Fact: toddlers love trash cans. When your baby is about 1 year old, you’ll find they love to take objects out of containers. Nothing is more satisfying to them than stumbling upon a trash can, with a seemingly endless amount of fun things to pull out and occasionally eat (gross but true).
Clearly, you don’t want your child strewing garbage all over your floor. Additionally, children can pull out dangerous items, such as sharp items or choking hazards. You also want to avoid potential germs and disease from things like raw meat and old band aids. Finally, the trash bag itself can pose a hazard if your child bites off a piece of the bag or somehow gets the bag over their head.
Trash Cans: Tips
As much as possible, you should try to hide trash cans in cabinets or behind locked doors. The hardest trash can to do this with is generally your kitchen trash can. If space allows, you can use a product like the Rev-a-Shelf Pull-Out Waste Container to contain your trash can in a locked cabinet. Smaller bathroom trash cans can usually be stored in cabinets as well.
- Relatively easy installation
- Keeps trash out of sight
- Bins for both trash and recycling
- Does not fit all cabinets
- Requires drilling
Trash Cans: Recommended Products
If stashing your trash cans in cabinets isn’t an option, you can find locking trash cans, such as the Simple Human Slim Plastic Step Trash Can. This trash can has a simple locking mechanism on the top lid that keeps children out but allows easy access for adults.
- Easy-to-use locking mechanism
- Keeps children out
- Slim design fits in most spaces
- Lightweight so can be easily pulled over by toddler
- Lock can start to stick over time
An effective, but somewhat more annoying, option are the all-purpose EliteBaby Adjustable Child Safety Locks. While these will easily keep a curious toddler at bay, they do require a bit of effort for adults to open as well. Considering how many times a day most of us open our trash cans, this might prove unwieldy.
- Difficult for children to open
- Simple installation, no drilling required
- Works with most trash cans
- Can be annoying to repeatedly open
- Cannot be adjusted after installation