J.H. asks from Hazel Crest, IL on June 07, 2009
My 2 Year Old Opens Exterior Doors
My 2 year old has learned to unlock and open the doors leaving the home. Both areas are enclosed but I am concerned because there are stairs going downward. I also have a walking 9 month old that follows her everywhere. I have put the door chime on the alarm. The knob safety thingy she takes off. Any ideas. I keep a pretty good eye on them but still worry.
Also, my princess knows how to open screens.(Don't know where she learned it since we are new to this home and she doesn't spend time around many others) Does anyone know a good window company to put up the child proof bars.
Thanks for any and all advice moms.
E.P. answers from Chicago on June 07, 2009
Slide locks or locked chains on the top of each exterior door is a must. Chimes are good too. If you can lock certain doors from the inside when not it use, that may be helpful (if you have the push button locking knobs on interior rooms). You can get window locks too, depending on the locking mechanism on the windows.
My son was a little Houdini, at two years old. He just had his second birthday, a week before we moved into our new home. We bought the sliding locks and he learned to open them and would scoot chairs to the door and balance on phone books (which led to a slide lock on the pantry door!) I wonder if you have heard those kitchen chairs dragging across your floor yet????? He also would disassemble anything with wheels - office chairs, umbrella stroller, toy cars, etc.... and could do it so quickly.
Buying her toys that expound on those abilities will help too. My son LOVED lincoln logs and moved into large lego, then small lego kits a few years later. By six, he was helping neighbor kids fix their bicycles as he knew how to use basic tools.
The upside is that we lived through that era with only a few nicks and bruises. At 11 years old, my son has a remarkable mechanical and technological ability. I did not appreciate it back then. I was too busy trying to keep him safe.
Yes, you have reason to be concerned - maybe have a trusted friend or relative, whose children are older, walk through your home and give you some advise. There may be simple fixes on the market that you may not be aware of, and someone with past experience in raising busy toddlers, can give you some guidance. Otherwise, you could be spending a lot of money on heavy-duty childproofing. My sister of 5 grown children was that person for me and she was a wealth of knowledge. Gave me lots of good, cheap advise in many areas of child-rearing.
Best of luck to you.
E.C. answers from Chicago on June 08, 2009
We had to put hook-and-eye hooks at the top of all our doors. We also have a problem with our 4-year-old opening the patio screen door, as well as climbing out his bedroom window. We keep the patio door & windows locked most of the time - consequently spending more on air conditioning, unfortunately. My husband duct-taped the patio screen & bedroom windows for cool days - they haven't tried to bust through that - so far! I'm hesitant about childproof bars because of fire exit problems.
M.R. answers from Chicago on June 07, 2009
My son did this too - drove me nuts! A chain-style lock at the top of the door did the trick.
We also have window screens that my son loves to push on, so we just ended up locking the windows (he can't unlock them unless he were to add four feet to his height) and using the air conditioning and/or fans + opening windows we know he can't get to.
Good luck - isn't this frustrating?!? :)
C.M. answers from Chicago on June 09, 2009
Hi mom all you have to do is put a chain lock up higher on the door so they can not reach it.