Toilet lid locks, stove and door knob locks--really? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was growing up, yes, in the '80's my parents were very safety conscious--doors were locked, outlets plugged, water heater turned down, car seats & boosters, stranger safety, etc. But we never had toilet lid locks, stove knob locks, door knob locks, refridgerator alarms, washer and dryer door locks, furniture tethered to the walls. They did have child locks on the medicine cabinets and the cabinet under the kitchen sink, but everything else was open and accessible.

Now that my almost-9 month old is becoming more mobile, I'm wondering whether these things are necessary. I know the "I survived" attitude is not a good approach, but realistically, do I need to lock my toilet shut? How much of a danger is it, really?

At this point I'm planning on plugging outlets, putting safety gates on the stairs, and locking cabinets with chemicals/choking hazards. Of course choking hazards and "attractive dangers" will be kept out of reach. Beyond that, I'm not sure what else is really necessary.

Any thoughts?

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#2 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I've been using ds' development as my lead. As soon as he was mobile we put covers on the electrical outlets & moved things out of his reach. When he showed interest in going into the kitchen all. the. time. to play with the dog's water we put a gate on the kitchen. Now that he will NOT leave the stairs alone (wants to go up all day long) we put a gate at the bottom of the stairs.

Some babies do need more childproofing then others, whether because of their personalities or the level of supervision available. I don't know anyone who needed to use toilet locks or fridge locks or secured their furniture to walls, etc. But I'm sure there are some people who have needed to, even if it is just for their own ease of mind.

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#3 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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We use electrical outlet covers, baby gates for our stairs, and cabinet lockers so DS can't get into our trash. For DS's room, because he has quiet time in there by himself, his bathroom is also childproofed. We got a toilet lock so he can't play in the toilet, we put pinch-guards on his bathroom door so he can't lock himself in the bathroom, and for the drawer we keep his medicinal stuff in we have 2 drawer locks installed.

Other than that, and that's really not much, we don't have anything in the way of childproofing. DS keeps knocking his head against the corner of our table and I feel bad, but I'm not going to go spend a ton of money to make sure all the edges in my house are padded. He'll learn to be more careful, grow out of his clumsiness (maybe!) and I won't have to worry about buying all this childproofing stuff anymore.

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#4 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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If they make it, we own it, for the most part. I have door locks, cabinet locks, plugs, locks on my fridge, dishwasher, oven, and drawer under the oven. I don't have them on the toilet b/c they are on the doors. My DS is a climber and is extremely curious. We have a small 1000 ft house, and 2 kids. I can not keep my eyes on him ever second of the day, and these are a great way to keep him safe. I am having to replace my fridge one - he some how took the thing apart.

My mom's co-worker had to go with her grandson (he's 2) to the ER a few weeks ago. He's a climber as well and their oven tipped over when their 5 year old climbed on it.
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#5 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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We used the outlet plugs, a few cabinet/drawer locks - because of breakable items, and doorknob covers. I had a baby gate for the bathroom door, mostly because of a friend's child who could not resist the bathroom when they visited.

That same child climbed up his parents' dresser at 2 1/2 yo, and it tipped over on him; the TV on top just missed falling on his head on the way down. He has also climbed up the bathroom counter and sprayed air freshener in his eyes, and a whole host of other things - my poor friend has called 911 for him several times in his short life. My kids on the other hand maybe tear up a newspaper. It just depends who you're blessed with, and you can start simple and add more childproofing if you find you have a climber or whatever.

I put anything chemically out in the garage in a high cabinet rather than use cabinet locks in the house for those - you never know when your child or a friend's child will figure out how to open the locks.
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#6 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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When ds showed me he could turn the gas stove knobs all by himself we got guards.
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#7 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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It really depends on the kid. No kid really "needs" all of this stuff, but the parents might to stay sane. We did not use much. A few outlet covers and anti-tipping straps (dd was a climber). But I have met children that are very hard to watch all of the time. I can see why the parents might want some of it, even the most bizarre ones.
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#8 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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My sister passed along a bunch of stuff that she had used with her kids. I used the outlet covers right away. I wasn't planning to use the doorknob covers and didn't need them until my 2nd child came along. She is an extremely stealthy escape artist though and now I'm glad to have knob covers on our exterior doors!

