The draw is strong, but kids should stay out of many cabinets.

How to Keep Kids Out of Cabinets

by Kathryn Hatter

Kids are curious creatures, exploring every nook and cranny of their digs. The littlest ones don't understand boundaries and the word "no," so it's up to you to keep them safe. When you have cabinets that hold off-limits items, keep your kids safe by locking the cabinets. Removing the ability to explore these areas keeps your kids safe and eliminates the possibility of a tragic injury.

Install cabinet locks on all cabinets that you want to be off-limits to your tot. Some locks install without needing tools and to install other locks, you'll need to drag out the drill and screwdriver.

Keep cabinets locked at all times. This will teach your little one that if she tugs at the knob, the door won't budge.

Tell your kid that the cabinets are off limits. Whenever he reaches for the handle or makes a dive for the cabinet when you have it open, say, "No cabinets for you. You stay out of this cabinet."

Be consistent when you are teaching your tot not to explore cabinets. When the answer is always "no," he'll learn that you mean it when you tell him you don't want him to open cabinets.

Items you will need

  • Cabinet locks
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver


  • The SafetyEd website recommends a variety of different types of locks for cabinets. Choose from magnetic locks, adhesive locks and slider locks to keep kids out of restricted zones.
  • Teaching kids not to explore cabinets takes time. Little kids have very little impulse control and they'll open an off-limits cabinet door without a second thought. It's up to you to set limits and enforce them to teach your little one what behavior you expect.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images