Anyone who has ever visited or lived in a home with a toddler knows all about cabinet locks. These are put everywhere a toddler can reach to prevent them from getting into chemicals or other dangers. The question is, should you have cabinet locks in place even when you don’t have little ones to worry about.
The simplest answer is: yes. The longer answer is because every home has an extensive list of harmful chemicals that can cause significant injury, and kids of any age may find individual bottles, jars, and canisters too tempting for their good. In some cases, just getting a bit of a single compound on bare skin or in the eye can lead to horrible consequences. In all such instances, a straightforward and sturdy cabinet lock would have prevented harm.
Of course, when speaking about cabinet locks, it is also a good time to consider window locks, too. After all, the same child who might be so curious as to explore a cupboard full of toxins is also likely to be the same kid who might try to open a window on an upper floor to get a better view. Again, good window locks will save the day.
Where to Use Them
Locks for cabinets should appear in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry or utility room, garage, shed, and anywhere a child can access dangerous compounds. Window locks are not only for upper floors and should just be installed in any Windows where a toddler or child might be tempted to open them.
When considering cabinet locks, there are several styles from which you can choose. You will want to make your choices based on budget and your lifestyle. For example, some of the lock options require keys and some just need an adult finger to pop open the latch. If you have concerns about misplaced keys or frustrating experiences, you will want to choose the style that suits you the best. The most common are:
Magnetic locks – If you are good with keys, this may be the ideal as it uses a magnetic lock that can only be released with the special key.
Flex locks – These attach to the knobs and handles of cabinets and slide over tabs to lock and release. Most children do not have the strength or dexterity to open them (but some adults struggle with them, too).
Latches – You see these in drawers and on cabinets. They lock automatically, and to open you must use a finger to depress a latch or tab inside of the cabinet or drawer. However, a clever child can figure these out, and so it might not be the best if you have a Houdini on your hands.
With this diversity of options (and with costs ranging only from around $3 to $25 each), you should be able to create a workable solution for your cabinet security challenges.
Window security is almost as easy, but may require a little more installation effort. The most standard for parental needs also range in the $3 to roughly $50 price ranges, including:
Stoppers – Just as it sounds, this can be positioned on a double hung or sliding window and will stop the window at whatever location you want. It relies on a suction cup to hold the stopper in place, and it can allow you to open windows, but only to safe amounts.
Guards – They use the window frame and bars to create a full window wedge. Two horizontals connect to a single vertical bar, and you can lock or unlock this durable lock in seconds.
Wedges – Described as oversized doorstoppers, they use a self-adhesive that allows you to position them anywhere along the window frame to effectively block whatever type of windows you have from opening.
In addition to these locking devices, you may want also to buy cord shorteners to prevent children from becoming entangled in the cords from window dressings. Remember that you also want to choose any locking devices that can be easily removed in the event of an emergency.
Children are a joy and a blessing, but it takes a lot of vigilance to keep them out of trouble – particularly when cabinets and windows are concerned. These methods should help you breathe a bit easier!