Childproofing Cabinets, Doors, and Drawers
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Childproofing Cabinets, Doors, and Drawers
I have older doorknobs in the house that have the kind of
locks that do not automatically open when one closes the
door after manipulating the lock. I live in fear that my
daughter will lock herself into her room someday. Is there
a solution, either a product or a home fix, that can render
the locks nonfunctional but keep the doorknob functional?
We have the same kind of locks and I ended up covering the
door handle with truckloads of duct tape to keep the lock
button unlocked. It's going to be a royal pain for me to
figure out how to get off someday so I don't worry that the
kids will get it off themselves. It's worked for us for 3
years without coming off. Duct Tape is the solution for
We just used packing tape and covered the end of the knob.
My daughter did lock it once by accident and we were able to
open it with a screw driver from the outside but that was
enough for me to cover it up. Haven't had a problem since
and that was more than a year ago. don't get locked in
We also have old locksets in our house. We childproofed
them by stuffing paper into the door jamb so that, when the
door is closed, the lock cannot be turned into the door
jamb. It's worked well for the past couple of months (we
have a 2-year old that likes to play with the door locks).
The problem with this, of course, is that anyone else using
the bathroom (e.g. adults, guests) cannot lock the door
without first removing the paper. Ken
I recently replaced several doorknobs in our house after my
daughter got locked into a room when an old doorknob broke.
It's very easy to replace a doorknob...they cost about
$10-$30 at Home Depot or Ace Hardware, and you can put in a
new doorknob that does NOT have a lock. My kids' rooms
don't have locks on them; only the master bedroom does. If
you're doubtful, watch this video (and others) on Youtube.
All you need is a screwdriver.
We have a swinging door in our kitchen that we need to secure.
It swings both inward and outward. Does anyone have
suggestions on how to keep it shut and how to prevent smashed
fingers? i tried a foam ''Finger Guard'' from KidCo, but that
didn't work - it popped off the door.
Why don't you just remove the door? You could put a Japanese
style split curtain or a gauzy curtain in the doorway if you
like. Alternately you can attach a eye bolt to the wall and hook
the door to it to keep it open (like the old screen door latches).
Are you worried about a child being hit (or fingers pinched) by a
swinging door or do you want to be able to secure the door and
keep the child on side or the other? If the former, then the
advice in the last newsletter about removing it (at least
temporarily until child is older) works. An eyehook would
secure, but then you always have to be on that side to open the
door. We had exactly this situation in a Berkeley bungalow,
although our wish (pre-daughter) was to keep the cats in the
kitchen at night and not let them push through the swinging door
to the dining room and living room. A friend who did some
kitchen work for us installed what I guess I would call a
turnbolt -- like a dead bolt but no key. From either side of the
door, you could give a little twist on the semi-circular
handle/lever and a lightweight bolt snicked into the
corresponding hole in the door jamb. When you wanted the door
open, turn the other way and it swung freely. I would think a
decent handyman could do it.
There is a much easier solution. The childproofer also
recommended the hook and eye to me, but I found this at Giggle.
No installation, no holes, nada. And it works! It's a door
positioner that keeps the door open, closed or in between.
I have a heavy swinging door between our kitchen and dining room and had the same
worry with my toddler. I just rolled up a towel and hung it lengthwise
over the top of the door,
pushing it as far toward the wall as possible. This keeps the door in an open
position - the rolled towel is thick enough to prevent the door from closing,
and it's simple to remove it as needed, so you can close the door or swing it
over to the other side.
It doesn't look beautiful but it works!
I am trying to find child-safe doorstops. We bought some years ago, but now can't remember where! They are white, one-piece, and have no springs or rubber ends. Anybody know where I can find those these days? I just pulled off all the funky old doorstops in our new house and need to replace them pronto with the safe ones! Thanks.
Drugstore.com carries them -- a 3 pack for $3.99:
I just did my house, too.
We bought simple plastic doorstops to replace our springed ones
at Lowe's, the giant hardware store. They were in the door
section. You can probably find them at Target or a similar
store, but they will be with the home improvement section, not
We bought some at Rockridge Kids last year. I don't remember
the brand, but it was one of the major ones that makes
While I don't know where to find the doorstops that you
referenced, I do know that all of the childproofing literature
suggests pulling off the rubber tips and then re-adhering them
with Krazy Glue. We did that and it works just fine. Our
daughter is intrigued by the doorstops in the house, but is
never able to remove the tips.
Just a suggestion
You can order these from One Step Ahead (onestepahead.com).
I have seen them at Target (from time to time) and Right Start
Living in a child-proofed house.
toddler-proof cabinet/drawer latches
My 21 month-old has finally figured out how to open the cabinets by sticking her little arm inside and pressing down on the child-proof latch (I think we have Safety 1st). Can anyone suggest a toddler-proof drawer and cabinet latch or lock? thanks!
Try doubling up your present latches, he may be able to open one, but two?
The child safety consultant I used (Safe and Sound Children, LOVED THEM)
liked the magnetic latches, but I lose things, like the little magnetic key
you stick on the side of your refrigerator.
Check out www.thechildproofer.com. They list various safety products,
including a number of latches. They rate them on a safety scale as well,
which is nice. I found that the latches with springs were the worst as they
were so simple to open.
I know of some magnetic latch kits that are sold through the Right Start Store or
online at RightStart.com These safety locks allow for the door or drawer to close
all the way and not open at all. They open by this magnetic knob that comes with
the kit, which you can put on your fridge above your toddler's reach. They are
more expensive than the traditional latches sold, but I think well worth it. You
avoid having little fingers caught in the openings that other latches allow for.
Hope this helps.
I have heard great things about Tot-Loks. They work with a
magnetic "key." The challenge would be not losing the key!
I also suggest you use those small color-coding dots on the
outside of the cupboard so you can place the key easily
this page was last updated: Oct 29, 2012
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