Unless you're going to organize it, buddy, stay out.

How to Childproof Desk Drawers

by Kathryn Walsh

You know that your desk drawers contain unpaid bills, empty staplers and keys that open nothing, but to your child, the drawers are mystical treasure troves. After all, anything that a kiddo isn't allowed to open must hold something great, right? Since the typical desk drawer contains items that aren't safe in little hands, it's your job to make sure he can't get in -- and that when he inevitably does get in, he doesn't hurt himself. Chances are, the only thing you don't have in those drawers is bandages.

Study your desk's construction with a critical eye. Is it light enough that your child could conceivably pull it over (in other words, fairly cheap and flimsy)? Does it have stacked drawers that your child could get open and use to climb up to the top? If so, securing the desk to a wall is a wise idea. Head to the hardware store for some L-shaped brackets or wall straps. If the desk is a heavy metal number or only has one drawer and can't be easily climbed, even a determined child probably won't be able to turn it over.

Try pulling each drawer out of the desk. If it comes out, your tot is going to try to yank it out and dump it all over himself. Install some drawer stops (another item to pick up at the hardware store) so the drawers can't be removed from the desk.

Install a childproof plastic drawer lock on each drawer. You'll find a few options available at your local baby supply store or online, so take a look at the construction of your drawers before choosing the type that works for you.

Open your newly childproofed drawers. If it takes you a minute to get them opened, don't be ashamed; that just means your system is working. Pull anything sharp -- like adult scissors, razor blades, letter openers and pins -- out of the drawer. Stow these items in a box you can lock with a key, or place them in a higher place out of your child's reach like the top drawer of a filing cabinet.

Add anything that poses a choking hazard to the locked box, or move it up high. Clips, small erasers, colored rubber bands: anything that your child might swallow first and regret later needs to be moved out of reach.

Sift through the rest of the contents of the drawer for anything you wouldn't want your kiddo to touch. Move medications into a high drawer or locked box in your bedroom, and get rid of any heavy-duty magnets. Magnets stronger than the ones you have on your fridge, and that are small enough for your child to swallow, can damage your little one's digestive system. If you're storing cash in your drawer, move it someplace safe too, or it can become confetti in little hands. Move correction fluid and cleaning products out of the drawers too; no matter how hard you make it to get in, if the desk is within your child's reach, he'll probably find a way to get in.

Items you will need

  • L-shaped brackets or wall straps
  • Drawer stops
  • Drawer locks
  • Locked box

About the Author

Cooking, travel and parenting are three of Kathryn Walsh's passions. She makes chicken nuggets during days nannying, whips up vegetarian feasts at night and road trips on weekends. Her work has appeared to The Syracuse Post-Standard and insider magazine. Walsh received a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

Photo Credits

  • Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images