Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
Review: KidCo Adhesive Mount Cabinet/Drawer Lock
Short version: Do your baby proofing before the baby arrives. It’s a magical period when you have spare time and go through the day without sleep deprivation. Ahh, the memories.
Long version: What is the price of laziness? Six dollars per cabinet door.
We waited 18 months until doing serious baby proofing. Sure, we had doorknob locks and electrical socket plugs installed before Little Miss was crawling. Those were easy. Devices which required drilling into cabinetry, well, they never happened.
The KidCo Adhesive Mount Cabinet/Drawer Lock saved us. Installation takes a couple minutes, just long enough to mark a line on the door where the mount should adhere, and then sticking the latch onto the door. The latch has two parts like all latches (one piece on the door, one piece on the frame), but this latch is ribbed with a hook which catches on the cabinet frame. So, I only installed the latch itself without installing anything on the frame. The lock can also be installed with screws if your cabinets don’t line up right. (As with all safety products, buy one or two to test before purchasing enough for your entire house.)
In use, our cabinet doors open a couple inches before the latch catches, so be sure a small hand cannot reach anything small through that space.
One criticism I’ve read was from a parent who had a child who learned to defeat this lock. I expect that would be true of any push-down-and-release device. I’m more worried that Little Miss will pull a cabinet door so hard that she rips the lock off. She recently pulled a door stop and ripped the baseboard from the wall. Youch!
And really, locks are a deterrent, not an excuse to let your kid be
unattended. These locks primarily keep our food and dishes from being
pulled onto the kitchen floor.
So, where does laziness enter this topic? Well, we actually first bought Safety First Tot Loks for our cabinets. I liked them because they seem harder for a toddler to defeat. You open the cabinet by placing a magnetic knob-like "key" against the door, which draws a metal latch forward and unlocks the door. If you don’t have the key, you’re out of luck. The locks can also be deactivated with a plastic tab, which is great once your toddler grows up, but moot if you live in earthquake country like us.
However, these locks are a pain-in-the-ass to install. The instructions are tiny and confusing (which is par for course in the childproofing industry). My idea of fun doesn’t include setting aside an entire afternoon to align and drill holes in a million cabinets. It’s been 18 months since I’ve had that kind of leisure time. Check out this unofficial list of installation issues. Ugh! One day I will install these locks. Probably the whole day.