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Childproof staircaseChildproofing is not a simple task. It requires thinking and planning, some imagination, some research and inevitably costs us time, the most valuable resource of busy working parents.

I wrote a guest article for Almost Frugal with tips about childproofing and only after it went live I realized that I could have done better. One picture is worth a thousand words and showing the locks and where to use them is just as important as explaining about it.

In this post I will cover the kitchen: a lot of cupboards where potential dangers are hidden, a lot of drawers with knives and other not-so-child-friendly objects; the fridge AKA notorious baby-magnet and the most difficult childproofing enigma – the dishwasher.

Here’s how we tackled them:

For cupboards with handles we used this lock:

Cupboards and cabinets childproof lockWhy use this lock:

  • It is easy to open with one hand: grab it, just press two buttons and slide the locking element towards the ends of plastic “legs”.
  • It is important that the locks in the kitchen don’t require both hands as often you have only one free hand.

  • It didn’t have to be screwed in the cupboard, which is great because that means no holes left when you remove the lock.
  • For the drawers we used these latches:
    Latches for childproofing kitchen drawers

    They have two parts; one is glued to the side of the drawer and the other to the cabinet.

    Why use these latches:

  • They are easy to open and close. To open simply push the latch to the side, hold on to it and pull the drawer, it will slide out. To close simply push the drawer, you will hear a “click” when the latch will automatically close.
  • They are easy to install, again no screwdriver required.
  • They are durable, Eric didn’t manage to break or tear apart any of them in 3 months. Other locks he could easily rip off the cabinet, causing us a lot of frustration. We nearly gave up on the idea to find good locks for the drawers .
  • For other cupboards we used these latches:

    Garbage bin childproof lock

    Why use these latches:

  • They are easy to open and close, single-handedly. To open, pull the door and it will open a bit until the latch stops it from inside, there will be just enough room for you to slide a finger in, push the latch down, and then open wide. To close just push the door as you would normally do.
  • The downside – they do require a screwdriver to install and will leave holes in the cabinets.
  • The fridge was equipped with this lock:
    Child proofing fridge lock

    It has two parts; one part with the plastic elastic strap that is glued to the side of the fridge, the other part where the lock clicks in is glued to the fridge door.

    Why use this lock:

  • It can be installed at any height, so glue it well above the child’s reach and there is no chance he’ll ever be able to get into the fridge.
  • It can be opened using one hand only, which is a must for any fridge locks because you are always holding something in the other hand.
  • The length of the strap can be adjusted and if it’s tight enough even small fingers won’t be able to slide between the fridge and its door.
  • The downside – sometimes the plastic strap is getting in the way of closing the door and it’s not highly visible, so I get angry pulling the door that doesn’t open for some reason :)
  • And finally to the toughest one: the dishwasher, the Everest of childproofing. No need to explain why it’s a safety hazard – the knives and the forks, the hot air when it’s drying the dishes, the chemicals in the dish-washing liquid. We just couldn’t find any proper lock for it because our dishwasher is a built-in one and there is no access to its sides.

    So finally we came up with this solution – Rob installed a deadbolt next to the dishwasher door:
    Childproofing dishwasher

    Have a closer look, see how in closed position it is blocking the door? Brilliant!
    Childproofing dishwasher deadbolt lock

    Long live the creativity of desperate parents.

    And now it’s your turn – any childproofing solution you’d like to tell me about? I am all ears.

    Update: this post was featured in The 157th Festival of Frugality: The Queen’s Speech Edition.