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Types of Childproof Cabinet Door Latches

By Heather Montgomery ; Updated September 26, 2017
Finding the right lock for your cabinets can ensure your toddler's safety.

Cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens can hold a variety of items that are dangerous to your child, including chemicals, glass, medicines and utensils. Keeping a curious toddler out of your cabinets is as simple as finding a secure childproof latch that is not only a deterrent to your toddler but also easy for an adult to operate. There are several varieties of cabinet locks on the market, and choosing the right one depends on your needs and the structure of your cabinets.

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Push-Down Lock

Push-down locks work for both cabinets and drawers. A long piece of plastic is installed on the cabinet door and the latch is installed on the frame of the cabinet. When the door shuts, the plastic catches the latch, preventing the door from opening fully. To open, press the plastic piece down to disengage from the latch. These locks do not prevent fingers from being pinched in the door, and you might find that an ingenious toddler can disengage the lock.

Magnetic Locks

A magnetic lock requires a key to open a locked cabinet door. A magnetic lock is installed on the inside of the cabinet door and latches into place when shut. To unlock the door, place the key against the outside of the door over the lock, causing it to disengage. This type of lock does not show on the outside of the cabinet door, but if you lose the key, you will be unable to open the cabinet.

Zip Locks

If your cabinet doors have two doors with knobs next to each other, you can use a zip lock. The zip lock has two loops to slide over each knob and is tightened by depressing a button on the lock. One disadvantage to this type of lock is that it may attract curious hands, and releasing the lock might be cumbersome for some adults.

Over-the-Door Locks

Over-the-door locks keep two cabinet doors shut, assuming the cabinet doors are next to each other and open to reveal the same cabinet. The lock slides over the top of the two cabinet doors where the doors meet and keeps the doors closed when the lock is engaged. Remove the lock to open the doors. This type of lock is visible on the outside of the cabinet doors and might be difficult to remove with one hand.

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About the Author

Based in Lakeland, FL., Heather Montgomery has been writing a popular celebrity parenting blog and several parenting and relationship articles since 2011. Her work also appears on eHow and Everyday Family and she focuses her writing on topics about parenting, crafts, education and family relationships. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in early education from Fort Hays State University.

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