If you have a young child, you’ve probably already discovered that they love to wreck havoc with refrigerators and freezers. Most of the time, their efforts are nothing more than an annoyance; spilled food, a tummy ache and water all over the floor from the in-door water dispenser. While kids love to open the fridge, they aren’t so great at closing it, so you might have had the unpleasant experience of spoiled food after your child left the door open overnight.
The fridge and freezer can pose a more significant risk for young children. Large items can fall and cause serious injury. Children can also use the drawers or shelves of the appliances as stepping stools to reach high areas.
For both your sanity and your child’s safety, it’s best to find a way to babyproof refrigerators and freezers.
Babyproofing Refrigerators and Freezers: Tips
You need to find a way to keep your kid out of these appliances while allowing adults easy access. This is easier said than done. All of the products out there have their pros and cons, and you might need to experiment with a few to find what works for you.
If you have an in-door ice and/or water dispenser, you’ll probably find out soon enough that these are a disaster with young children. Even when they are old enough to get their own water, they manage to spill and cause a mess. Check your refrigerator manual as most fridges have a way to lock the dispensers.
Babyproofing Refrigerators and Freezers: Recommended Products
The best option for these appliance are the good ‘ol EliteBaby Adjustable Child Safety Locks, which you can also use for drawers, cabinets, toilets, etc. Although there are some refrigerator-specific options out there (see below), I’ve found that none work quite as well as these all-purpose locks.
- Easy for adults to use
- Difficult for children to figure out
- Simple installation, no drilling required
- Adhesive can pull paint off when locks are removed
- Cannot be adjusted after installation
A cheap option for standard refrigerators (not French door) is the Safety 1st Multi-Purpose Appliance Lock. Some kids do well with these locks, but I’ve found that rowdier kids tend to bust right through them. Be sure to clean the surface of your fridge before applying for maximum adhesion.
- Simple installation; no drilling required
- Blends well with decor
- Low price point
- Adhesion can come off over time
- Flimsy; some kids can get right past these
If you have a French door refrigerator, the Dreambaby Locking Strap Latch is a good option. It is essentially a seat belt for your fridge, holding the doors closed with a simple latch mechanism.