by maipham

May 7, 2021

how to prevent toddlers from locking doors

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Imagine what if your toddler locks himself in a specific room and gets stuck? He starts to panic and so do you. With him screaming and crying on the other side, you try to calm him down while finding the key to open the door, or unscrewing the doorknob. You try to open the door as fast as you can, while telling your kiddo to stay away from dangerous items non-stop.

What an awful situation.

But it happens more often than you think. Toddlers are curious about their surroundings and unconsciously explore them on the spur of the moment without knowing that danger is lurking. 

If you are trying to find ways on how to prevent toddlers from locking doors, you are in luck.

We have done our research and put it all in one place so you don’t have to dig through all over the internet to find different ways. And hopefully these tips can help to prevent your toddler from locking doors.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

How To Prevent Toddlers From Locking Doors: most useful tips

Prevention is better than cure; here are some tips you can apply to prevent toddlers from locking doors.

Choose more secure alternatives for your doorknobs

Understanding the worry of an emergency, manufacturers have created modern knobs with very high safety. 

Specifically, they are lockable but can be easily turned from the outside with the help of a screwdriver. This allows you to unlock them with ease in the case of an emergency, such as the child locking the door from the inside.

In case you don't know which alternative is a bang for the buck, then we recommend this set. Those packs are very modern with a lot of wonderful features. We have tried them before and found that they were worth our investment.

Thanks to their help, it only takes us about ten seconds to be able to unlock the door when our curious kiddos unconsciously lock it. 

However, make sure you have a screwdriver to get the job done effortlessly. In case there is no screwdriver available, a coin can also be of great help.

Keep your door in the state of not being locked completely

If you are finding yourself lost because you don't know what to do, the DIY solutions may save your day. For example, you can take advantage of the strong tape to prevent the door from utterly closed or locked. What you need to do is very simple! Just put the tape over the door's latching mechanism, and this act will help the door not completely close. 

Effective as it may sound, it may cost the aesthetics of your room. Another option to prevent toddlers from locking doors while still ensuring the good look is the foam finger pinch guards. Foam finger pinch guards are great options to go for as they are hooked to one side of the door, thereby preventing it from closing. 

These products stem from an insight that your children can avoid crushing their fingers when getting stuck in the door. However, the effect they have is even greater when they could prevent the door from locking completely. 

Besides, when you find them unnecessary anymore, the removing process can be done easily, and the aesthetics they bring are also acceptable.

Reverse the locking mechanism

If you are afraid of aesthetics loss, then there is also another way to go. This method requires you to remove the knobs and reverse them.

In this way, you can reverse the locking mechanism from inside to outside, and the prospect of your folders being locked inside will never happen again. 

However, you have to be extremely cautious as you might stand a chance of being locked inside by your toddlers. And what is worse than being locked in a room without the necessary tools to escape? 

Best way to prevent toddlers from locking doors is to provide good education  

As your baby develops from a newborn to a toddler, your child's awareness will increase dramatically. They can lock their doors, which means you can also educate them about not doing so. 

Explain to them the dangers of locking themselves in a room with specific examples. Besides, teach them how to properly lock and open doors for a better way of escape.

Get ready as much as possible

Prepare to be mentally stable to deal with any situation. You can try the methods above on a daily basis, so you don't fumble about if the real thing happens. Ensure that the tools you may need, such as a screwdriver or coins, are always available to use.

It's best to prevent your toddlers from locking doors, but what to when it happen?

Prevention is the right thing to do, but if something happens and your child is trapped in a room, what should you do in that case? Don't panic! Stay calm and follow these approaches:

If there is a keyhole on your door

If you are in this situation, then you are in luck! Your job is simply to find the key and open the door. 

But the question is you forgot where to put the key to that door, what should you do? If this is the case, take advantage of the outside house keys or other secondary keys, such as the back door key or the garage door key. Try them out one by one to see if they fit. You may doubt its feasibility, but it really works in some cases.

