Screw-in gates are a necessity for the top of the stairs.

How to Childproof a Door

by Carolyn Robbins

In a child's eyes, doors are the entryways to a magical world full of forbidden toys and candy Mom has been hiding. The type of childproofing you'll need depends on your doorways. For instance, you may want to lock the garage door but keep the living room entry accessible with a baby gate. Keep in mind that smart kids will figure out even the most ingenious childproofing. The only sure way to keep your kids safe is to supervise their activity.

1 Place removable stickers or decals on glass doors at your child's level. A busy toddler may bump his head if there isn't something to catch his attention before he walks into a glass door.

2 Lock the doors to the outdoors, garage, attic or anywhere else you do not want your child to enter. A knob lock may be enough to childproof a hinge-door for crawlers. Once your child starts walking, install a doorknob cover or mount a latch near the top of the door out of your tot's reach. Make sure the knob covers are installed correctly so that you can open doors quickly in case of emergency.

3 Install locks on the doors of cupboards that contain chemicals, medicines or other toxins. Most hardware stores sell locks that link the knobs or handles so that the doors can't be opened.

4 Install a gate in doors that are heavily trafficked. The safest gates are those that screw into the walls as opposed to pressurized gates with rubber stoppers. A screw-in gate with a hinged walk-through will make moving around the house more convenient for adults. Make sure to close the gate behind you when you leave a room.

5 Install locks on folding doors to keep them closed. You can purchase folding door locks at most hardware stores.

6 Check all the doors in the house to make sure they can be unlocked from the outside. You don't want to have to call the fire department because your tyke has locked herself in the bathroom and can't get out.

7 Check the stops on all the doors to make sure that none has loose rubber that might pose a choking hazard. Remove old or worn hardware.

Items you will need

  • Decals
  • Door knob cover
  • Latch
  • Baby gate
  • Folding door lock

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images