If you are an expectant parent, or if your little one is already here but is becoming more mobile (and curious!) by the day, chances are good that childproofing is a hot topic in your household right now. There are dozens of highly rated safety products on the market that can help protect your child around electrical outlets, water, drapes, and even coffee tables, but when it comes to kitchen and bathroom cabinets, some parents feel confused and frustrated.
Now naturally, the safety of your child must always come first, but it is not at all surprising that some parents are reluctant to break out a drill and begin punching holes in their cabinetry if it’s not strictly necessary. In fact, the baby proofing industry has responded to these concerns by offering numerous different products that have both the safety of your child, and the finish of your custom kitchen cabinets in mind.
Let’s take a look at the best methods available right now for childproofing your cabinets.
Do the Easy Stuff First
You have probably heard this from your pediatrician half a dozen times, and read this in any baby books you perused, but we are going to repeat it here because it is genuinely good advice: get dangerous objects well out of reach.
One of the easiest ways you can help to ensure the safety of your child is to remove any cleaning products, chemicals, choking hazards, sharp objects or anything flammable from the lower cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom. Put them up high, and get into the habit of putting them away every single time you use them.
Adhesive locks are just what they sound like: these are flexible straps with two points of attachment. Many people like these because they can bend around corners, meaning you can also use adhesive locks to childproof appliances, or even your toilet seat.
Now, while this option requires no drilling whatsoever, it is very likely going to damage the finish of your cabinets. Plastic laminate cabinets might do okay, as might metal, but wood is right out. Our best advice for adhesive locks is to use them only on cabinets where the finish cannot be damaged. Of course, if you plan to hire a remodeling company in the near future, you may not be too worried about your existing cabinets anyway.
Magnetic locks are very clever devices. They do require a bit of drilling, but only on the inside surfaces of your cabinet, and the cabinet door. Your finish will be unaffected by these locks, and indeed, there are no lock components whatsoever visible on the outside.
These come highly recommended for two reasons: firstly, they do not allow the cabinet door to budge at all, meaning it prevents pinched fingers. Secondly, they can only be opened with a magnetic “key” which you can easily keep out of reach of your little one.
Handle locks are another no drill option, but these will only work if your cabinets have knobs or handles.
These locks function by attaching two neighboring cabinets together by looping flexible plastic around both knobs. If your cabinet knobs or handles are set too far apart; these locks will probably not be as effective as you need them to be. If you do choose this option, make sure that you are able to latch the cabinets together tightly. Little fingers have a way of getting pinched, so the less the cabinets budge, the better.
About Freestanding Cabinets
One final, but very important note:
If you have any freestanding cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom; these must also be childproofed in a very specific way. When little ones begin crawling or walking, they look for anything nearby to grab onto. Unsteady or freestanding furniture could topple over and injure the child.
Bolt all freestanding furniture to the wall. Furniture straps can be purchased for only a few dollars, and they will firmly hold freestanding cabinets in place.
Cabinets are irresistible to kids. Perhaps it is because they are eager to see what surprises await inside. Choosing the right kind of childproofing gear can keep your little ones safe, and your kitchen cabinets undamaged.