Child Safety - Miller & Zois

Child Safety Cabinet Locks

Child safety cabinet locks are an important weapon in your child safety arsenal. You take a fresh look at everything when you are a new parent. Your cabinets were once of a source of useful products and you now see them as the assassins of your child. This is with good reason. Most Americans store products in our cabinets and drawers that are useful but wildly unsafe in the wrong hands. Children change your life and make you see the world through a whole new lens.

Parents are paranoid about all sorts of risks to their young children. But the poison and choking risks are very real. Every day, over 300 children in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in the emergency room because they were poisoned. Two of these children die. Every day. Some of it is obvious poisons. But medicines and household products can be deadly when consumed.

When do I Need to Install Child Safety Cabinet and Drawer Locks?

It's never too early to start buying child safety locks, even if your child isn’t mobile yet. In fact, childproofing your entire house is one of the best ways to prepare for your child’s development. This can be done before the baby is even born. The reality is that the mobility of young children will sneak up on you, and you don’t want to be unprepared when that moment comes.

What are the Best Childproof Safety Locks?

There are different types of safety locks to choose from. The main types sold online are:

  • Magnetic locks: Latches are installed inside cabinets and a powerful magnet is used to keep the door shut until a key unlocks them
  • Adhesive strap locks: These are made with heavy duty removable adhesive, and can be used to secure more than just cabinets (drawers, appliances, etc).
  • Spring-action locks: These types of locks are made with latches that install inside of the cabinet, and the lock is released by holding the cabinet slightly ajar and pushing down on the latch simultaneously.

Ultimately, the best childproof safety lock comes down to your personal preference. You know your home best, and you most likely already know what kind of lock would work best with your type of cabinet. Many great safety locks can be found on major sites like Amazon or in Walmart. It never hurts to take some time reading reviews, too. You might want to take into consideration whether you only need a lock for cabinets, or if you see yourself needing to lock up other appliances as well.

What are the Most Common Risks to Children?

There are so many different types of poisons and choke hazards in your home. Before you have children, you don’t even realize how many small things could have a dangerous impact on a child. Like we said earlier, childproofing your home is essential to keeping your kid safe. If you’re trying to figure out which items to lock in a cabinet, here is a short list to keep in mind:

  • Cleaning supplies
    • It’s very important to keep all household cleaning supplies out of site and in a locked cabinet. It’s not a good idea to keep any cleaning supplies – including dishwasher powder or liquids – underneath the sink.
  • Medicines
    • We have another article covering everything about medicine safety. But in general, every prescription and non-prescription medication should be out of sight, out of reach, and locked away. Don’t count on “child-proof” packaging to work. Lock up medicine that could be viewed as harmless, such as mouthwash, as ingesting large quantities can be toxic.
  • Laundry detergent
    • Laundry “pods” can look very enticing, even tasty to a young child. There have been unfortunately way too many cases of young children biting into laundry pods. Make sure you either hide these pods away in a locked cabinet or consider using regular detergent until they’re older.
  • Pesticides
  • Certain toxic household plants
  • Raisins
  • Unsecure toilet lids
  • Outlets
  • Loose plastic bags
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing gum and candy
  • Small button batteries
What if I Don’t Have Time to Childproof my Entire House?

We’re well aware that child locks, along with any other baby item, adds up in price – quickly. There’s no judgment here if you can’t secure every small corner in your house. The best thing to do is prioritize your space. Put yourself in your child’s shoes, literally! Get down on their level and view the world from their eyes. Find the areas that your child spends most of their time in and look for things that they would be curious about. When coming cross any item, think about the worst-case scenario if your child picked it up. Would it hurt them? If so, make sure you put it in your locked cabinet.

Do I Need a Professional to Install my Child Safety Lock?

Some readers may laugh at this question, but there is valid reasoning behind this. There have been cases of parents incorrectly installing child safety locks and leaving their child exposed to danger. Even the thought of possibly installing a lock incorrectly can scare parents, and they may want to have a professional do it just to make sure no safety stone is unturned. If you feel that’s best for you, then you should absolutely do it. However, most child safety locks are designed to be self-installed and do not require outside assistance. Most locks are sent with instructions, but there are also plenty of videos online that show you a step-by-step process on how to install one.

Do Child Safety Locks Keep Pets out as Well?

The answer to this depends on what type of lock you have, and what kind of pet you own. Many cabinet locks can and often are used to keep pets out as well. But sometimes, pets, especially large dogs, can break or chew through cabinet locks. If you have a young dog that’s prone to chewing and getting into things, an adhesive strap lock may not be the best choice. Instead, you might want to use locks that rely on an inside latch to keep the cabinet locked.