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10 Dangerous Things I Let My Kids Do

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I was excited about getting bunk beds for the twins. They were outgrowing their toddler beds, which were really just their cribs with the rails removed, and it was time to upgrade to a big kid bedding situation. Also, like in the movie "Stepbrothers," it would give them so much more room for activities.

But then I read a warning from the APA that children under 6 shouldn't be on the top bunk. The twins are just shy of 4. Bummer! Still, we took an afternoon trip to IKEA to test them out.

I was surprised to find that the beds weren't super high, had guard rails and were very stable. My gut told me that this age limit was ridiculous—we were ready to bunk. That got me thinking about the other potentially hazardous, non-APA approved things I let my son and daughter do:

10. Running

"Stop, no running!" is the refrain espoused by parents and caregivers. No running in the house and definitely no running around a pool. Most kids could probably use a little more running and less sitting. And if you fall and hurt yourself, get back up.

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9. Jumping into the pool

We used to jump into the pool all the time as kids. Sometimes, confused by the rules of Marco Polo, we even did it with our eyes closed. I'm not advocating diving into shallow water, but a gleeful jump is perfectly fine.

8. Not wearing a helmet

We own a helmet, but when the twins practice scooting or riding the Big Wheels in front of our house, rarely do they wear it. And I think that's OK! Again, growing up, we all managed to ride bikes around our neighborhoods without sustaining head injuries. This is pedaling up and down the block, not riding a motorcycle on the open highway.

7. Riding in booster seats

A few months ago, tired of cramming my son's lanky body into a baby seat, we switched to the booster seat (with backs). The twins were just shy of being the recommended "4 years old and 40 pounds" at the time.

6. Riding in the stroller unbuckled

Sometimes, when we're in a rush, they will just hop right in the stroller and we take off. I'm careful around the curbs and cracks in the pavement. So far, everyone has been able to stay put.

Of course, I tell them to slow down. But that doesn't mean I start freaking out.

5. Going down scary slides

The twins love any kind of bouncy house structure, and we don't stop them from careening down slides that are maybe a little bit above their age level. That's not to say I haven't found myself taking off my boots and crawling into an inflated maze in order to retrieve one of them, but we think it's better that they try.

4. Playing ball in the house

Everyone who grew up watching "The Brady Bunch" remembers, "Mom always said, 'Don't play ball in the house!'" We don't have any valuable ceramic trinkets, so playing ball in the house is just fine by me.

3. Sleeping with a pillow over the head

This is the way my daughter likes to sleep. Even if I move the pillow off her head, five minutes later, she will be back underneath it. This one does look a little scary, I'll admit, but at this age, doctors say a child will know to roll over.

2. Stuffing their mouths with food

When something is super yummy, the twins may stuff a lot of it in their mouths all at once. Of course, I tell them to slow down. But that doesn't mean I start freaking out.

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1. Playing with fire

When my husband lets the twins help make our pancake breakfast on Sunday mornings, they are in close proximity to the stove. They've learned that you just don't touch it.

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