22 answers

Trash Cans Safe for Toddlers

I still line an officedsized waste basket with plastic shopping bags and knot extra bags for next use and leave them bellow. My son likes to take out the bags and try to unknot them. babies can sufficate if left unattended with plastic bags. As he is getting more mobile he probably will be out of my site in the next room for short periods of 5 mimuits while I am in the bathroom et. We went shopping at target for trash cans with lids and he liked playing with the swing lids and reaching down inside the bins. I am sure he would figure out a foot pedal in a day or so. Any suggestions from moms?

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Thanks for all the advise and shared experiance!. At what age can I expect him to understand and obay a no even when i am not watching him? I put one of the waste baskets up high out of his sight and there fore interest and reach which works well for thast room. The kitchen trash can is tall. He watches me throw stuff in the kitchen trash and follows suit throwing things in there i need to retrieve out.

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For a while I put my kitchen trash can on a little end table, stuck down with double stick foam tape. This was helpful for the period while my son wanted to investigate. Eventually he lost interest and I was able to put it back on the floor. He's still interested in the small covered can in the bathroom, but I've told him "no" enough that he doesn't touch it, he just runs in there and points at it until I put the diaper in!

We put the kitchen & bathroom trash in cupboards/closets with "childproof"....In the child's bedroom a had a diaper pail from safety first (I think). You press hard on a button to open. You can use it for cloth diapers or trash. It took him a long time to get in probably about 4 yrs. Other ones both the dog & my toddler son could open. We had to use the magnet latches in the kitchen with that one.

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In my opinion people these days try to over protect their kids. I'm not saying you shouldn't protect your kids but most so teach them not to get into the trash can. I do childcare out of my house and every child that comes in is taught not to get into things i have not shown they can have. Weather it's things on the entertainment center or the trash, getting food out of the cabinet or refrigerator. There are things in all aspects of life that is not safe. You can't lock, guard and save them from everything. You have to teach them not to get into things. What i do is guard them for the first few weeks. When you see them getting into things like the trash you move them and say "No" Be consistent. Do it EVERY time not once in a while Every time. For the first few days or weeks you will have to just be around all the time but that will stop when you realize the child will stay out of it because they have learned. You don't have to be mean I'm not saying run over and yell "NO" or anything. Just walk over move them and say No firmly. You have to get through that this isn't theirs and they can't get into it. I have never had a child who didn't learn not to get into the trash or ever had a problem with fingers in outlets or broken things on entertainment centers. They learn and actually learn pretty quickly. This system works forever so you don't have to lock everything up in your house. You didn't say how old your son is but i would assume about 2yrs old. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Goodluck....in my experience there is no such thing as a childsafe anything...especially a trashcan full of choking hazards, etc.....Trashcans in everyroom of the house are a luxury (unless up high), until your little one(s) get around 3 ish....sorry, but even child-safe medication caps can be undone by the average child in 20 minutes.

R.

In the kitchen, make sure the trash can is large, with tightly secured bags along the rim, not left unsupervised and accompanied with "no!" when approached. We actually did not have this problem with our boys after a stern set of negative reinforcement for their first forays. For other rooms (and especially so as to completely avoid any diaper pails) we used a wall-mounted product called Rack-sack. They are fantastic and quite inexpensive: a sturdy wire frame mounts to your wall or inside of a cabinet door or outside of a changing table, holds a roll of bags which one-at-a-time fit over the frame and a hinged lid closes over everything. NO smells, nothing on the floor or immediately at child-level, nothing to clean, and the next bag is ready to go when you tear off the one which is full. You can also use plastic grocery sacks and fit them over the rim. Just keep the extra bags in a separate drawer or hanging up high in the room with the rack-sack. We included one in every new parent's shower gifts for years! I know this product has been "improved" since we used it, and now hold two sizes of bags and has a lid which stores the roll of bags. They are readily available in hardware stores for less than $20. We still use one in the garage and an inside kitchen cupboard door for non-recycleable trash. You may view promotional info here: http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/rack-sack-kitchen-wa....

If you have an under the sink cupboard area, you could put your trash in there, and get a child safety thing so he can't open the door.
K.

We put the kitchen & bathroom trash in cupboards/closets with "childproof"....In the child's bedroom a had a diaper pail from safety first (I think). You press hard on a button to open. You can use it for cloth diapers or trash. It took him a long time to get in probably about 4 yrs. Other ones both the dog & my toddler son could open. We had to use the magnet latches in the kitchen with that one.

I have ours in the pantry - out of sight, out of mind...hopefully....but there are other options as well - trash cans can come with unique bag clips that will help the trash bag stay in place and toddlers would not be able to put their hands down it - http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&....

We used to keep some cans - just away from his access. Our house was set up where we used several baby gates thru-out because of steep steps and we were revovating, many danger zones. In the BR's I used recycled decorative vases on dresser's and counters to throw small things out of his reach(tags, tissues, etc) and for the kitchen, well, he was just never there without supervision and we just did the "no" thing till he got it. We also have a recycle bin- that trash is usually semi clean from rinsing and we would have him do the throwing away in that one. That way we did not deny him of what he wanted to explore. He learned the difference and is now SUPER aware of recycling. God forbid he catches one of us accidentally putting papter in the regular trash now-he's 5!

I was in Ikea the other day and I found the perfect trash can. It is one of the tin trash can with the lid that you have to lift off. The lid fits pretty tight so not even my two rough necks can pry it off. They come in differnt sizes and colors and weren't that expensive...