Take off the door knob hardware

how to prevent toddlers from locking doors

Interior doors are manufactured with the function of creating privacy and reducing noise.

Almost all the interior door handles can be taken off without breaking a sweat. If you notice any screws around the trim play, just take them off, and your door will be opened.

In case you can't find the screws, chances are they have been hidden by the door handle. Now your task is to push a latch that is closed to the base of the doorknob. This action helps you remove the handle from where the screws come out, and using a screwdriver to take them out will be much easier.

Still find it challenging to do? Watch this video.

Ask your toddler to open the door

It is really difficult to ask children to unlock the door because they are too young to fully understand what you want to convey and perform effectively. However, in some cases, when they can lock a door, they can manage to unlock it if you give them the proper instructions.

Strictly note that no threats or sanctions are advisable in this case. The Threats can make the child confused and panicked, which leads you nowhere but causes the opposite effect. 

Instead, encourage your child and promise to give him rewards after they successfully unlock the door.

Take advantage of other tools to unlock

We do not appreciate this method much because its effectiveness is not high, and it can take you a lot of time. However, if you do not have a specialized tool at hand, such as a screwdriver, the following items will be your savior:

  • Bobby pin
  • Knife
  • Clothes hanger
  • Coin

Kick the door in

For us, this is the last resort. We will not use this approach unless we feel our child will be in jeopardy if we do not enter immediately. Think of situations like where your child is in a room with many sharp objects or a room with insufficient oxygen, and you have no choice but to quickly kick the front door. 

This is one of the quickest ways to rescue your toddler, but there are many trade-offs. Your door will be destroyed, and repair or maintenance is a must, which may cost you a fortune. In addition, your child would be likely to be in danger if they stood near a door when you kicked in.

Your leg can also be injured if you don't do the kicking properly. Remember to kick the heel forward and drive it as close as possible to the locking mechanism or keyhole. Use the strong force, and the door will be kicked off.

Get in through the window

Does the room where the child is locked has any windows? If so, consider whether you can enter from the outside. If you feel like it's a waste of money destroying doors and you don't want to risk your kids and yourself, then this is a good way to go for.

Note that this only applies to rooms on the ground floor or second floor if there are any trees or ladders nearby. You must be careful to avoid falling off.

Ask for help from a locksmith

If all of the above doesn’t work for you and you find yourself at a dead-end, asking for professional help is something you must do. This is a good option, but it's a bit inconvenient because it will take a while and can be expensive.

We have been in a similar situation. It took two hours and more than 280 dollars to get out when I called the locksmith.

Anyway, if you think your child's life is put in jeopardy, you can't open the door on your own and don't want to destroy your room, this is a nice choice.

Some Advice For You

From one to three years old is a time when babies are discovering and learning everything. Babies can practice climbing on tables, jumping on chairs, or even fiddling with the door.

Keeping children safe is extremely important that every parent should pay special attention to. The door seems boring, but for children aged 1 to 3, it is an extremely attractive "toy". They can forcefully close doors, shake the doors, play hide and seek behind the door all day.

Parents need to monitor the baby's actions. You should keep an eye on when your baby is playing or exploring everything. However, not all parents can keep an eye on their children all day long. 

As a result, when parents are absent, babies may play with the door, find ways to lock or open the door, leading to locking themselves up.

Therefore, you should consider finding the right measures to protect your baby. You can always lock the door, use a round handle instead of a handle, use a child lock or cover the door lock with another layer of protection. 

Plus, you can use a smart lock that connects to your mobile device to track the entry and exit of all family members.

In addition to the above, you should choose a reputable lock brand to add peace of mind that your child cannot lock the door on his own.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. All the useful tips on how to prevent toddlers from locking doors and what to do if such a situation occurs.

Make sure you check this article back and forth for several times, to remember at least 2 options on how to prevent toddlers from locking doors, and at least 2 things you should do first if your kids actually lock themselves behind the doors.

Do you have any other ideas on how to prevent toddlers from locking doors? Share with us at the comment.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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