Fridge water and ice dispensers can be extremely tempting for babies and toddlers. The desire to press and play with everything can lead to them spilling water or ice all over themselves, the floor or both. With a few simple steps, it is possible that your baby can be prevented from using the water dispenser, without the need to buy any expensive equipment. It is also possible to make further-reaching changes to prevent your baby or toddler from having access to a water dispenser.
Switch the water dispenser to "Ice." This will reduce the amount of water that is leaked when the baby presses the lever. Switching the default setting to "Ice" will also mean less work for you if the baby does press it, since it is unlikely he will get as wet as if it were set to "Water."
Disconnect the water line to the water dispenser. This can usually be done with a shut-off valve either inside or on the back of the fridge. You will be able to turn this on when you need it, although you will have to wait for the water to cool, or for ice to form. Once you have done this, however, your fridge water dispenser will be totally baby-proof.
Cover the water dispenser a piece of cardboard held on with duct tape. If you tape it heavily on one side, and loosely on the other, you will be able to create a 'door', which can be closed over the water dispenser when it is not being used. This will prevent the child playing with the dispenser, although will make the fridge somewhat unsightly.
Wedge a block of wood or plastic behind the dispenser lever, so that it cannot be pushed backward. You will be able to remove this easily when you wish to use the water dispenser, although the child will not, particularly if you wedge it at the top of the lever, out of reach. This solution is one that your child may work out as she gets a bit older.
Buy a safety gate for your kitchen. If your child is able to play with the fridge water dispenser, then he may be able to access a variety of more dangerous equipment or substances. If you are worried about this, then a safety gate will prevent the child from entering the kitchen, which will make the fridge, as well as other areas, totally baby proof.
Allow the child to learn from her own mistakes. It might take a few times of trying, but eventually your child will learn that when she plays with the water dispenser, she will get covered in cold water. She will soon learn, as many children do with hot items, that cold ones feel bad as well.
Things You Will Need
- Duct tape