Just Had a Scary Thought...... Has This Ever Happened to You?
February 19, 2012
Hello ladies, hope ya are all having a good day. so this week I rearranged my toddlers room he's 18mths . I baby proofed it as good as I could and feel really good about him playing in there without me having to be in there the whole time. His room is only three steps from the living room and I can hear every move he makes and every toy he plays with. I have a five week old also this was my main reasoning for giving my toddler a safe play area so when I'm feeding baby or rocking him my toddler is enjoying himself and not fighting for my attention. So anyways this have been great and the playroom was a awesome idea but then today while I was sitting in my toddlers room with him playing he went over to the door and shut it and actually twisted the lock!! He has never done that before and it scared me so bad thank goodness of was in there with him. We have one on those door knobs that doesn't come w a key it just has the little hole on the other side of the door I freaked out thinking what would I have done if he locked himself in his room. He's not at the point where he understands to many things and would have no idea how to unlock it if I told him to. I plan getting one of those door knob covers tomorrow. But if he would have locked himself in there what should I have done? Call police? Fire dept? Busted out a window? Just wondering not that it will ever happen now that I'm aware he can play with the lock and twist it but I've just been beating myself up over what I would have done..." what would ya have done if it happened to you??
Actually it happened to us....when my mom was here babysitting. She called us at work and although my husband left work & headed home, she was very freaked out as my son was getting more & more hysterical as time went on & he could not figure out the "unlock". She called 9-1-1. The police came in and said, very calmly, through the door, "Buddy, can you turn the lock?" "Click." He unlocked it himself. :) Kids!
Needless to say, he had a knob with no lock on his door the next day.
We took all locking door knobs off doors to rooms my kid uses. Her bedroom, the computer room and the spare room. Our bedroom and the bathrooms are lockable and they also only have the little hole in them. That hole is the way to unlock the door. Every door knob comes with a little hooked "key" which looks like the end of a very small flat-head screwdriver. They are small enough that, for each door with a lock, I have stored the corresponding key above the door on the wooden trim that outlines the door. (It bumps away from the wall just enough to tuck the key way up there.) My parents used to keep one key in their bathroom drawer and one key downstairs in the kitchen "junk-drawer" in case one of us kids locked ourselves in the bathroom.
If you bought your house with door knobs in tact, or are renting, and don't have access to the little keys that came with the doorknobs, you can buy replacements at various places. Here's a link to a couple of sites that sell them. When I bought my house the previous owners took all the knobs with them so I had to buy all new hardware. I've got a bunch of those little keys all over the place.
The doors with the lock on one side and the hole on the other are VERY EASY to unlock.
They either unlock by pushing a wire or toothpick or screwdriver in the hole and pushing slightly and turning the door knob. OR you use a very small flat tipped screw driver ("common" screwdriver) and turn the screw driver either clockwise or counter clockwise depending on the lock. Then twist the door knob and its open.
You can go to the door knob department at Home Depot and they will be glad to show you.
We kept a small screw driver on the doorsill when my kids were little for just such an occasion. We had to use it twice or three times a year with 8 kids. We now have one on the sill over the door for our grandkids and we have to use it once every other month.
(My definition is lousy...lol)...Not only did that keep them from locking themselves in...it kept them from slamming the door...catching fingers...etc. We put it high up enough they couldn't remove it.
Not to scare you more, but even with the "safety knobs" people use, kids still know how to get them off and lock the doors. My nephew is one of them.
My advice to you is, go out and get a cheap door knob from your hardware store that doesnt have a lock on it and replace the door knob. Easy, peasy, and you have 100 percent assurance that you can always get in his room.
well I would not panic, those locks are easy to unlock with a small flat head screwdriver. once i unlocked the door I would remove the knob and locking mech until I bought a knob that does not lock on either side or you can turn the knob around so it locks from the outside. easy fix.
Take the cotton off the end of a Q-Tip or a wooden skewer, or a bobby pin or paper clip-and poke the lock button -if this is the type of lock of which I am thinking !? Doors can be removed if you take a flathead screwdriver and tap out the bolts that go down throught the hinges.
I would imagine that each one of us have had a child lock themselves into a room at LEAST once in our lifetime!!! My experience ( as a child...and no I don't remember it but have heard it recounted many times by my parents)...I locked myself in a bathroom in a hotel and couldnt unlock the door...they had to have the maintenance man come and remove the door from the hinges.
As everyone has told you...any thin object ( My favorite was always a hair pin) will open that door. If you want to be sure this doesn't happen again just simply take some electrical tape and tape the locking mechanism IN and then it won't be able to be locked.
:) That hadn't ocurred to me until my 2yr old niece came over once and locked herself and my baby inside the baby's room. Her dad, my BIL, and I freaked out for a couple minutes until I pryed the exterior window open and passed my 4yo into the room and had him unlock it from the inside! Turned the door knobs around to lock from the outside after that. HOWEVER, that can be a problem too- my BIL has his locks backward and once while I was visiting them my niece (she's tricky!) locked US inside, then ran outside and to the neighbor's trampoline while we were trying to get out!
