Drawers, cabinets, and other storage areas are a very important part of our homes. It doesn’t seem like that at first, but your house would be a big mess without them. Your baby is not interested in storage space. Its toys are much more interesting than the things you are trying to hide.
However, a child’s curiosity and unpredictable behavior have no limits. This is why it is really important to have baby proof cabinets and drawers. Your child could end up getting hurt badly if it bumps its head or finds sharp items in your storage area.
Why are Drawers and Cabinets Dangerous?
You probably never even thought about drawers and cabinets being dangerous before your baby entered your life. However, now with a newborn, you will start to realize how dangerous they are. As funny as it seems, here are some potential hazards that drawers may pose to your child.
- We usually keep our poisonous substances and sharp knives in our drawers and cabinets. Both of these are very dangerous to kids.
- Your child will definitely through everything it can find in a drawer or a cabinet across the room because it is fun. You already know how hard it is to clean up your baby’s toys. Now think about doing the same thing, but only with all of your valuables.
- Drawers and cabinets can easily pinch your baby’s fingers, resulting in serious injuries, and even broken bones.
- Kids love climbing up on things. Drawers and cabinets are dangerous because they can be used as a ladder to climb on high surfaces. This is something you have to pay attention to if you want baby proof drawers or cabinets in your house.
Another annoying thing about drawers and cabinets is that your child will try to slam on them continuously if it gets a chance. Many parents find this very frustrating and it is hard to explain to kids not to do so.
Baby Proofing Drawers
If you go to your local store to look for drawer locks you will probably find out that there are many different types, designs, and quality. The best thing to do when shopping for one is to read parent’s reviews on the product to make sure it is useful. Doing so will help you realize that making baby proof drawers sounds easy in theory, but it is a different story in practice. There are a few other things you should consider when buying a lock for your drawers besides reading reviews.
- Magnetic locks with weak magnets are a big no. Cheaper locks will come with bad magnets – this is a fact. Be sure that this is going to annoy you so much since you won’t be able to open your drawers easily when accessing the contents.
- Some locks leave a bit of opening. Your child has very little fingers and it could get hurt even if there is a very tiny crack. Try the lock and check whether it works properly.
- Try different locks until you find the one that is easy to use. Drawers are something that you are going to use every single day. Save your sanity and don’t buy a lock that will require you to fiddle with it for 5 seconds whenever you want to open a drawer.
- Avoid locks that require difficult installation. Modifying permanent fixtures is usually forbidden by most landlords. This is why you shouldn’t look for a lock that has to be hardware mounted if you rent.
Baby Proofing Cabinets
There are a couple of different tools parents use to make baby proof cabinets. Most of these are very straightforward and easy to use. Securing your cabinets is a bit different from securing drawers, but the main idea is the same. These are some of the most common types of locks parents use to secure their cabinets:
- Magnetic locks
- Adhesive mounted locks
- Cord locks
- DIY, custom locks
Using magnetic locks is probably the most popular way to baby proof cabinets and drawers safely. However, keep in mind that you will have to mount the hardware inside the storage area, so talk with your landlord before doing so.
These usually consist of numerous locks that you can use for a lot of drawers and cabinets. Besides, you also get one magnetic key that can open all the locks. You just have to keep the key in a safe spot since losing it can be a problem.
Using this kind of lock is very easy. You just have to place the key in the front of the lock and you should feel some tension in the area. Use your other hand to open the drawer or a cabinet once it is unlocked.
Locks can be temporarily unlocked if you ever need to use your drawers or cabinets for some time – for example, when you’re cooking.
Tension Rod for Drawers
Drawers are usually stacked up one on another to take as little space as possible. This is great since securing them is easier due to this. All you need is a shower rod, as strange as it sounds. However, you will have to consider your drawer set up before you run to your bathroom and take your shower rod.
Only drawers that are over 26 inches in height can be secured with a tension rod. Also, your benchtop has to be a bit wider than the drawers so your tension rod can have something to press against. For this trick to work, you have run your tension rod through the handles until the rod touches the floor. From there, just expand your rod until it firmly pressed the benchtop. This should hold the drawers in place and no one should be able to access them. If you, however, have drawers with knobs, just repeat the process no matter you have nothing to pull the tension rod through.
