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Childproof Your Home with These Door Locks

small boy trying to open a door protected by a doorknob cover

If you’re expecting a new baby or have a newborn, toddler, or young child, baby and childproofing your house or apartment is a crucial, if perpetually ongoing, step. Kids are extremely curious, love to explore, and seem to have a knack for finding things they shouldn’t. Take your eyes off them for a second, and it seems like they’re instantly in the middle of something dangerous or mischievous. Childproofing the home helps reduce or even prevent the risk of injuries caused by household hazards. One key part of the process is to get childproof door locks for your doors. These handy devices keep your child or children from getting into certain rooms or spaces that lead outside or contain dangerous items, like chemically-based cleaning products. They can also be used to keep your child out of areas or products that, even if there aren’t necessarily hazardous, you’d prefer they not have access to. For instance, a childproof lock on the kitchen pantry will prevent them from getting into and playing with a bag of flour or getting into your bedroom closet and pulling all your clothes off the hangers. There are several different types of child door locks with different fittings and installation systems, so it’s easy to find the ones that best suit your home’s custom needs. Here are a few we recommend.

What to Consider in Child Door Locks

Here are a few things to think about before buying a child door lock:

  • Placement: Consider where in your home is the best spot or spots to place a child door lock. Several types fit not only regular doors but closets, drawers, and cabinets as well. Child locks on any doors that lead outside, including to the garage, are generally a good choice as this prevents your child from going outside without supervision. Some parents choose to put childproof locks on doors that lead to the bathrooms or their own bedroom as well. Any drawers, closets, or cabinets that contain dangerous chemicals, sharp objects, and other similar hazardous items are also good choices for where to install a child door lock.
  • Type: Once you’ve decided where your child door locks will go, you’ll have to figure out which type or types you’re going to need. There are several different forms to choose from, and you may need more than one type to properly childproof your home. There are knob covers for doors or closets that have rounded doorknobs, which are fairly unobtrusive and are easy for adults to use without removing them. There are lever locks for lever-handled doors, which attach right onto the door around the lever. They’re installed either through screws or an adhesive. Lock and pinch models clamp right onto doors, are extremely easy to install, and are compatible with all types of doors as long as the length matches. Some models attach directly to the tops of doors, which you may prefer since they’re mostly out of sight and much harder for kids to reach. For drawers and cabinets, you’ll want to look for magnetic or sliding strap locks. Strap locks are small, adjustable, easy to install, and can fit almost anywhere. Magnetic locks fit inside the cupboard door and are thus not visible from the outside, but they may require drilling to install and need a magnetic key to unlock them, which some people find to be a hassle.
  • Quantity: After deciding where you want to put your child door locks and the types you’ll need, you’ll have to decide how many of each sort you need to buy. Someone who lives in a small apartment or condo likely isn’t going to need as many locks as someone in a full-sized house, after all. If your home has many storage cabinets that aren’t at child level, you’re probably not going to need as many, either. You may also want to buy a few more than you actually need to keep extras on hand in case one in use ever breaks. The good news is that most child door locks tend to be sold with more than one at a time. Packs of two, three, or four are most common, though you should be able to find larger quantities like six, eight, or 10.

Best for Knobs: Child Safety Door Knob Covers by Jool Baby Products

two white child lock door knob covers with holes in the center for access to locks

If the rooms in your home have classic round doorknobs, these are the perfect child door locks for you. They’re compatible with all standard-sized round knobs, so they shouldn’t have any trouble fitting properly on your home’s doors. They’re also incredibly easy to install. Simply wrap the two sides of the cover around the desired handle and click them into place against each other, and you’re done. And they’re just as easy to remove once your child is grown. The design is meant to be as subtle and unobtrusive as possible to match and blend in with the room. The holes on the sides of the knob are sized for adult fingers, so you can still easily open and close doors without removing the covers, while your child’s fingers are too small for them to do the same. Each cover has a hole in the front, so you still have easy access to any locks on your doorknobs. You receive four doorknob covers with your purchase. Note that each comes in two separate parts that clip together, so you’ll receive eight total pieces in the pack.

Best for Knobs

Door Knob Covers - 4 Pack - Child Safety Cover - Child Proof Doors - Jool Baby

A set of child door locks specifically designed to fit around standard round doorknobs.

