Fertility

Child Proofing Cabinets: 11 Effective Baby-Friendly Solutions

Updated on 19 June 2022 • 11 minute read

 

Overview

Suffocation, drowning, and poisoning remain the leading causes of accidental deaths for children and teens aged 0-19 in the United States. This is according to the most recent data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention.) (1)

Childproofing your home, especially cabinets and storage spaces that contain dangerous products, can help minimize injury or death risks at home.

Childproof cabinets can help protect your child from injuries like slammed or pinched fingers. It also keeps them away from hazardous products and objects like knives & appliance blades, electric appliances, open fire, poisonous cleaning chemicals, etc.

And for you, mama, childproofing your cabinets can save you from unnecessary cleanups and set your mind at ease that your little crawler is safe.

In this article, we’re listing childproofing solutions you can choose from to keep your cabinets and drawers safe from curious little hands.

 

How Do You Childproof Cabinets Without Drilling?

There are five types of cabinet locks that don’t require drilling: adhesive, cord, sliding, magnetic, and spring-loaded latch cabinet locks. The first three are the external or visible babyproof locks, while the last two are the internal or invisible types.

One setback of no-drill cabinet locks is that they require at least 24 hours for the adhesive tape to cure fully. 

 

Adhesive Cabinet Locks

These locks feature two anchor points joined together by a flexible strap. The idea is to stick these anchor points near the openings of two cabinet doors or around corners to lock appliance doors. 

 

Pros Of Adhesive Cabinet Locks:

  • Easy installation. Clean the area where you intend to install the anchor points, remove the adhesive tape cover at the back, then firmly press on the surface.
  • No drill solution. For renters or those who don’t want to drill holes in their cabinets, adhesive locks are a good alternative to child safety cabinet locks.
  • Versatile. The multi-purpose design lets you install adhesive locks anywhere–the refrigerator or oven door, the trash can, or toilet seats. Basically, anything that opens can be installed with an adhesive lock.
  • Easy to remove. You can remove adhesive locks easily when you no longer need them.
  • Inexpensive.

 

Cons Of Adhesive Cabinet Locks:

  • Visible. It can be visually distracting if you’re using a lot of adhesive child safety locks.
  • Some brands stick better than others.

 

Popular Choice For Adhesive Cabinet Locks:

 

Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi-Use Latches

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

The dual-locking mechanism of Munchin Xtraguard child safety latches features a dual-button operation to dislodge. Simply press the release buttons on the sides, then rotate the anchor points out of the way to remove them. 

Unlike other child safety locks that can be tedious to put back, the Munchkin Xtraguard also features an easy one-click-to-fasten design. This lessens the risk of not putting the lock back when you’re in a hurry.

 

Cord Cabinet Locks

This type of cabinet lock is best for knobs. Like the adhesive cabinet lock, cord cabinet locks require side-by-side cabinet doors

To use, simply tie the cabinet door knobs together with the cord, push the cord stop up (similar to the cords on some hoodies or raincoats), then press the release button to dislodge. 

 

Pros Of Cord Cabinet Locks:

  • Easy to install.
  • Simple, low-cost, and easy to use.
  • Reusable. Can be moved from one cabinet to another.
  • Portable. A childproofing cabinet lock solution you can take anywhere with you.
  • Perfect cabinet lock for surfaces that are difficult for adhesive locks to stick to.
  • No drill solution. Perfect for renters.
  • No tools required.

 

Cons Of Cord Cabinet Locks:

  • Doesn’t work on handles.
  • Some brands may be more durable than others.
  • Dangling cords may be eye-catching for curious toddlers.
  • May be easy for preschool-age children to figure out.
  • The multiple steps needed to lock and unlock can increase the risk of not being replaced when rushing.
  • Requires a neighboring knob to lock two doors together.
  • Don’t work well on drawers and most appliances.

 

Popular Choice For Cord Cabinet Locks:

 

Kiscords Baby Safety Cabinet Locks

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

Cord cabinet locks are perfect for those who don’t want to drill holes or install adhesives in their cabinets. This type of child safety cabinet lock is portable and can be moved from one cabinet door to another.

What separates Kiscords from other brands is that their cabinet locks are designed by a mama for mamas and are assembled in the USA by people with disabilities. 

Choose between black or white colors to match your cabinets and drawers.

 

Kiscords Baby Safety Handle Locks

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

While cord cabinet locks are specifically-designed for knobs, these snap-buckle straps are designed for side-by-side cabinet handles. 