Youve been given good answers by most. We had those same type of doorknobs, and kept wooden skewers on the door frame just in case they were accidently locked. The skewers you get for shis-ka-bobs work great. A package of 100 is about $1. Just keep a few over the doors. You just push them in the hole and turn the knob, like 8kidsdad said. If this room is going to be the play room for a couple years maybe you could just take the door off and store it under a bed in another room. then it wont get locked accidently, and wont pinch any fingers or become a favorite slamming game! Also as the baby gets older and bugs the big brother, you can put up a safety gate in the doorway keep them from bothering eachother and keep big boys toys safe from baby.
My son locked himself in the bathroom when he was about that age and I called the fire department non-emergency line. They came and got him out no problem. They cut a wire coat hanger and poked it into the hole. There is a push activated piece directly inside that will unlock the door. I was embarrassed, but they said it happens to LOTS of people :)
I really hate those door knob covers:( I don't use them! keep in mind, he will have a hard time OPENING the door if you do that...
Yes, there SHOULD be a "key" that came with the knob... if NOT, then you should be able to unscrew it.
What we did? We actually have a no-lock door in our younger daughters' room. (they are 3 and 4) . they have been ransacking their closet and their clothes drawers SO MUCH recently (and making a BIG MESS with their clothes), that I put their clothes drawers in their closet, and put the locked door knob on their closet facing the opposite way (so only we can lock it and un-lock it), and put the non-locking doorknob on their bedroom door.
It has worked like A CHARM in more ways than one. They can't lock the door when they get mad at me (yes, they do that), and they can't make a big mess with clothes... aaahhh:)
That little hole you mentioned on the other side is just this reason: stick a straightened out bobby pin in the hole and it should pop the lock. I would make sure to keep a bobby pin or something else that pops it handy and continue to allow him free play time in there. Just make sure you master popping the lock first!
LOL, do you have any idea how many time's my kids either locked themselves in or locked me out?! You'd think I'd know better by now.
When my girls were little, I switched the doorknob to their room so the lock was facing out.
Always have a spare key.
One time, I had to call maintenance (lived in an apartment) to come take the door completely off. The kids thought it was hilarious; I was having a heart attack.
Child proof door knob protectors never even slowed my kids down; don't waste your money!
When my eldest was 2 and her sister was a few months old, I was wearing panties and a tank top. It was pouring, but I had to take the garbage out. The second I stepped out of the sliding glass door, my 2 year old shut it and not only locked it, but wedged a wiffle bat in the sliding part. I had to run in the rain 1/2 naked to the apartments office to have someone let me in! EMBARRASSING!... but everyone was fine ;) I was a bit wet and humiliated, but the girls were fine ;)
Use a wire coat hanger, straightened, insert in hole and turn knob. We have a tool that comes with the knobs that we keep on top of the casing above the doors. I'm sure you can get replacements at the hardware store.
Why not take the doorknob off and put it so that the little slit is on the outside of the door so that you can open the door for him from the outside? If he locks himself in and you are able to get him out, he'll think twice about doing it when he has to pound on the door and wait for you to come.
Those type of locks are easy to open. #1 use a bobby pin, pen or something like that... put it in the hole and twist until you hear the "click". Simple.
Get an old credit card or something like a credit card and just slide it in next to the door lock area and "bam" you are in.
I would not call the fire dept for this. If it happened and you cant figure it out, call a neighbor. Most of us have gotten in this type of lock easy peasy many times in our homes. My neighbor years ago called me because her som locked himself in... I showed her the trick and you just pass it along to moms who dont yet know that solution.
Is it a button or a push lock? I have button locks in our doors, with just a little hole, and found that NOT the smallest paperclips but the bigger ones work well. (Little ones are a little too flimsy and kind of bend and give, but the larger ones work fine---we keep a few around. Just unfold the first straight part and stick it in straight and push it back open. It took Jeremy a lot of jiggling to figure it out; I have "the touch" and can pop it open on the first try, but it came with practice. I would suggest flipping the doorknobs temporarily (my 5 year old NEVER had an issue with locking the doors, but my 2 year old does it everytime he's mad at me: if I say no he must have water, not juice, (or pick up his mess in the living room, or it's time for bed, etc) he goes to his room and locks it. So, 2 weeks ago we just took the doorknobs off and flipped them so that he can't lock the door from inside.
And yes, if worse came to worse others have mentioned the credit card (don't let it be the one you use all the time because you don't want to risk it cracking), the removing it from the hinges, and of course, easier than the hinges would be removing the doorknob. And worst case scenario, you can indeed call the non-emergency police or fireman lines.
When my son was 18-22 months old, the door opened to the inside of the room. We KEPT it open by putting the train table against it.
I DO suggest that you have a couple copies of the keys with you so he doesn't lock you out of the house. When they were just getting tall enough to reach the entry door knobs, we knew it would happen suddenly when they could lock the doors, so we have a spare key in the cabinet of our garage in case he locks us in while we're bringing in groceries or whatever, and we also have a spare one hidden outside in case he locks us out of the house altogether.