We haven't used cabinet locks or toilet bowl locks. They never messed with the toilet bowls. I only put baby safe items in our 3 lower cabinets.
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#9 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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As with so many other things, it depends entirely on your and your kid's personality. I've heard stories of (careful, concerned) moms finding their extremely adventurous 2 year olds on top of the fridge. One woman told me about her son prying off all the outlet covers in one room within 2 minutes.

We tried a toilet lock, but couldn't get it to work and just closed the door of the bathroom during the short age that he might have gone in there by himself and tried to get into the toilet.

We did get an oven lock, and he did actually try to open the hot oven once or twice. We probably don't/didn't need it, really.

My son has tried to climb bookcases, and I caught him 1 or 2 shelves up. We do have the furniture anchored (but we also live in earthquake country), and the one piece of furniture I thought was anchored but wasn't, he pulled down on himself at 3 years old. (he was fine, but only because of his age. Any younger and he would have at least broken a bone.)

He hasn't tried to climb into the washer or dryer, but there are definitely kids who would/have. If I had 2 close in age I might get a dryer or washer lock, as that situation is often an older toddler/preschooler putting/encouraging a younger sibling in and accidentally starting the machine.
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#10 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
Some babies do need more childproofing then others, whether because of their personalities or the level of supervision available. I don't know anyone who needed to use toilet locks or fridge locks or secured their furniture to walls, etc. But I'm sure there are some people who have needed to, even if it is just for their own ease of mind.
I recommend securing a toddler/preschooler's dresser to the wall, as older toddlers/preschoolers like to have some independence and get their own clothes. I know a few kids (including my own) who have gone to their rooms to proudly pick out clothes "by myself!" and accidentally pulled their dressers onto themselves. In my son's case it was because he opened all the drawers together, totally changing the dresser's center of balance. My niece at 3 pulled out all the drawers carefully, and then climbed up the dresser to get a toy that was on top.
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#11 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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We were on the pretty low end of the spectrum in terms of childproofing. When the kids were little we had a doorknob cover on the door leading down the basement steps and the doors leading outside. We had outlet covers in their bedroom, but I don't think we had enough to cover the rest of the house. Medicine was on the top shelf of the (unlocked) linen closet; chemicals were on the top shelf of the (unlocked) hall closet.

Nothing dangerous was in the bottom cabinets, so we never bothered to lock them. We also didn't lock stove, oven, dishwasher, toilet, refrigerator, etc. They had and still have wide, low dressers instead of tall skinny ones.

My kids, though, were never climbers and not terribly curious about stuff like what would happen if they licked an electric socket.

For awhile when DD was crawling and learning to walk, we had a couple of those playpens where the sides hook together to make an octagon or whatever, and we ended up making a long continuous line out of those panels that we used in our living room to block off the stairs, the TV, and the computer cords. It was a huge pain while we had it up, and DS didn't didn't really need the same sort of limit for some reason.
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#12 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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We don't have a lot of safety stuff, but I'd love a fridge lock. I think it depends on your children and house how important it is. Something I keep in mind, is it only takes once for an accident to happen. Once when we were travelling, and I was right there, my dd pulled a huge dresser over on herself. I managed to stick my arm out in time and stop it, in one of those mama-bear adrenalin moments, but I was sore for days, and I know she would have been badly hurt or worse if she had been alone.

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#13 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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For us, the toilet locks aren't out of safety so much as not wanting EVERYHTING we on to be throw in the fricken toilet. Which is what ds would do. He would also attempt to play in it at EVERY opportunity. Eeeewwww.

We don't have knob or oven guards, but i can see how they woudl be needed with some kids. Ds has turned oiur (gas!) stove knobs a couple times, luckily i was rigth there to see it....now we just gate off the kitchen entirely, it was easier.