The child safety mechanism is simple: it’s like two wire ties joined together by a snap buckle strap. To release, press the top and bottom parts of the straps. Another good feature of this babyproof lock is that the straps stay in place even when your cabinet doors are opened.

Although it can’t be reused and moved from one cabinet door to another, it’s still a good no-drill and no-adhesive childproofing solution. Cut the wires to remove them.

Choose between black or white colors to match your cabinets and drawers.

 

Sliding Cabinet Locks

If cord cabinet locks work best on knobs, sliding locks work best on side-by-side cabinet door handles. This is another simple, low-cost, and easy-to-install childproofing cabinet lock solution.

Sliding locks are typically simple plastic U-shaped locks that you loop around cabinet door handles. Some sliding locks feature “teeth” or jagged sides that lock into a sliding piece, while some designs come with a separate lock that you pinch to attach at the end.

To release, squeeze the sliding piece, then remove the locking strip or piece.

 

Pros Of Sliding Cabinet Locks:

  • Works best on handles but may work on some knobs depending on the diameter.
  • Can be installed in seconds.
  • Can be moved from one cabinet to another.
  • Portable. A child safety lock solution you can bring with you.
  • Reusable. Can be used again and again.
  • Perfect cabinet lock for surfaces that are difficult for adhesive locks to stick to.
  • No drill solution. Perfect for renters.
  • No tools required.

 

Cons Of Sliding Cabinet Locks:

  • May be easy for older children to figure out.
  • Only works for handles or knobs up to 5 inches apart. Measure before you order.
  • Some brands may jam or break easily.
  • Some styles may not fit with your cabinet handles.
  • Requires a neighboring door handle to lock two doors together.
  • Don’t work well on drawers and most appliances.

 

Popular Choices For Sliding Cabinet Locks:

 

Jool Baby Sliding Locks

(Image source: joolbaby.com)

 

These child safety sliding locks are compatible with knobs or handles up to 5 inches apart. They’re easy to install and use for parents but difficult for toddlers to figure out. The durable design assures that your childproof locks will grow with your child.

Jool Baby also offers a lifetime satisfaction guarantee on their products.

 

Adoric Sliding Locks

(Image source: adoriclife.com)

 

Adoric sliding cabinet locks feature an adjustable, extra-long U-shaped latch compatible with handles up to 5 inches apart. Lock, unlock, and adjust the lock length by squeezing the buttons. 

This reusable and multipurpose babyproof lock can also be used for double-door refrigerators.

 

Safety 1st Outsmart Slide Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

Safety 1st’s Outsmart slide lock features a unique decoy button to “outsmart” your toddler. The prominent decoy button is placed in the middle but will not do anything even if your child presses it. 

The real button to release the lock is hidden in the flexible surface where parents can easily access it.

 

Magnetic Cabinet Locks

Magnetic locking systems are available with screws or adhesive. Magnetic child locks typically come with a magnetic key and several locks. To use, simply attach these child locks to cabinets and drawers, then hold the magnetic key in front of the lock to dislodge it.

When the cabinets and drawers are closed, the magnetic locks latch shut, and only the magnetic key can open it.

 

Tip: Put stickers on the outside of your cabinet or drawer doors where the magnetic key should go to dislodge the locks.

 

Pros Of Magnetic Cabinet Locks:

  • Easy installation. If you’re using the adhesive type, clean the area where you intend to install the locks, remove the cover of the adhesive tape at the back, then firmly press on the surface.
  • Completely locks cabinet doors, leaving no gaps that could pinch tiny fingers.
  • Invisible. There’s no risk of your child dislodging the lock unless they learn how the magnetic key works.
  • Doesn’t affect how your cabinets look. 

 

Cons Of Magnetic Cabinet Locks:

  • Requires drilling if your cabinets are made of particleboard.
  • Risk of losing the magnetic key.
  • The constant need for the magnetic key whenever you need to open your cabinets and drawers.
  • Requires precision fit, which can make installation tedious for some.
  • The magnet may not work on thicker cabinet doors or drawer walls.

 

Popular Choices For Magnetic Cabinet Locks:

 

Eco-Baby Magnetic Cabinet And Drawer Locks

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

This is an adhesive type of magnetic lock. It features strong 3M adhesive tape that will stay put once properly installed. It’s a good no-drill option for cabinets, cupboards, and drawer locks

Each kit includes 12 cabinet locks, two magnetic keys, an installation cradle, a ruler, and a spare 3M adhesive tape.

 

Jambini Magnetic Cabinet Locks

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

One of the pros of magnetic locks is that they are invisible from curious eyes and eager hands. Jambini magnetic locks are a good option for that purpose. It also uses strong 3M adhesive tape that could lift up to 10 pounds of weight.

