Child Safety Latches

Use Child Safety Latches and Locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. It can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other sharp objects.

Installing Child Safety Latches

By B. Lane

Doorways and cabinets can provide enticements to curious children, but even seemingly innocuous doors might pose hazards to young kids. A door might lead outside to a busy street or a cabinet might contain cleaning chemicals that are lethal if ingested, so it is important not only to monitor children but to install child locks to ensure your kids are safe when out of sight.

Child Safety Latches


There are numerous inexpensive and effective child locks available for standard kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors that are easy to install for even inexperienced parents. Two different varieties of child safety locks are available: one works as a lock on the door handles and the other provides a catch to prevent a door from being opened all the way.

Cabinet Door Ring Child Locks

The cabinet door lock is available for two different types of door fixtures: handles or knobs. For the handle, the child lock is generally a U-shaped length of ridged plastic with a connector lock. One side of the U loops through the handles and then the plastic lock is connected to both ends and pushed up until taut. The lock portion requires force on two buttons to release and remove, which is not too difficult for an adult but a considerable deterrent for children. The plastic is durable enough to prevent a child from wrenching the doors open by merely pulling on the handles, as well.

If a cabinet has knobs, a similar U-shaped plastic lock is available, but it tightens further to completely lock the cabinet doors and has more flexible plastic. The lock for a cabinet door with knobs is very much like a bolo tie, although the clasp has buttons that can be locked and only unlock when two buttons are depressed. Like the U-lock for handles, the buttons are too generally too difficult for a child to unlock and simply pulling the door will not release the clasp.

Cabinet Door Catch Locks

The child cabinet lock prevents cabinet doors from opening all the way. It consists of two pieces of plastic, one attached to the inside door and the other attached to the inside of the door frame. The two pieces connect to form a durable catch which can be disconnected be exerting pressure on the joint point.

The catch lock requires a screwdriver or electric drill with a screw bit attached, but is very simple to install. First, take the section that attaches to the door and hold it against the door towards the top. Use a pen to mark where the screw should go. Using an electric drill with a drill bit attached, drill a little way into the wood to make a hole. Then affix the plastic piece with the screw opening over this hole and insert a screw. Using the electric drill again, but with a screw bit, install the screw into the food and firmly attach the fixture.

Next, take the catch and hold it up to the door frame. Note it’s important to practice closing the door to make sure that the two parts will connect at the right location. When you’ve found the proper location, mark with a pen where the screw should go and use the electric drill to make a small hole. Put the catch up and install a screw into the hole until the catch is firmly attached to the door frame. Once attached, you can close the cabinet door and connect the two sections. Now, when you pull the door, it will catch and not open all the way until the button release is depressed.

B. Lane Staff Writer

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