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#14 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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We have:
outlet covers

stove knob covers because they are right at child height and just begging to become wheels to a ship and I don't want to have to deal with that all the time!

door handle covers on the pantry door (because I'm tired of him rampaging through there) and one in reserve for when he figures out how to unlock the front door

a "pool lock" on the back sliding glass door to keep him from getting in the backyard without anyone knowing (we don't have a pool, but it'd be easy for him to escape the backyard.)

two removable tension gates to block off doorways and hallways when needed



We didn't get the pool lock or door covers until our second was born. Our first just never thought to go outside without us but he's had no problem with that since he could crawl.

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#15 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 09:07 PM
 
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It depends on the kid, how many kids, and you, and your house, and the level of supervision you're able to provide. When I had DD1, it was just me and her all day in a relatively small apartment, and she was a cautious kid, and we needed NONE of that stuff. But by the time I had the twins, we lived in a bigger house with three floors, I had TWO babies and a toddler, and DD2 was born seemingly without an ounce of common sense or concern for self-preservation. So in that case, we did find some of that stuff useful. You only have to have paid a plumber to remove a washcloth from WAY down in the pipes to realize that a toilet lock is a lot cheaper.

When there are multiple small children in the house, often you just CAN'T supervise them every second. And it's nice to be able to give them the freedom to roam a bit, within safe bounds.

I do think that you can go overboard with that stuff, though. Wait until you see that it's needed, for the really odd stuff. For example, we never needed a fridge lock. My kids weren't interested in the fridge. It was the toilet that they gravitated toward.

Oh, and don't put too much stock in any of those "guards" or "locks," and let them cause you to be too relaxed about supervision. My DD2 could open almost every cupboard lock on the market by 18 months old.

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#16 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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It depends entirely on your child IMO

We had a toilet lock for one child, haven't needed it for the other, and vice versa for oven locks.

It's important to strap dressers to the wall, because they can kill so easily.
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#17 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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I used to ask myself the same questions with my first child. I could just never see a need for all that stuff. Then I had my second .

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#18 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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We have door knob locks to keep the kids from jumping on my bed (and removing the sheets and pillows and all that). We don't do toilet lid locks because I doubt DH would be able to figure them out

We had a fridge lock for a while because DS was always emptying the fridge and it was either put a lock on it or spend 99% of my day removing him from the fridge, he out grew it.

We also have locks that secure our dressers and bookshelves to the wall because my daughter is a MONKEY and climbs everything.

For me it was either babyproof to death or spend the vast majority of my day yanking my kids off book shelves and putting the fridge back in order and remaking my bed...it's more fun for me and more fun for them when Mama isn't exasperated all the time.

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#19 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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Securing furniture to the wall is something all homes should do, with or without children.

The other stuff I think depends on if you have other kids too....older kids that forget to close bathroom doors etc.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#20 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Llyra;14598446]It depends on the kid, how many kids, and you, and your house, and the level of supervision you're able to provide. When I had DD1, it was just me and her all day in a relatively small apartment, and she was a cautious kid, and we needed NONE of that stuff. But by the time I had the twins, we lived in a bigger house with three floors, I had TWO babies and a toddler, and DD2 was born seemingly without an ounce of common sense or concern for self-preservation. So in that case, we did find some of that stuff useful. You only have to have paid a plumber to remove a washcloth from WAY down in the pipes to realize that a toilet lock is a lot cheaper.

When there are multiple small children in the house, often you just CAN'T supervise them every second. And it's nice to be able to give them the freedom to roam a bit, within safe bounds.

I do think that you can go overboard with that stuff, though. Wait until you see that it's needed, for the really odd stuff. For example, we never needed a fridge lock. My kids weren't interested in the fridge. It was the toilet that they gravitated toward.

Oh, and don't put too much stock in any of those "guards" or "locks," and let them cause you to be too relaxed about supervision. My DD2 could open almost every cupboard lock on the market by 18 months old.[/QUOTE]

we use the kind that need a magnetic key

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#21 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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I used to ask myself the same questions with my first child. I could just never see a need for all that stuff. Then I had my second .