Choose between four cabinet locks and one magnetic key or eight cabinet locks with two magnetic keys.

 

Safety 1st Adhesive Magnetic Locks

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

Here’s another good option for internal cabinet locks that are out of your toddler’s sight. The Safety 1st magnetic locks also feature the easy peel and stick installation and work with a magnetic key.

What sets Safety 1st apart is that it has a disengage feature that keeps specific locks unlatched when not in use. This saves you from frequently locking and unlocking your cabinet doors and drawers each time you reach for something.

Additionally, it comes with a template to help ensure proper alignment every time.

Available in a pack of 16 cabinet locks and four magnetic keys.

 

Vmaisi Cabinet Locks

(Image source: vmaisisafety.com)

 

Childproof cabinet locks keep your toddler safe, give you peace of mind, and save you from unnecessary cleanups. The Vmaisi magnetic locks are easy to install, use, and maintain. 

Vmaisi baby proofing magnetic locks are available in packs of 12, 16, 20, 24, and 36.

 

Spring-Loaded Latch Locks

Like magnetic locks, spring-loaded safety latch locks are available with screws or adhesive. 

This type of cabinet lock typically comes in two parts: one goes inside your cabinet (the latch), and the other is attached to the inside of your cabinet door (the hook).

 

Installation Instructions:

 

  1. Clean the area where you intend to install the child safety latches.
  2. Place the latch and the hook in the cradle.
  3. Peel off the adhesive tape covers.
  4. Firmly press the latch on the inside of your cabinet.
  5. Close the cabinet door so that the hook will attach to the inside of your cabinet door. This ensured proper alignment.
  6. Switch on the lock, then close the cabinet door again.
  7. The hook should now keep you from completely opening the cabinet door. This is how you know that you’ve installed it properly.
  8. Press the button on top of the lock to release the latch and open the cabinet door. Some brands include a stick you can use to press the lock release button.

 

Pros Of Spring-Loaded Latch Locks:

  • Baby proofing cabinet lock option that works well with babies and young children.
  • Invisible. Doesn’t affect how your cabinets look.  
  • Does not require a neighboring door to anchor or latch onto.
  • Ideal for drawers.
  • Easy to use once properly installed.
  • No keys required.
  • No fidgeting with strap locks.

 

Cons Of Spring-Loaded Latch Locks:

  • More difficult to install.
  • Older kids can easily dislodge.
  • Allows an opening that may be wide enough for eager little hands to get ahold of what’s inside your cabinets or drawers.
  • Some brands stick better than others.
  • Not as user-friendly as the other options.
  • More prone to breakage and replacement.

 

Popular Choice For Spring-Loaded Cabinet Locks:

 

Inaya Child Safety Latches

(Image source: inayababy.com)

 

The Inaya spring-loaded safety latches are invisible, convenient, and durable. It works on all surfaces, although it requires at least 24 hours of adhesive tape cure time, just like all other adhesive cabinet lock solutions.

It’s available in packs of eight; each comes with a 1-year warranty.

 

DIY Childproofing Ideas

 

Rubber Band

Wrap a rubber band around two neighboring cabinet door knobs to lock them together. Use multiple rubber bands if needed, and choose durable rubber bands that’ll hold over time.

 

Yard Stick

This method will work best for vertical cabinets and drawers with handles. Simply slide a yardstick, ruler, or similar object between the handles. The trick is simple but may be difficult for your toddler to figure out.

 

Place Them High

If you don’t prefer these childproofing tricks, you can place dangerous items on higher shelves out of children’s reach.

 

How Many Child Safety Locks Do I Need?

Tips Before Buying Cabinet Locks

  • Familiarize yourself with different types of child safety locks to determine which ones fit what you need. 
  • If you’re renting, go for no-drill childproofing solutions.
  • Walk around the house and inspect every room. Count all the cabinets, drawers, and appliances that will require locks, and determine which type of lock is best for each of them.
  • Write it down to make sure you don’t miss anything.

 

Tip: Consider putting locks on everything that opens, like toilet seats, trash cans, storage boxes, etc.

 

  • Put locks even on spaces that don’t store dangerous products. Otherwise, you’ll be finding things on the floor every day.
  • Consider babyproofing away from home. This means stocking up extra portable cabinet locks like cords and sliding locks for hotel stays or visits to grandparents and relatives.
  • Discuss babyproofing with your daycare provider, and buy extra locks for them.
  • Check with JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) and CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) for product recalls and updated safety standards.

