10 Places to Use Child Safety Locks
Yes, you should lock up cleaning supplies. But did you know your oven needs a lock, too?
As soon as a child starts to crawl, it’s time to put child safety locks in strategic spots throughout the house, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). But how do you know where?
There’s one surefire way: “Get on your hands and knees and see what the toddler sees,” says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL.
You might be surprised by some of these 10 places the AAP and other experts recommend using a child safety lock.
1. Cleaning product storage areas. If a cabinet or drawer is within reach of a young child and contains household cleaners such as dishwasher detergent or bleach, put a lock on it, the AAP says. A child is accidentally poisoned every 30 seconds, and more than 50 percent of poisonings affect kids under 5 in their homes, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
2. Cabinets with personal hygiene products. Items such as nail polish remover, mouthwash, perfume and cosmetics should be kept out of reach of children.
3. Medicine cabinets. Prescription medications, over-the-counter meds and vitamins can be dangerous to your child, so keep them locked away. And just in case your tot does get her hands on a bottle of pills, the AAP recommends keeping medicines in their original containers so you can see what the medication is as well as the dosage instructions. Keep the safety caps on.
4. Stacks of drawers. That bottom drawer may not contain anything that would tempt a toddler, but “children are clever,” Drengenberg says. “They will open the bottom drawer and stand on it to reach the top.”
5. Small object storage areas. For example, if you keep batteries — especially button batteries, which can cause serious injury if swallowed — in a drawer, lock it up. The same goes for containers or drawers that store other choking hazards, such as beads, buttons, coins, small magnets or screws.
6. Liquor cabinets. A curious young child could mistake a bottle of colorful liqueur for fruit juice and drink it, causing serious harm, according to the AAP.
7. The oven. Your oven is likely within reach of your young child. He could use the handles to pull himself into a standing position or open the oven and crawl in — possibly when the oven is on. Don’t risk a burn — put a lock on the oven.
8. The toilet seat. Young children can drown in just a few inches of water, so the potty poses a drowning hazard if a tot were to tumble in head first. Parenting Magazine suggests using a lock that resets itself as the seat is being lowered.
9. Pool fences. Nearly 300 children under 5 drown each year in backyard pools, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Put a fence or wall around your pool, and make sure access gates have a self-locking device, advises the CPSC. If your home serves as one side of the barrier, install door alarms on all doors leading to the pool area. And make sure the doors have locks beyond the reach of children to prevent them from opening the door and gaining access to the pool, the CPSC recommends.
10. Trash areas. Trash cans sit on the floor, so they’re likely within reach of kids and probably contain spoiled food, sharp objects and other items your child shouldn’t touch. Keep trash containers behind a locked cabinet door if possible, the AAP suggests.
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