Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Keeping Kids Safe

I don't know if my kids are the only ones who do this or not, but lately my son (turned 3 in March) seems dedicated to getting out-of anywhere, the house, his room, his bed, anywhere.  He can open all locks and can scale the front of the fridge (no joke).

He can get ANYWHERE!  It amazes me.

It was one of the first very nice HOT - HOT days here a while ago and I put on some sunscreen and decided to bake in the sun while the kids were sleeping.  I had been sick for the week before and just wanted to bake the illness out of me.  I was exhausted.  So I grabbed my pillow, baby monitor, and a blanket and plopped on the deck.  Both kids were sleeping for about a half hour (usually they sleep 2-3 hours) so I figured dozing off for 15-20 minutes would be okay.  HA!  I wake up (dozing for 10 minutes according to my phone) to my son STANDING in his window sil (AC is on, windows are closed and locked) knocking saying "Mommy, MOOOOOMMMYYYYYYYYY".  He can get anywhere.  

So after that we decided we needed to put more childproof locks on the external doors in our house.  We have a lock on our door into our garage that he cannot open-just a flip latch- (which our son can reach up high enough now to push the button to open the garage door)...  My imagination gets away from me and I worry... picturing him getting up at night going outside to "play" and wondering down the street, drowning in the kiddie pool, somebody grabbing him, etc... Time to seal up the house.

We needed to buy locks for the front door and the patio door.  The front door, I didn't want to "wreck" by putting holes into the door itself so that made it a little tougher to find something, but I did.  And the patio door.  Those doors seem impossible to secure for kids but I think I found the trick.  Many people have a patio door and never use it because they don't have a deck, but we have a deck that we always use so I don't want it to be a pain in the neck, eye sore, or a tripping hazard (my hubby will trip).  I found it.  

They are (top to bottom) Cal Lock Sliding Door Double DeadBolt, more child proof knob handles to try, and the Door Guardian for the front door.

Ok ladies, you can do this--it's super easy! All you need is a drill, 1/8 inch drill bit, a phillips head, and about 10 minutes.

 This is the door I am putting it on.  Standard patio door, ours is plastic framed, opens left to right and the door opens so it slides inside (when standing inside).  Standard.

 This is what comes in the box.  Left to right-a piece for an accessory handle I didn't buy, spacer, spacer, screws, dead bolt attachments -white, two sizes, and the lock on the right.  I know it's not pretty, I wish they had some that had better color options...but is the issue and this will be perfect for us.
 First thing is first, you need to figure out what white deadbolt attachment will work for you.  The two white pieces above have different lengths so they peek out around the door frame correctly.  To figure this out, stick one in the door jam and shut the door, does the door shut, does it lock, does the piece move?  If the longer one doesn't fit thats where the two black spacers come into play, put one behind the bracket and screw into the jam.  
Next drill 3 pilot holes and screw in screws-tightly.

Double check alignment.  Door closes, locks and operates smoothly.  If it didn't, I'd try re-placing it again above where I put my screws the first time.

This pic is dark but after you have the white bolt piece in place open your lock and place over the bolt, and then close your lock and center.

Now it is centered.  What I do is drill one pilot hole here and place screw, double check my alignment and then place the last screw, then trill the two middle holes and place those screws.  

Put the cover on-and BAM-child proof door!  Husband proof too probably!

The other one I got is the Door Guardian.  It is for the front door.  Again, super easy, drill bit and about 10 minutes and you will have this one in too.  Simply line up on the door jam where you want it to be and mark it there.  Then open door and mark the center hole.  Drill in one screw in the center (sliding) hole and then shut door.  You can now move the lock in or out to adjust to your door.  Once adjusted place screws in other two holes.  Done!   

 This is the view inside the door jam.  Note that I have a window to the right of my door, so I could not use the 4" screws that they recommend you use.  Again-my main purpose is to keep things in not out, so for my needs, this is fine with me.  

Here the door is closed and the lock is open.  To close the lock it flips in towards the door and slides back towards the jam.  

Here the lock is closed over the door.  

This says online it resists up to 1000 pounds of force.  I just need it to keep a toddler from running out the front door, but peace of mind for security and toddler security!  It is not hard to open although there is a spring loaded part so it won't accidentally flip closed and lock you out too.  

What are your favorite safety products that you thought you'd never need?  I never thought my kids would be so eager to escape the house!  

Something I never had to consider for my son but now am debating over for my daughter is the toilet lock.  Seriously she thinks its a water feature for her enjoyment.  YUCK!

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  1. We have 3.5 year old twins and a 2 year old and we never had to child proof anything until recently- between gates and locks for every doorway I feel like *I'm* on lock-down! So far my favorite item has been the stove lock. Nothing like seeing your toddlers standing on the open oven door and jumping to get you searching for a quick fix!

    1. I am with you! My favorite food item lately has been tuna melts, which I make in the broiler, which is on the bottom since our stove is gas. Dunno what it was but something is melted in the bottom of the broiler. My son has found out how to open the "cheep" cabinet locks--I found this out when he was quiet and I was searching for him and he was up to his elbows in chocolate chips...the baking cupboard. He was so hyper!

  2. I'm going to have to look into the Door Guardian. All 4 of my boys can unlock the deadbolt on both the front and back doors. I considered switching to a double-keyed system, but I'm afraid I'd lock us in (I'm notorious for losing my keys).
    My twins (2yo) are complete escape artist. We did try crib tents for the twins, but they ripped their way right out of them. Now, they learned to climb their tall gate and escape from their bedroom. Very scary since their room is at the top of the staircase.

  3. It is funny and at the same time scary to think that learning babies will be able to get themselves in danger if you just doze of for a measly 10 minutes. I guess I better get the house prepared as well. Thanks for sharing these tips!