A Parent’s Guide to Door Safety

In a household with small children, keeping them safe is the number one priority and a full-time job. Hazards and curiosities are everywhere, but few things are more interesting to a toddler than a door.

Slamming, swinging, hide and seek; doors represent the ultimate play toy for children as well as a safety challenge for parents. Jailbreaks and pinched fingers aside, you might not have anticipated your kid locking themselves in the bathroom, but it can happen. With that in mind, here are some door safety tips to help ensure that your little angel remains safe.

Containment

Keep doors that lead outside locked at all times. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth saying. If your child starts moving furniture over to the door and unlocking it, you might want to take your proofing to another level. Consider some of the many products that prevent outside access like childproof locks or lock covers that add an extra layer of security. Some options don’t even require drilling.

Be aware that levers are easier for tots to open than knobs. To ensure peace of mind, consider investing in one of the many connected home options that send an alert to your smartphone when a door is opened just in case your toddler managed to open an exterior door. Most systems also allow you to see if a door is locked or unlocked, and to control the lock from a smartphone app.

Prevent Accidental Lock-ins

Keep bathroom doors, and other doors with locks closed when you’re not using them so that little ones can’t go in and lock themselves inside. It’s probably not a great idea to have a privacy lock on a child’s bedroom door. It’s best to avoid the risk that they’ll lock themselves in. 

There are of course a plethora of products available on the market as well as a host of DIY solutions that prevent lockouts on interior doors, but if you can’t find one that works or you or you don’t like the looks of them, be sure to have keys handy. If you no longer have the keys for high traffic rooms with privacy locks, you might want to consider replacing them. Watch this video from the DIY Network on window and door proofing 2.0.

No Pinched Fingers!

Any open door is fair game. Avoid pinched fingers with pinch guards or door stoppers. For a great DIY solution, just place a folded hand towel over the top of the door, and remove as needed. Secure hinged track closet doors, and even kitchen cabinet doors as these offer an ever greater chance for pinched fingers. 

“Protecting what you love is really important,” says Jason Williams, President, ASSA ABLOY U.S. Residential Group. “Safety and security are always top of mind for us.” 

Follow this safety checklist from KidsHealth.org to make sure that you’ve covered all the basics. 

And that’s the nuts and bolts of keeping your doors safe.