How to Use Child Safety Locks
Babies and children are curious little creatures. If there is something they can get ahold of, they are going to. If there is something they can put in their mouths, they are going to. If there is something they can open, they are going to. Luckily when childproofing your home, most of the harmful things can be locked away or put up high, but that does not always keep little ones out of harm's way. Child safety locks come in all shapes and sizes and can be used on just about anything you could think of.
Types of safety locks
The first thing most people think of putting child safety locks on are cabinets and drawers. There are a few different kinds of child safety locks for cabinets and drawers ranging from temporary to a more permanent kind. The most common type are the spring-style locks. These types of locks are inexpensive and can be easily installed. They allow the cabinets or drawers to be opened about an inch before catching on the inside of the door, preventing it from being opened all the way. The spring-loaded latch has to be pushed down in order for the cabinet to be fully opened. They are installed on the inside of the cabinet with adhesive and screws.
Another type of locks for cabinets and drawers are magnetic locks. These are great for when other people like grandparents need to open the locks. Magnetic type child locks can be installed in a temporary fashion with adhesives, which make them great for other people’s houses and do not damage the cabinets. They are installed inside the cabinet so they are not visible and use a magnetic key to open them from the outside. The key can be kept where the child cannot reach it such as high on the refrigerator. Eventually, as your child gets stronger, they will be able to open these types of locks.
If you do not mind locks on the outside of your cabinets, then external locks are also inexpensive and easy to install with no damage to the cabinet and no adhesive needed. These external locks are sliding locks that loop over the handles holding them shut. These are great for mirrored doors and can easily be opened with one hand, but not easily enough that a child could open them. All you have to do is squeeze the locking bar’s buttons and remove the lock fully. There are also locks made for swivel cabinets and drawers as well that can be installed with adhesive or screws.
Next to cabinet and drawer child safety locks, the other popular ones are for doors that not only keep them from being opened but also help to prevent smashed fingers or injuries from door hinges. Round door knob locks and covers are very popular and easy to put on. These keep little ones from turning a door knob and can usually be opened with bigger hands by pressing certain pieces together to turn the knob. There are also child safety locks for lever handles that work in a similar fashion with the lock being placed over the lever handle and secured with adhesive tape or screws for a sturdier option. Then there is the door monkey, which, like the spring-like cabinet locks, allow the door to open a bit before catching and securing on the door frame.
The next thing to think about when it comes to little ones and doors is preventing injuries. The pinch guard is a foam u-shaped piece that is designed to fit on both the hinge side and locking side of the door to prevent little ones from pinching or smashing fingers and is easy to install and remove. These are best used on doors that you do not need to be closed as the foam piece will keep the door from shutting all the way. You can also do a Do It Yourself with a towel taped over the top of the door and this will act in the same way as the pinch guard.
Another type of child safety tool is safety straps. As parents, we usually think about all of the obvious dangers like things in cabinets, opening and closing doors, toilets, and so on, but what about everyday furniture or dressers in children’s rooms? Safety straps are attached to the wall and to the back of small furniture with screws to keep it from tipping over on top of your little one when they decide to be a monkey and use their dresser drawers as steps. These safety straps can be used on dressers, smaller entertainment centers, bookshelves, and more.
Using baby gates
Another great tool, which may not be considered a child safety lock but still get the job done are baby gates. Some baby gates are as easy as putting one in a doorway, sliding it tight against the sides of the frame, and locking it in place, while others can be a more permanent type and be installed with tools. Baby gates are very versatile and can go just about anywhere you want to keep blocked off to your little ones such as hallways, doorways, and staircases. Other baby gates are set up more like a wall and can open and close like a normal gate would. Baby gates have locking mechanisms on them that prevent a child from being able to open them but watch out when they learn to climb them. You can get different sizes that vary in height and width as well.
If you happen to have guns in your house, then you will definitely want to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of everyone by keeping these locked up and even having extra locks on the guns themselves. While most guns have safeties on them that have to be switched in order for them to fire, kids are smart and may be able to figure out how to do so. Keeping your guns locked away in a gun safe or gun case with a locking mechanism is best. You can also buy other locks to go on or in the gun as an extra safety measure. Some of these include a vise-like lock that covers the trigger, a thick cable that goes into the barrel of the gun, and trigger locks that keep the trigger from being pulled. You should also be sure to keep the ammunition and gun stored separately.
There are other types of child safety locks that keep little ones out of other things as well. There are toilet locks that keep the toilet seat shut tight so that little ones will not be flushing anything important or trying to drink from the toilet. There are child locks that go on refrigerators to keep the door locked shut with the lock being placed higher so only adults can reach. A great one is child safety locks for stoves, especially gas ones, that slide behind the knob so that it cannot be pushed in and turned on. Latches for sliding doors, windows, and anything else that can open and close. They even make child safety gear to cover electrical outlets. There are plenty of child safety tools to childproof a home or anywhere, it all comes down to what works best for your family and home.