How to Keep Your Children Out of Cabinets & Drawers

Updated February 21, 2017

Dangers lurk inside your cupboards. Cleaning products canpoison your children, scissors can cut them and heavy pans can break little toes. For safety reasons, you want to keep your children out of cabinets and drawers. Blocking access to these places should be a part of your childproofing plan. Note that the same techniques do not always work for children at every age. You may have to change tactics as your child grows and learns how to get into the cabinets.

Install baby locks on each of your cabinets and drawers. You can find a variety of styles, but they all make it difficult for the child to open the door. For example, one style has a latch that allows the cabinet to open about two inches, then you must push down to fully open the cabinet.

Look high and low for cabinets and drawers that your child may open. At first, you may think that your child will only open the regular cabinets under the counters. As children get older, however, they may start climbing on chairs to get to the upper cabinets where you hide the cookies. These cabinets may need locks as well.

Set rules and consequences for going into the cupboards. Let children know that you don't want them to go into the cabinets or drawers and that they'll be punished if they do. When you catch them trying to get into the cabinets, remind the rules and punish them accordingly.

Use a sturdy lock to keep teenagers out of the liquor cabinet. Child safety locks on your cabinet doors aren't going to keep a teenager out. If you are concerned about your teen's ability to access the liquor, use a combination padlock to lock the cabinet.


While baby locks can make it more difficult for children to get into the cabinet, they can learn how to open the cabinet. Keep cleaning supplies and other dangerous materials out of reach, not just hidden away in a locked cabinet.

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About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.