alignment of your projector, mount your projector from the ceiling. By having it attached to the ceiling, the projector can't be bumped out of position or worse, knocked over!
  4. Use a projector cage - You’ve told them once, you’ve told them a thousand times. NO BALL PLAYING IN THE HOUSE! But we all know that won’t stop them. That rogue ball that could damage your screen, could just as easily damage the projector. So to make absolutely sure nothing can hurt your home theater baby, a projector cage will protect it. For most parents this may be a redundancy, but for those with a truly precocious scamp, a cage could save you thousands.
  5. Cover Your Cables - If you’re running cables along the base of your wall it can be very tempting for little ones to pull on them. If they yank too hard they could knock over speakers or damage connection ports. Using cable covers or cord organizers to conceal cables and wires, eliminates tripping hazards and impedes children from playing with them. Better yet, run all your cables through the walls. This also helps prevent pets from potentially chewing on the wires.
  6. Secure speaker stands to the floor or mount them to the wall - Speakers on stands tend to be very top heavy making them easy to knock over. You’ll want to secure those stands to the floor with bolts. You could use sandbags to weigh them down but that can look unsightly. Another option is to mount your home theater speakers to the wall. Even better than that is to use in-wall home theater speakers that are recessed. This prevents the speakers from being bumped into and stops your little monkeys from hanging off of them.
  7. Lock your electronics in cabinets - Store equipment, media players, home theater receivers and accessories in locked cabinets or drawers to prevent children from accessing them. Just make sure these electronics devices have proper ventilation so they don’t overheat.
  8. Use child-resistant outlets - Install child-resistant outlet covers or use surge protectors with built-in covers to prevent children from sticking their fingers or other objects into electrical outlets.
  9. Don’t lose your remotes - Kids (and adults) have a habit of misplacing or even wandering off with remotes. Use a basket to store your remotes or velcro them to the side of the King’s seat so you and your kids know where to put them. You can also add AirTags to the remotes to find them easier. Another idea is to automate your home theater with voice control so you don’t even need to use a remote.
  10. Keep your home cinema room locked - If you have little children, the best way to childproof your home theater is to keep them out of the room completely with a locked door. This guarantees they can’t damage your expensive equipment or wreak havoc on your movie watching space.
  11. Get an extended warranty on your equipment - You can childproof a home movie theater all you’d like, but the truth is when you have kids, accidents happen. Extended warranties on home theater equipment cover damage caused by any reason including youngsters.
  12. Talk to you kids - Without a doubt the best thing you can do to childproof a home cinema is to talk to your kids. Teach them how to use the devices so they don’t mess up any of your settings or calibration. Explain to them how expensive and fragile the equipment is and trust them with the responsibility of being able to use the media room. Establish clear rules and boundaries with your children about what is allowed in the home theater area and what is off-limits. Teach them about the dangers of touching equipment, climbing on furniture, and running around the room. If you have young kids, use their favorite toy to explain the importance of your home theater gear. When given trust, children are often a lot more responsible than we assume they are. And after all, what's the point of building a home theater if your whole family can’t enjoy it too?

When you childproof your cinema room, you keep your kids and more importantly, your expensive equipment safe. (Or is it the other way around?)

Overall, the key to childproofing a home theater is to anticipate potential hazards and take steps to eliminate them. Regularly inspect the area to ensure that it remains safe and secure for children. As those kids get older they too can fully enjoy the magnificence of a home theater for years to come.