We actually converted a kitchen cabinet into a sliding "drawer" that we put the trash can in. Now it's out of the way and my son can't get into it. i realize that may not be an option - I have to agree with the pp that you just need to reinforce NO everytime he goes to the trash. Tough to do but it is more effective. It would be too inconvenient to have a bungee cord over the top of your trash can lid! I still line my small cans with bags, at first my DS pulled them out and waved them like a kite with a trail of trash following him but he soon grew tired of that trick (when I didn't respond) and leaves them alone now. Good luck.

trash bags are dangerous in a trash can or out!!!!!

you have to teach your son not to play with the trash. as there are usually dangerous things in the trash like empty detergent bottles old stale food staples etc.

this stuff is all dangerous

i taught my son from the get go not to mess with my trash can that has a pedal and a lid.

how ever if this dosent work for you then think about putting your trash in the cupbord under the sink.

For small cans, I just don't line them for this very reason. I just dump the trash from the little cans into a larger bag on trash day. I wash them out occasionally, though probably not as much as I should :)

In the kitchen, I do use a kitchen bag. This is less of a concern to me since the can is so tall, the bag tucks in to the can, it has a foot pedal, etc. But I also don't let my kids have unsupervised acess to the kitchen as toddlers.

I also make sure my storage of plastic bags is up high out of reach.

Good for you for being thoughtful!

i bought one at costco for less than $40. it automatically opens when a hand is waved in front of it and there is also a button to push to open and close the lid.

Try OXO...google their products online...I have a great open topped can for the bathrooms that locks the bags in place...but I know I saw one with a lid as well!
good luck and remember eventually the cans will not be as interesting! they move onto bigger and better things!

I'd say just put it up out of his reach. My 18mo has to stand on his tippy toes to throw his diapers in the garbage can we have set mostly out of his reach and it seems to work that way. He can just get things in, but he's not tall enough to get things out.

We bought a step can by Simple Human @ Bed Bath and Beyond. It's plastic and had a metal locking mechanism on it. When I lock it I have to really pull on it to open. My 3 yr old can't undo it even if he tries.

I have to say, Rachel said it best. Teach your son that the trash is not a toy - teach him not to touch it at all. With where you are right now, if you just attempt to child-proof, he'll see it as a challenge and put his smart little brain to work on figuring out a way to get into it. You are much better off just teaching him not to touch it at all.

I have a 5 year old and also a 19-month old - we're still occaisionally doing some reinforcement/reminding for the toddler, but, overall they learn very quickly not to touch things you tell them not to. As Rachel said - the trash, the dog's bowls, the houseplants, the entertainment center, the DVD and CD racks, etc...

I didn't want to keep saying "no" all the time, so we've always said "Not for [name]" when they go for something they can't have. We add "YUCKY!" to anything concerning trash. If you can, redirect them to something they are allowed to play with (say "THIS is for [name]" )and get them occupied away from the trash.

Save yourself a lot of grief and teach him this now, and you'll never be the embarrassed woman at someone else's house/the store/a restaurant trying to keep your kid from trashing the place. I've seen it and been very glad it wasn't me!

Good Luck!

I have to agree with the moms that say just teach your child to stay out of the trash. I have a 2 1/2 year old and learned that no matter what measures I take to keep him out of something he will eventually figure it out if he wants it bad enough. You just have to pay attention while they are in the exploring fase and reinforce that the trash can is yucky and not a place to play. My son now loves to help with the trash and will even carry the small bags to the large can and throw them away for me. I may seem like he will never get it, but one day you will realize that you no longer have to correct that behavoir and you will be on to something else. Good Luck!

A foot peddle is a good idea, it's hard for kids to learn the hand eye foot combo at an early age.
I think the easiest and safest way to keep the trash can from children is under the sinks, with a child safe lock.
Use the the NO and he will learn to respond that its not ok.

We bought a locking trash can at Bed Bath and Beyond. My daughter would open the lid of our old trashcan to look inside and touch the trash. She was more curious than anything. So we bought a trashcan that could lock if we needed. We don't leave it locked all the time, but its nice when she's getting into it.

I would suggest that you only put a securely fitting trash bag in the trash can and leave the extra bags in another safe location (in a closet, etc).

Hi S.,
We're going through trash can issues with our 16 month old too. We have an office sized trash container in the computer room that we only put "dry" trash in since we don't use a garbage bag with it. We just put the container up on a box or crate so that she can't get to it. The bathroom trash container we goes in the tub so she can't get to it. Our major problem is the kitchen trash can. It's a tall can that has a lid top. In order to open it, you have to press a flat button thingy and the lid pops up. Our daughter isn't strong enough yet to press the button, but she can easily lift up the top of the can and reach in or throw her toys in, very disgusting. Hubby suggested we go and look at different trash cans, but I honestly don't think there is anything that will keep her away from opening the trash lid. We'll just have to keep an eye on her and hope the remote doesn't end up missing. Good luck with your search, I'll keep reading to see if anyone has a solution.

For a while I put my kitchen trash can on a little end table, stuck down with double stick foam tape. This was helpful for the period while my son wanted to investigate. Eventually he lost interest and I was able to put it back on the floor. He's still interested in the small covered can in the bathroom, but I've told him "no" enough that he doesn't touch it, he just runs in there and points at it until I put the diaper in!

Rochelle and Rachael are right, you cannot baby-proof the world. And Dennis Leary had it right when he described having children as having drunken midgets in the house. You just have to keep an eye (or two) on them! And, like Rachael said, teach them to stay out of stuff. At any age they're smarter than we give them credit for. And more stubborn! So keep BOTH eyes on them.

I always have a trash can in the kitchen that can fit under the sink. It was out of sight, out of mind with my kid. Funny how she knew where the pots and pans were and played with those, but never tried to open any other doors.

I'm sure in this baby-proofing mad world, there is a trashcan with a lid that little fingers cannot open.

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