I used to let my oldest play with my keys to keep him happy while I was getting him in the carseat and situated. One day when he was about 8 months old, we were on a road trip in the middle of nowhere, and stopped at McDonalds for a super fast bathroom / diaper break, got a coke, and went back to the car. He was warmly dressed, with his little cap on, but I was in in a T-shirt because I didn't feel like putting my coat on and off. It was drizzling, in the low 50s, so I was in a hurry. I put him in his seat, closed the door while moving to the back to get the map, and heard the car alarm chirp. He pushed the fob button and locked my car, with him in it! I tried to show him how to push the other button, but he just waved, rattled the keys, and drank his bottle. I didn't know what to do....I didn't want to break a window and then it be cold and rainy in my car all the way home (like 8 hours to go). I was scared to leave him but then realized he was obviously safe so I went inside to use their phone (my phone was on the charger). I guess I must have looked terrified because I didn't say anything, but she interrupted a man's order to ask what I needed. I told her what was up and she called the non-emergency line for the police and told them an infant was in the car and said the number is taped to the phone because stuff like that happens often. I sat there shivering and near tears, smiling and waving and tapping the window, making faces, but very upset. He had no idea and smiled, laughed, and started nodding off to sleep in his warm seat with his blanky. The police couldn't get it open, but a locksmith heard the call on the scanner and came by just to see (thank goodness!). They marveled at how happy the baby was (he thought we were all playing with him) and the locksmith popped it open in about 1 minute. He also didn't let me pay---he said he thought my standing in my short sleeves and my "mom guilt" was enough. I n e v e r let him use my keys again!
Okay, my 3year old locked me out of the house! Our apartment had a double bolt (one only locked from the inside) I stepped out to drop the trash in the breezeway and he locked the door. He had no clue what he was doing - we were on the second floor and our land lord almost had to climb a ladder to get on the balcony, luckily he unlocked the door before he had to. I then duct taped the top lock and kept a key under the mat. I suggest you simply turn the knob around so the lock is on the outside - this is what we have always done (serial renters).
Hi Christy, well I would love to see the 38 answers that you have gotten so far, but in case no one has told you, all you have to do is straighten out a paper clip, poke it into the hole in the knob, and it unlocks.
You don't have to break a window, call the firemen, etc. Why don't you try it tonight? It will give you so much confidence....... and come in handy when he is a teenager!
You can lock the door knob while the door is open. We had those knobs in a previous house and even if the door knob got turned to the lock position and the door closed, you could grib the knob very firmly and twist it to the open position very firmly and give the door a knudge with your hip and POOF, open it would go. Yes, we had to do this a few times with our toddler son at the time. I was so freaked the 1st time it happened and it hardly slowed me down 2 seconds getting in when I twisted it really hard and bumped it. Didn't damage the door at all.
Before I answer, remember one thing: worry is Satan's workshop. Praise God that didn't happen. But since you are worried a lil about it, I will give my own opinion (and this is strictly what I think I would have done, as God has totally protected my children from things like this, as He did your toddler :) ) I would have called a locksmith. No need to call 911 unless your toddler was in immediate danger. His playroom was childproofed, so I'd keep talking to him while I got a locksmith on the line and as long as he was playing and responding to me, I'd wait on the locksmith to get there. Now, I know that would be hard to do, but I have learned the older I get that there is no need to panic. When I turned my life over to God completely, Satan finally left me alone. God bless you and your children :)
Hang a wash cloth or hand towel at the top of the door where he can't reach it. This way the door will not shut. I would also change the door knob to one without a lock. He can still close the door with a doorknob cover (without a towel at the top) and then he would not be able to get out on his own if you are busy or didn't hear him.
You got a good replies to how to open it and hopefully replace the knob. My first son was 20 months old when I had to go in the basement to the washer and he got a chair and got on it and tried to lock the chain lock at the top of the door. I would have been in the basement all day and he would have had a great time with his 8 month old brother. That's all it took for me to be paranoid of door knobs and locks.
I keep a thin nail on top of the door jamb to our bathroom for the same reason. If kiddo locks himself in (accidentlaly or on purpose), it takes 2-3 seconds to reach for the nail and insert it into that little hole. Press firmly, and the lock "un-clicks" on the other side. Try it.
My son's door does not have a lock. For the few locking doors in the house, we have the little metal thing that came with them. They are taped above the upper door molding (you can't see them without climbing up and looking).
That happened to me when I was a teenager and babysitting these 2 little boys. One of the little boys ( I think he was 2?) locked himself in the bathroom. I freaked out for few minutes trying to figure out what to do, but I was able to get in with a screwdriver. That was scary, though.
My little sister used to lock herself in the bathroom or our parents room all the time. My dad would just grab his screwdriver (a skinny flathead would work well), and place it in the hole and move it around some and the door would unlock. If I were you I would take the knobs off and reverse them. It will save you the trouble of unlocking it everytime. I believe that your son did that! My 16 month old is already twisting doorknobs, which was something that my daughter had no interest in doing until she was 3! Crazy.