Best Lever Lock: Door Lever Lock (2 Pack) By Tuut

a hand pinching a child door lock to open a lever-style handle on a door

If you have lever door handles on your doors or cabinets, these child door locks will be perfectly suited for your home. They’re designed to work only with lever door handles and are compatible with all standard models. The locks won’t get in the way of you opening and closing the door or locking it. Just simultaneously press the top and bottom buttons on the device, rotate the two white lock handles out of the way, and you can operate the door handle as normal. Do the same in reverse to re-lock the device. On the other hand, toddler and child hands and fingers are too small and not strong enough to press the buttons properly. Unlike some other lever child door locks, this model doesn’t require screws or drilling to be put into place. Simply peel away the 3M adhesive and stick the lock to the door. For best results, you may want to measure out and fiddle with the lock’s placement before you peel off the adhesive to make sure it’ll be placed in the proper spot. Once your child is old enough, you can remove these locks by sliding a piece of fishing wire back and forth in a downward motion behind the base to prevent damage to the paint or door. You receive two lever locks with your purchase.

Best Lever Lock

Door Lever Lock (2 Pack) Child Proof Doors & Handles 3M Adhesive - Child Safety By Tuut

A set of child door locks that work on lever door handles or cabinet handles.

Best Pinch Guard: DOOR MONKEY Door Lock & Pinch Guard

someone trying to open a door held in place by a long, thin, hooked white pinch guard lock

Some homes have a combination of knob and lever handles, which can make it tricky or more expensive to buy the proper child door locks to keep your kids safe. Luckily, this lock and pinch guard works on both kinds of doors, no matter what type or style of handles they have. Not only does it work as a childproof lock but this device also works as pinch guard. The door it’s secured to is always partially cracked, so your child can’t close it all the way and accidentally pinch their fingers or skin in the door. No tools, tape, or special installation steps are required. Simply clamp it to the edge of the door, and it starts working instantly. The soft rubber grips prevent any damage to your door or paint job, and it’s height-adjustable to keep it out of your child’s reach and can be left conveniently hanging from the doorknob or handle when not in use. Compatible with interior doors that are 1.375 inches thick and have standard rectangular door stop molding. It’s also operable from both sides of the door, so you don’t have to worry about getting locked in or out by mistake. Push the button on the clamp to unlock it from the inside, and pull the tail to unlock it from the outside.

Best Pinch Guard

Most Versatile: Jool Baby Products Child Safety Strap Locks

clear sliding lock strap holding a gray cabinet door firmly in place

Child door locks aren’t just for interior doors that lead into different rooms. You can use them to childproof drawers, closets, and cabinets as well. This four-pack of small, compact slide locks can be used on a wide variety of different surfaces and areas you don’t want your infant, toddler, or child getting in. While great for cabinets, drawers, and closets, these childproof locks can also be placed on the fridge, garbage bins, toilets, ovens, washing machines, and more. They can be adjusted anywhere between 3 and 7 inches to better fit various appliances and surfaces. No tools are required for installation. The two strap bases are both backed with and secured by a strong 3M adhesive. To install, just adjust the strap to the length you require, remove the adhesive cover strip, and press down firmly. The lock slides open easily whenever you need access to the childproofed area.

Most Versatile

Child Safety Strap Locks (4 Pack) for Fridge, Cabinets, Drawers, Dishwasher, Toilet, 3M Adhesive No Drilling - Jool Baby

A four-pack of sliding child door locks that are great for drawers, cabinets, and closets as well as doors.

Best Door Top: Safety Innovations Childproof Deluxe Door Top Lock

long, thin, white peg resting in one of two possible holes at the top of a door frame

This specialty child door lock rests at the top of doors to ensure it stays well out of the reach of your children. No matter what type or size of handle is on the door, this lock is compatible with all standard interior doors that are 1.375 inches thick without weather stripping (may not work on very tall doors). Great for keeping your young children out of closets, bathrooms, basements, and more. Place the peg mounting on the door itself, and before installing, make sure it has room to slide back and forth smoothly to ensure you can lock and unlock it properly from both sides. If you’re not tall enough to reach the top of the door, never fear, as this model comes with a wand that allows you to reach the lock without needing a stepstool. Some minor drilling installation is required; refer to the video in the listing for instructions.

Best Door Top

Safety Innovations Child Proof Deluxe Door Top Lock for 1 3/8 inch Thick Interior Doors, (1-Pack)

A child door lock that mounts to the top of doors in order to stay out of children's reach.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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