 

Child Proof Cabinets FAQs

 

Do Magnetic Baby Locks Work?

Yes. Magnetic locks and all other childproofing cabinet locks can be effective as long as they are installed and used properly. The best baby safety locks are the ones installed in your home to keep dangerous products away from your child.

 

How Do You Baby Proof A Lazy Susan Cabinet?

There are various cabinet door locks you can use to babyproof your lazy susan cabinet. If it’s a two-door cabinet, adhesive, cord, and sliding door locks may be the best option. 

If not, and you prefer the lock to be hidden, magnetic and spring-loaded latch locks may be best.

 

How Do You Baby Proof Open Kitchen Shelves?

  • Make sure your open kitchen shelves are stable or mounted to the wall so there’s no risk of them tipping over your toddler.
  • Remove breakables and dangerous products from the lower shelf.
  • Place breakables and dangerous products on the top shelves.
  • Install a baby gate on the kitchen entrance.
  • Or set up a safe, enclosed area to keep your baby away from the kitchen.

 

How Can I Keep My Cabinets Locked?

Use childproofing cabinet locks. There are adhesive, cord, sliding, magnetic, and spring-loaded latch types to choose from. 

You can buy these locks on Amazon or other online marketplaces, or use rubber bands, yardsticks, or wire ties to keep your cabinets locked.

 

How Do I Lock My Cupboards?

You can use invisible or internal cabinet locks like magnetic or spring-loaded latch locks. Another option is visible, aka external cabinet locks like adhesive, cord, or sliding locks.

 

How To Childproof Cabinets Without Knobs?

For cabinets without knobs, internal child locks like magnetic and spring-loaded locks are best.

 

What Happens If I Lose My Magnetic Key?

You can use any strong magnet to disengage magnetic child locks or purchase a spare magnetic key.

 

Magnetic Cabinet Locks Vs. Adhesive Cabinet Locks

Magnetic and adhesive cabinet locks both have their pros and cons. Although magnetic cabinet locks are also available with adhesive, it’s a trending choice for those who want invisible cabinet locks that don’t affect how their cabinets look. 

On the other hand, adhesive cabinet locks are more versatile and can be used in almost anything that opens. This includes toilet seats, trash cans, and appliances doors like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, etc.

 

How To Remove Child Proof Cabinet Locks?

Steps to remove no-drill adhesive locks:

  1. Warm the adhesive tape with a hairdryer to soften it and make it easier to remove.
  2. Slide a credit card or a string of dental floss on one corner of the adhesive tape to pry it loose. This will help keep your nail from damaging your cabinet’s paint.
  3. Remove any residual adhesive with rubbing alcohol.

 

How Do You Babyproof Your Home?

Babyproofing is an ongoing process that begins when your little one starts to crawl, around six months of age. (2)

That said, it’s important to childproof your home to keep away everything that can pose a danger to your little crawler.

As a general rule, make sure you hide the following in locked cabinets or top shelves where your toddler can’t access them:

  • Cleaning products
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Automotive supplies
  • Gardening tools and chemicals
  • Medications and vitamins
  • Pantry items
  • Hot water, liquid, or food
  • Small items that can be choking hazards
  • Cords that can be strangulation hazards
  • Electrical cord and outlets
  • Sharp objects
  • Breakable objects
  • Important documents
  • Valuables

 

How Do I Toddler Proof My Kitchen?

  1. Install a baby gate on the entrance, or keep the kitchen door locked.
  2. Install child safety locks on cabinets, drawers, trash cans, appliances, and anything that opens.
  3. Hide breakables and dangerous products like cleaning materials.
  4. Hide knives, blades, and other sharp utensils.
  5. Wall mount shelves.
  6. Unplug electrical appliances, hide cords, and install outlet covers.
  7. Install stove knob covers.

 

Read our comprehensive list for babyproofing your home one room at a time.

 

How Do You Child Proof Sharp Edges?

Install corner guards and edge bumpers to keep your child from bumping on them.

 

How To Stop Toddlers From Opening Doors?

Install doorknob covers to stop your toddler from opening doors. You can also install drawer latches and cabinet locks to stop your little one from opening storage doors.

 

Can You Lock A Toddler In Their Room?

It’s not advisable to lock toddlers in their rooms. Doing so can be scary for them or be considered a punishment. (3)

Additionally, it can be dangerous in an emergency.

 

 

 

References:

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/child-injury/index.html

(2) https://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/HelpfulRes/Articles/BabyMilestones/index.html

(3) https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/sleep-disorder-center/bedtime-problems

 

 

 

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