We do everything we can to safeguard our children. One of the easiest places to add an extra layer of home safety is on the front door. Children are in danger when they can easily slip out the door or fall when they try to unlock and open it. Let’s not kid ourselves, a front door is always going to entice a naturally curious child. In this article, we go over three types of devices to help you achieve a child proof front door.
A child proof front door helps reduce the risk of preventable injuries
Unintentional injuries – falls, drowning, road traffic, poisoning, and burns – are the leading cause of death among children in the United States, according to the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In fact, injuries kill more children between the ages of 1 and 19 than all other causes combined.
Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in children that lead to an emergency room visit.
When Kids Safe Worldwide surveyed U.S. parents with children under the age of 12, the parents’ top concerns for safety were burns caused by fires and injuries from falls.
In that same survey, researchers found that “1 in 8 parents say their child has gone to the ER or seen a doctor in the last year for an injury at home—most often from a fall, or a fracture, or for a head injury.”
In the Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home, Dr. Peter S. Waldstein, a leading pediatrician in Los Angeles, says: “One of the most difficult parts of my job is treating a child with an injury that could have been prevented. Most parents are unaware that preventable injuries are a serious issue. These are good parents who care deeply about their kids and they just need the right education.”
Even in homes with good parental supervision, accidents happen. Children are naturally curious, and some like to explore more than others. As toddlers age, they will start to take more risks. If they want to see what’s beyond the door, they are going for it just as soon as given the opportunity.
When psychologists examined cognitive and emotional factors that could predict children’s physical risk taking, they found considerable evidence of influence over children’s behaviors. As children age, they become less fearful and more excited about risky moves, according to the report Understanding Children’s Injury-risk Behaviors.
As much as we like to brag on our children, we are prone to miscalculate some of their abilities.
“Parents of young children often underestimate the level of the child’s motor skill development (eg, age of ability to climb) and overestimate their cognitive and sensory skills (eg, assessing the speed of an oncoming car or being able to learn from past mistakes),” according to the experts at Bright Futures.
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How do we childproof a front door?
We can lessen the likelihood of unintentional injuries by addressing environmental factors in the home, such as the exits in our home, including doors and windows.
In this guide, we focus on the innovations for child safety that can be used to child proof your front door. We safeguard our children from doors because in addition to opening and exiting to the outside – often when we aren’t watching – children can be injured in falls when they try to unlock or open a door. They can also be injured by door hardware.
Child safety products for doors have advanced so much in recent years. The devices are affordable and well tested. You can child proof your front door with locks for door handles, door knob covers, and door reinforcement locks.
The top 3 types of devices to child proof your front door
We recognize that no product is going to be perfect or work for every child. However, these devices tend to be inexpensive, making it possible to do a bit of testing to see what works best in your household.
Nonetheless, we’ll go through the pros and cons of the different products to save your time and money.
Child proof locks for door handles
You can childproof your lever door handle with any of these adhesive locks. People generally favor the level door handle locks when they want something effective but easy to install. No worries here about drilling into your door.
The device attaches with 3M adhesive. It’s important to follow instructions for adhering the device to your door. How well you follow instructions can make a difference in how well the product adheres to your door.
Manufacturers recommend using fishing wire to help loosen the adhesive grip for removal. Start at the top and use a back-n-forth motion as you pull down on the floss. If any is left, use an adhesive residue remover.
- Easy installation and removal
- Doesn’t harm paint
- Universal fit and works with most all level door handles
- Made from durable material
- The majority of verified purchasers highly rate the devices.
- Guaranteed or money back
- Adhesive can leave a residue.
- A small number of reviewers say that they have locked themselves out, that children have figured it out, or that the adhesive did not hold.
Child proof door knob covers
Once toddlers discover they can open a door knob, there’s almost no stopping them. They are going to try everyone they see. As with all of the child proof safety products, nothing is 100% foolproof … or toddler proof!
It might be best to adjust your expectations or get creative, although door knob covers work great most of the time as deterrents. One of the moms who purchased a door knob cover reports that her 2-year-old dismantled it fairly quickly. Not to be deterred, the mom covered the seams in packing tape and won the day!
Most parents, though, agree that door knob covers work great at keeping children out or in. “My three year old can’t figure these out,” Whitney says in her review. “I’m not sure why people are saying their kids can remove these from the handle completely; I have a really difficult time taking them off as an adult. But opening doors is a breeze for adults, not for kids.
“Super happy knowing my kid can’t break out of my house at any moment.”
The door knob covers also work great in multigenerational households. Many people use these to keep dementia patients from opening a door to the basement, which is a favorite pastime for the mom of one of my friends. Apparently, she hasn’t met a door she doesn’t want to open.
- Easy to install
- Doesn’t damage door or door knob
- Money back guarantee
- Sold by reliable companies who specialize in child proof products
- Universal fit for most door knobs
- Fits door knobs only, not door levers
- It may be difficult for some people with arthritis to turn the door knob with the cover
Door reinforcement locks
Our top product pick for a child proof front door is the Door Guardian, which comes in six different finishes to match your front door.
Reinforcement locks for your front doors do double duty. They are great for added security and child proofing front doors. These also work great for Alzheimer’s patients.
“My son scared us to death a week ago when he unlocked and opened the front door (we didn’t think he could figure it out) and ran out of the house after me,” says Bryan in his review. “Luckily we live on a dead end-ish quiet street. I was looking at the standard chain security locks or the ones you see on hotel room doors, but then I came across this. It sounded pretty genius, so I purchased and thankfully it worked out great.”
Many of the purchasers have left their tips in the reviews to help you troubleshoot installation.
- Stronger than a deadbolt against force entry
- One of the highest rated child proof devices on the market
- Can be used on top of the door
- Available in different colors
- Although installation is easy, you do have to drill in the screws
- This is more of a tip, than a con, but we suggest watching the videos for help with installation.
The original satin chrome Door Guardian