There are many dangers lurking in the shadows of your home. While you may not notice them (or see them as dangers to yourself), chances are they will be like magnets for your child, drawing them near.
With their eyes always watching you, they will quickly learn that electrical cords unplug from the wall, books have pages to flip (and tear), and cabinets have doors to open.
While each of these areas need special attention when it comes to childproofing your home, we will focus on your cabinets for now.
In this article we will review the best solutions for childproofing your kitchen cabinets:
Baby Safety Around Kitchen Cupboards
Your child is now mobile and she will be curious about everything.
Pretty soon you will find yourself walking in to any number of surprises in the kitchen. Often leading to picking up the same thing multiple times a day!
While this is frustrating, there are other significant risks that could lead to a much worse scenario.
The continuous clamoring of cabinet doors opening and slamming shut, over and over again.
This is the prequel to an inevitable injury. Yes, you will go a little cray hearing the incessant banging, but if you don’t get in there fast the crying is sure to follow.
Cabinet doors are finger smashers!
A few more serious risk is the silence that comes from a fascinated child playing with a bottle or container she hasn’t found before.
At best this can get very messy… At worst, you could have a serious health risk if your child is exposed to household cleaning products and chemicals.
These every day products are often just sitting in the cabinets under the sink. They are poisonous and incredibly hazardous to your child if she were to ingest them.
You need to be sure that these cabinets are inaccessible to your child.
Removing the Hazard
We will shortly show you how to secure these spaces, but no method is foolproof.
Your best option would be to move these items to a different area altogether. Consider storing them in a room or area of your house that your child does not enter on her own such as a garage or separate laundry room.
Another option is to move them to a higher area, out of the reach of a child.
This is not the best option, however. By storing chemicals up high, you run the risk of them falling and their containers breaking open, creating even more of a hazard.
But, if you can put them somewhere higher where they are guaranteed to be safe then this could work for you.
No amount of childproofing will make these cabinets safe enough for you to leave as is.
You do not want to take the chance of your latch system failing and your child finding these chemicals. It is best to remove them from your child’s reach and eliminate the risk altogether.
DIY Cabinet Childproofing
If you have been able to relocate your household chemicals you are still left with the good old finger smashers to deal with.
I like being creative and I’m all about saving money. So, whenever there is a DIY option for a household fix I tend to try that one first. There are plenty of cheap ways to lock down those cabinets and keep them childproofing.
If your kitchen cabinets have handles you may already have what you need to make them childproof – just use something as simple as a rubber band.
Wherever you have two cabinets that are side by side, like under the sink, you can wrap the rubber band around both handles to keep them shut.
This option makes it easy for you to remove when you need to access the cabinets’ contents and costs you little to no money.
If your cabinets do not have handles (or if they do but you don’t want a neater looking option) you can consider using magnets or Velcro strips.
Simply place the magnet or Velcro to the inside of the cabinet door, using either the pre-installed adhesive or a screw (for your magnet) to keep the door stuck shut.
Until your child is older and stronger, she should not be able to open the doors with these installed.
Best Kitchen Cabinet Latches
If you are not confident in your DIY skills there are many great products on the market specifically for childproofing cabinets. The most popular would be latches.
They come in various styles, both hidden and visible, and are easy for you to install and unlock when you need to open your cabinets.
They simply catch the door from opening all the way if a child were to pull on it. They are easy to manoeuver for an adult by simply pressing down on the hook piece to release and avoid the catch.
If you are handy with an electric drill, they can be relatively easy to install.
The catch plate attaches to the interior of the cabinet and the hook is attached to the door, both pieces using two small screws. These are ideal for standalone cabinets or ones that do not have handles.
There are also many options for side by side cabinets with handles.
Dreambaby also has a sliding latch option (you can find similar styles in other brands as well).
These are long plastic rings (U-shaped) with a sliding mechanism. Simply slip the plastic U around the handles and slide the lock until it is tight against the handles.
These work best on D-shaped handles or knobs.
Finally, there is the side by side cabinet locks, like these from Safety 1st.
To install them, you simply loosen the cords with the interior lever, and fit them over your handles or knobs and tighten. Then, lock both sides together to keep your child from opening the cabinet.
With the simple press of a button, the lock releases so you can access the cabinet’s contents.
Since the cords are flexible and can be adjusted easily, these can be used on any type of handle or know your cabinets may have.
Childproofing requires serious thought and attention, but, thanks to modern product advancements, it can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Whether you prefer DIY or marketed products there is an option that will work for you. Making it both easy for you and safe for your child.