Child Proofing Your Drawers – Avoid Injury and Frustration
Drawers that are within reach of your child are guaranteed to be opened every chance she gets. You will feel like ripping out your hair after the fifth time you have picked up those socks within the hour.
Laundry will be even more of a dreaded chore when you have little hands undoing all of your hard work. And you will be mortified when she carries your underwear out to show your guests.
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Your Child Proof Drawers Shopping List:
|Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy||$4.88|
|Bestgle Invisible Drawer Lock||N/A|
|Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches||$7.99|
|Safety 1st Magnetic Cabinet Locks||$29.99|
Drawers Pose a Danger to Children
You will have tears when she shuts that drawer on her little finger. You will have bruises when she falls and hits her face on a drawer that slides unexpectedly under her weight. And you will have scrapes when she hits her leg on a drawer she did not remember leaving open.
While these are little, inevitable bumps in the road, your drawers can pose a far greater risk to your child than you probably realize. Drawers, especially on a tall dresser or in your kitchen, can make a very convenient ladder for the curious toddler. This could cause your child to fall from a great height, or your furniture, which is not accustomed to the uneven weight distribution of a climber, may fall. Both of these can do major damage to your child.
You also need to be aware of the contents of your drawers. It is obvious that the drawers closer to the ground are going to be the first ones your child tries to access, but before you know it, your child will be taller than you last remembered. This makes it easier for them to reach the higher drawers. I cannot tell you how many times I have been surprised that my child has been able to grab something I thought I put out of reach!
All drawers need to be child proof to protect your child from the dangers lurking within. Kitchen drawers can hide knives and lighters, desk drawers can have scissors and pointy pencils, and bathroom drawers can contain razors and mouthwash with alcohol.
Consider Moving Some Items
It may not be realistic for you to move everything in your drawers. After all, your drawers were meant to be used and store these items, even if they are dangerous to your little one. There are some things that can be moved or stored differently, though.
Obviously, you first want to make sure all dangerous things that need to remain in drawers are in the highest ones available. This reduces the risk of her being able to reach inside the drawers and pull them out (that is until they get taller).
For items like knives and scissors, try moving them to the countertop or desktop. Invest in a knife block to store your knives in a safe place. Your scissors can also be placed in the knife block. Or you can simply put them in a pencil cup on your desk, where they are up high and out of the way.
In the bathroom, if you have a medicine cabinet, try storing your razors and mouthwash in there. These are mounted high on the wall and out of a child’s reach. Plus, since most double as a mirror, your child may not even notice that there is anything behind there.
It’s Easy to Do It Yourself
With its rising popularity, Pinterest has become the go-to site for all things cooking, crafting, and DIY. You can find just about anything you need on here, including child proofing ideas. Here are a couple of great DIY options that will cost you little to no money at all:
You can use a simple, narrow tension rod. This works especially well in the kitchen, if you have a column of drawers under your countertop that are fitted with horizontal handles. Simply slip the tension rod through all of the handles, and let the tension hold the rod in place between the floor and the underside of the counter. You can also do the same thing with a length of wood or a yard stick.
Another option is to use something your child may have lying around. If you have those plastic rings that keep your child’s toys attached to their stroller or high chair, you can use these. Simply chain two or three together, and attach them vertically to the handles or knobs on your drawers.
Great Products to Try
There have been many advancements in child proofing products over the years. We are no long limited to the catch hooks, which are easy to use, but a pain to uninstall when your child outgrows them. There are now child proof drawer locks, safety straps, and drill-free latches.
Similar to the hardware-installed safety catches, you can get these invisible drawer locks. These have some better features, in my opinion, compared to the traditional latches.
First, these are adhesive installed, meaning there are no screws or drills required. Second, you can adjust where on your drawer you want to install it, creating a smaller opening for your child to reach their hand in. Finally, the hook mechanism features an area where you can lock in into itself, keeping the latch from catching and allowing it to function like normal without having to remove it.
Safety straps, like these from Munchkin, are multi-functional and can be used in multiple areas of your house, on a variety of furniture types, like drawers, cabinets, and even refrigerators. They use adhesive to attach both ends of the strap, one to the door or drawer and the other to the “base” (fridge, counter, side of cabinet, etc.). Then, with the simple press of a button, the latch releases, allowing you to access what you need.
Probably, the most interesting advancement in child proofing products, are locks with magnetic keys. They function similarly to that of the safety catches, with one special difference. There is the catch plate that attaches to the interior of the drawer and the hook mechanism that attaches to the drawer itself, then you use the magnetic key to deactivate the lock and allow yourself in. Unlike the traditional safety latches, these keep the drawer flush, allowing no gaps for fingers to get caught or little hands to reach in. They are practically invisible and are able to be used in just about any area of your house.
Child proofing can be a daunting task. There are so many nooks and crannies whose existence you never noticed until your little one came into the picture. But with the help of the internet and product advancement, even you can accomplish this great feat while being able to enjoy watching your child achieve her independence.