I had the same experience.
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#22 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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Securing furniture to the wall is something all homes should do, with or without children.
I'm curious about this? It just doesn't seem like a big risk unless you think someone is going to climb it.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#23 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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I'm curious about this? It just doesn't seem like a big risk unless you think someone is going to climb it.
I think in areas prone to earthquakes it's recommended. Other than that, it's unnecessary for homes without children AFAIK.

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#24 of 63 Old 10-29-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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Hmmm, with DD (our first child) we had outlet covers, a lock on one cabinet (that held cleaning supplies), and a lock on the fridge (after she broke all the eggs the 2nd time). With DS we just kept cleaning stuff up high, we still had our outlet covers and so we used those (but probably wouldn't have bought them if we didn't already have them), and another fridge lock (but he broke it off, we bought another, he broke that one off too. . .we gave up). For the bathroom, with DD we just closed the door. With DS it was harder to just close the door since DD would always leave it open, so we gated it off and DD would just climb the gate. I think toilet locks suck. . .they are soooo not fun when you are in a hurry to go to the toilet. . .

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#25 of 63 Old 10-30-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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I'm curious about this? It just doesn't seem like a big risk unless you think someone is going to climb it.
earthquakes, big storms, hurricaines, land slides, major floods.....anything that can cause your foundation to shift can make bookcases, entertainment centers, TVs etc. fall away from the wall.

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#26 of 63 Old 10-30-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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Our general theory is that we want as much space as possible to be child-friendly, so we babyproof the heck out of those areas (kitchen, bedrooms, living room). Things we don't want them to get into are mostly just put up high, so no drawer or cabinet locks. Areas where the baby/small toddler will never be unsupervised, like the bathroom or the laundry room, we just find ways to keep them out of, so no toilet or washer/dryer locks.

Furniture straps are a must for us (I have two climbers), and I really wish I could get an oven lock that worked (baby likes to try to pull it open). Other than those, we use outlet covers and locks up high on the doors to rooms we don't want them in.

So this is our extent of our baby-proofing gadgetry:
-outlet covers
-furniture straps
-oven lock
-locks for doors
-interlocking baby gates to block off unsafe areas/wood stove/etc.

Edited to add: Oh! And a doorknob cover/lock thing for the front door, so I can use the bathroom with out worrying about my three year old deciding to leave the house and being followed by his younger brother.
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#27 of 63 Old 10-30-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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All those things really depend on the kid, and what kind of trouble they like to get themselves into. When we were growing up in the 80's there were parents that had to lock refrigerators and toilets, but they had to rig up their own locks because baby proofing stuff only had electrical outlets and cabinets in mind. I crack myself up when I think of the baby proofing stuff that parents used to use. Stuff like pipe insulation on the coffee table. Or a gate lock on the refrigerator.
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#28 of 63 Old 10-30-2009, 03:28 AM
 
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You mamas with 18 month olds that can get through cabinet locks and pull off outlet covers... can you send them over here? I am almost to the point where I don't need help every time I go to open a cabinet but I can almost NEVER get the stupid outlet covers off! I hate those things! They always outsmart me!

I remember climbing stuff as a kid and having bookshelves fall over on me all the time, but I was older, like 6 or so. DS pulled a bookshelf over onto himself a few weeks ago. It was a very lightweight shelf, thank God, and had almost nothing on it, but it was terrifying. It actually ended up landing mostly on a tin keepsake box DS got when he was born. The box is crunched up beyond repair. I am so grateful that wasn't my poor little boy's head. I will always secure furniture to the wall from now on. Always.

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#29 of 63 Old 10-30-2009, 03:52 AM
 
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I would say for one child, definitely not, but my SIL has four girls, all one or two years older than the next and I don't think they would all be alive if every door and toilet in their house wasn't childproofed

Seriously, though. It is a lot easier to keep an eye on one child than, say, three or four or more. I'd never forgive myself if I was a stressed out mother of four and one of my kids ended up coming to harm.

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#30 of 63 Old 10-30-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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We did a lot of closed doors (for rooms like the bathroom) so that DS could wander the hall and not get into the rooms. But DS is not a climber/explorer. My bff's little guy managed to climb onto the change table, open the cabinet with the breakers in it, and TURN THEM OFF in a heartbeat. It really depends on the kid.

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