7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Child Safety Locks

For years, you've used your home cabinets to stash anything under the sun.

Now that you've got a curious crawler, you're rightfully concerned about their access to your under-counter catch-alls. 

Thankfully, there are many different kinds of child safety locks that can help your belongings under guard, redirecting tiny explorers to play elsewhere.

Yet, not all locks are created equal. You want to invest in ones that receive high ratings for security, usability, and more. Today, we're sharing seven critical factors to consider before you make a purchase. 

A Note on Chemical Safety

Before we dive into the different types of locks available, let's briefly discuss chemical safety. 

From alcoholic beverages to household cleaners, there are myriad different solutions you might have stashed in your kitchen and bathroom. These should be kept on a high shelf outside of your child's reach, even if you have sturdy locks on all of your doors and drawers. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300children ages 0 to 19 visit the emergency room every day as a result of accidental poisoning. Keep them locked up and put away to be as safe as possible. 

That said, there are other items that are fine to store a little lower. The key is choosing the right safety locks. Here are seven factors to consider as you weigh your options. 

1. The Style You Prefer

First, you'll need to decide which style of child safety lock you prefer. Let's take a look at the three primary types. 

Magnetic Locks

Magnetic locks are installed inside of your cabinets. You open them with a separate magnetic key, which you can easily keep out of reach. 

These are ideal if you need quick and regular access to your cabinets. Rather than unlocking a manual, exterior lock, you can simply grab the key to get what you need.

Most models even allow you to keep the lock set to the "open" position for times when the kids are away. 

Spring-Loaded Locks

Spring-loaded safety locks also attach to your cabinets' interior.

These work via a special, spring-loaded latch that allows you to open the door about an inch. Once you pass that limit, the latch will catch on the door. This stops the motion and prevents you from opening it any more. 

To fully open the cabinet door, you'll simply press down on the latch.

External Locks and Latches

If you don't mind the look of an external lock, these can be the most practical and inexpensive way to go.

There are many different styles to choose from, including no-drill sliding latches that fit right into your cabinet handles without screws!

2. Your Child's Age

Is your child an inquisitive two-year-old who is constantly getting into every cabinet in the house? If so, you'll want to have your safety locks engaged most of the day. 

In this case, look for models that are lock-tight, but allow you to disengage the latch as required. Magnetic locks are ideal in this regard. This way, you can still load the dishwasher with ease during naptime!

Otherwise, if your child hasn't reached the crawling stage just yet, spring-loaded latches might work better. These don't require additional hardware to unlock and are easy to disengage with a single push.

3. Installation Requirements

Before you buy enough for your whole house, it's important to understand how each type of lock installs. While most modern versions will attach with 3M adhesive tape, some will require you to drill holes in the interior or exterior of your cabinet doors. 

If you're handy with a toolset and don't mind the cosmetic changes, this might not be an issue. Otherwise, look for no-drill versions, such as these Baby-Proofing Cupboard Locks.

4. Your Budget

It might seem like an insignificant cost, but securing most of the cabinets in your home can turn into an investment. 

Knowing this, think about how much you want to spend and how long you intend to keep the locks installed. Then, use these answers to guide your research. 

Longer-term solutions, such as magnetic locks, are often set at a higher price point than external latches that can easily be disengaged and discarded.

5. The Quantity (and Flexibility) of Locks

Chances are, you intend to secure more than one cabinet. That's why it's important to know how many locks you're getting. 

Most locks and latches will come eight to a set, though this number can vary. Count the number of cabinets in your home so you know the exact number you need.

At the same time, check to see where you can use your locks. Are they only intended for use on cabinets, or are they flexible enough to fit over toilet seats, refrigerator seals, and other spaces?

6. The Thickness of Your Drawers

Most of the time, thicker cabinet drawers or doors will require a stronger lock to ensure a tight seal. It's important to know if the locks you're eyeing have special sizing requirements. 

For instance, our Baby Proofing Magnetic Cabinet Locks are best-suited for items that are less than 1.5 inches thick.

Before you buy, check to see if there are any other dimension requirements to consider. These should be written in the product description so you don't have to second-guess any measurements.  

7. Your Personal Aesthetic

Some parents don't mind the look of external latches, while others prefer to keep theirs hidden and away from view.

When deciding which locks to buy, think about how each one will look in your home. If you want to keep all of the mechanisms out of sight, magnetic or spring-loaded locks offer the most concealed look.

If you do opt for exterior locks, you can usually find them in shades that match your decor, for a look that's as seamless as possible.

Shop Our Selection of Child Safety Locks

Keeping children safe is a full-time job. This is especially the case if you have a busy, newly mobile toddler in the house!

While there are many different kinds of child safety locks to consider, you know your home and family best. Keep these seven factors in mind, and you're sure to make a smart decision!

When you're ready to start shopping, we have a variety of latches, locks, and fasteners in our online shop. Feel free to browse our full selection!