Using a tension rod is a great way to baby proof drawers if you’re unable to install a more permanent solution. Keep in mind that it is always best to use rods made of stainless steel. This material is good at preventing bacteria growth.
Adhesive Mount Locks for Cabinets
In addition to magnet locks, parents often use adhesive mount locks to baby proof cabinets. However, they differ from the first option because they are a less permanent solution and you can remove them whenever you don’t need them anymore.
Usually, your cabinets will have to have two anchor points that are stuck to the surface. The main idea is to use a strap that joints both of these anchors together which then prevents your child from opening the cabinet.
They are very easy to use, plus they are effective and cheap. Parents usually recommend using them due to these factors. It is recommended to use some alcohol on the attachment points since some parents say that this helps to strengthen the grip.
Removing the adhesive is also very simple and you shouldn’t have any problems doing so. Use a glue remover on the adhesive and you should be fine. You will sometimes have to wait for about 10 minutes for it to work properly.
You should know that the adhesive will leave some darker spots if your cabinets are in the direct sunlight. Sadly, this is something you can’t avoid and you should just have to accept it or move the cabinets in a place with less direct sunlight.
Velcro for Baby Proofing Drawers
Velcro is extremely helpful to baby proof drawers that are not laid out in a column. However, magnetic drawer locks are always the number 1 solution, but Velcro is also very useful if you are not ready to pay a bit more for magnetic locks.
Using Velcro is straightforward and you shouldn’t have problems figuring out how to use it properly to secure the storage area.
Cord Locks for Cabinets
Pull cord locks, similarly to Velcro, are a straightforward way to baby proof cabinets cheap and easy. However, you can only use this method if your cabinet has round knobs placed side by side. The downside of using this method is the lack of versatility. This is also the reason why the above-mentioned locks are a much better way of securing your cabinets.
All you have to do is to tie a knot around the two knobs. Just keep in mind to do it tightly enough so your baby can’t possibly open the cabinet and get hurt.
Cabinet Locks, You Shouldn’t Use
As already mentioned, there are many different types of locks available. However, many of them are not good options for baby proof cabinets. Also, you should know that not all products from the same manufacturer are good. These locks just seem that get the least good reviews by parents:
Sliding Cabinet Locks
This type of lock should be able to attach to both knobs and handles easily while providing enough security and safety. However, many parents report that they just couldn’t get these to work effectively on the knobs. A child can easily pull them off from the knobs and the sliding piece is usually not fitting well. Also, parents report that these do not last long since they feel cheaply made.
Spring Release Latch
It should remain hanging on the door while it is open, and it should work with both knobs and handles, according to the advertisement.
However, parents say that these get annoying, really fast. Parents have problems opening them – which is the reason why you shouldn’t install it on cabinets you frequently use.
Get Rid of Dangerous Items
The best thing you can do to ensure your baby is safe is to remove all the poisonous and dangerous items from your drawers and cabinets. Take all of these and place them in a safe location that you will keep locked too.
Use your drawers and cabinets for harmless stuff such as towels and washcloths, rolls of toilet paper, and diapers.
Bonus Tips for Baby-Proofing Your Cabinets
In addition to locking your cabinets, there are few more measures you can take to secure your storage space.
- Don’t allow your baby to see how you unlock the cabinet.
Young children learn things very quickly – mainly by imitating. Allowing your child to see what you’re doing while unlocking the drawer will make it easier for it to gain access. Just position yourself between your baby and the lock to block the vision.
2. Remove hazardous items.
People who visit your house will probably sometimes to put the locks back after using them. This is normal since they are not used to having those at home. However, this will allow your child to gain access to your storage space and it will be exposed to dangers you want to restrict.
This is why you should simply remove all the sharp tools and poisonous cleaning products from your drawers and cabinets.
3. The locks are not supervision substitution.
Supervising your child is the most important thing you should do as a parent. Having locks will only make things safer so far. Children are very creative when it comes to hurting themselves, so you have to be there to make sure no serious injuries happen.
Baby Planet Overview
There are many different ways you can baby proof drawers and cabinets with ease. However, you have to find out what option is best for you and your needs. Keep in mind that hardware mounted solutions are not good if you rent since you will have to ask your landlord for permission.
The main idea is to protect your child from getting hurt. You can achieve this only if you pay attention to detail. Also, make sure you remove all the items from your storage space until your child gets a bit older.
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- How to baby proof your cabinets, littleangels.org