Safety Locks Help!!

Updated on April 07, 2017
A.R. asks from Mount Laurel, NJ
16 answers

My three year old keeps getting out of the house and roamimg next door to a construction site. This is the second time. The first time the cops were called and was given tips on how to baby proof. My husband and I did everything we were told and my son has destroyed everything we have tried. Please help, I am not a bad parent just a very tired one and frustrated. Please no mean comments. I just need help.

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So What Happened?

All great suggestions. We have the door alarms but I did forget to set it for nap time which was my fault. Happens when youre really tired. We are going to try some of those more advanced door knob things. If that won't worked will do the double key deadbolt. I'm am trying so hard and its pretty much just me as apparently my husband is too tired or hurts to help. And now that he's doing school and a part-time job it will be me probably 24/7 as he will just go to sleep as soon As he comes home. Thank you all for your advice and input. Its very helpful.

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

NEVER EVER use a lock with a key. My whole family consists of cops and firefighters. It's a big NO for obvious reasons. I would get an alarm.

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1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I agree with the deadbolt and key. It's dangerous.


I agree with the deadbolt and key. It's dangerous.

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answers from Sacramento on

Look up suggestions used for those with memory loss/dementia/Alzheimers. I know there are products out there designed to help secure doors, beyond the standard locks.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i had to move furniture away from the doors, and put a lock at the top of the door. as my kid would climb anything to reach the lock. another option is a lock on the door that requires a key to open. then you keep the key on yourself.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If it were me, I'd go with one of those top of the door locking systems if it was a real safety issue. Not sure what you mean by destroy .. I'm thinking the higher up (out of reach) the better.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You could get a security system that will sound an alarm when a door is opened. They have settings that you use when you're in the house that will just alert if a door is opened. Or, get some sort of lock and put it at the top of the door and then make sure there is no furniture near there that he can climb on to reach the lock. I really, really think the security system is best. A lot of companies will give you the stuff for free as long as you put one of their signs in your yard. Then you only pay the monthly monitoring fee which is about $40.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I had to put screws in the windows to keep our boy from raising it up and climbing out.

We had to keep doorknob protectors on the door knobs of the bathroom and exit doors and then when he was heavy enough to hang on them and turn them. We then got another style of lock that he couldn't open.

I kept a baby monitor on the top of a shelf in the hallway outside the kids rooms until they were in elementary school.

We also got alarms that sounded in our room if a door or window was opened.

His safety is your job. I'm glad you're taking this seriously. You have to think like him and see things from his perspective. Then you can see flaws in your safety plan. You might also google child care regulations and see what child care centers have to do for child safety. I learned SO MUCH when I had to make sure the kids in my center were going to be safe.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

It would help to know specifically what you've already tried.

We installed deadbolts (that require keys on both sides of the door) on both our doors. We bought them at Menard's (Home Depot and Lowe's also sell them). They were very easy to install. I should mention that our doors already had deadbolts, but those were the kind that only required a key on the outside, not the inside.

We do have a sliding glass door onto our deck. My husband installed a 2 x 2 that is attached to the side of the door frame with a hinge and can be raised up and latched onto the actual door, blocking it from sliding open.

If you could mention exactly what you've tried, I'm sure we could give you tips to prevent the problems you've already had and give you better ideas to try.

You are not the first mom to have a 3 year old escape artist!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My dad is a fireman. He would tell you to NEVER NEVER have a deadbolt that needs a key to open from the inside. I know you are trying to keep your child safe, but a deadbolt that needs a key from the inside is a death trap in case of an emergency like a fire. You might not be able to get to the key in time to get out.

Yes to the chain up high that you can reach but he can't.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I second the idea of placing a keyed lock near the top of your doors and keeping the key with you/ in a secure place at all times. It will be more work, but definitely worth it. Also consider an 'entrance alert' door chime on your outgoing doors...I've included a link below. You may want double-protection/notification if your kiddo is as wily as he sounds!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Honestly, my best advise is supervision. You can not trust locks and safety gates. These thing just slow down.



answers from Miami on

I think the ideas below are great: the alarm, as well as the top-lock, and moving furniture out of the way. I would also speak with a locksmith and see what he recommends. Pretty sure there are locks that can only be opened from the outside, with a key, for scenarios like these. Good luck, and hope your son stays safe!


answers from Norfolk on

We put up a bar lock on the sliding glass door so our son couldn't open it.
We also put up very high chain locks on doors so he couldn't reach them and he couldn't open outside doors without an adult unlocking the chain.
You have to find a way to out wit him - wandering around outside could get him killed.
I just read an article a short while ago about a toddler wandering out of the house while grandma napped (she was baby sitting) and the kid got into a neighbors pool and drowned.
Put up multiple barriers if you have to - and install an alarm that you will hear if any door in the house is opened.
It can alert you that you need to find child immediately.


answers from Seattle on

I had a son who liked to sneak out when he was about 2. We had a doorknob lock and a lock an inch or two above it. He was sneaky man! He'd wait until I was in the bathroom and then I would hear the door open.
So, first we talked with our apartment and asked if we could put a slide lock on the top of the door (AND got it in writing) and then we went to Home Depot and bought one. It was under $10. For the sliding door we got a lock that just twisted in at the top. $5.
My son never got out again.



answers from Washington DC on

As B says--chains high up on all doors that lead outside. You'll need to be very careful about using them EVERY time and ensuring your husband does too when he is home. Our friends had a similar wandering child and the high chains really helped. He could get past any knob or bolt that he could reach.

Also: Do you have a garage? Please think about that too, if you have one. Ensure he cannot open the garage door. He will have seen you use the door opener and if he can get to it he might use it. And be sure the door doesn't get left open by an adult and he's watched if the door is in use. I'm not trying to be alarmist but this is on my mind because just today in our area a three-year-old walked out an open garage door (left open accidentally by a parent who went out just momentarily to get a trash can blown over by a storm); he walked unseen to the drainage pond just across the road and drowned. So that has garages on everyone's minds here right now.



answers from Philadelphia on

We had a deadbolt that had to be opened with a key. We also have an alarm so we would know if our kids went downstairs in the middle of he night. (Sensor alarms) They never did's miserable when someone goes down stairs without turning off the's just crazy loud.

They also make a portable alarm they sell for taveling when staying in hotel rooms. You may want to check that out. Of course you would have to remember to use it.

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