Washers and Dryers are another one of those household appliances that children seem drawn to. There is a risk of injury from a slamming door or the more serious risk of the machine being turned on while your child is inside (unlikely, but possible, especially if you have more than one child). There is also a risk to your sanity, as kids love to pull items out of the machines and stick random toys inside of them, creating a mess.
Generally, front-loading washers and dryers are the only ones that really need babyproofing. Most top loaders are tall enough that children cannot access them. Just be sure to keep climbable items away and ensure that all cords and gas lines are not reachable.
Babyproofing Washing Machines & Dryers: Tips
If possible, it’s best to keep the laundry room off-limits by babyproofing the door leading to the laundry room.. In addition to the risks posed by washers and dryers, there are usually chemicals stored in laundry rooms. As you’ve likely seen in the news, the easy-to-use detergent packs are increasingly a problem; these look like candy to a child but pose a serious risk if swallowed. You should ideally use liquid or powdered detergent until your child is older.
If you have newer model appliances, your washing machine and dryer likely have a built in child lock. Check your owners manual to learn how to activate and use the lock; it’s the easiest and best method of babyproofing.
Babyproofing Washing Machines & Dryers: Product Recommendations
If your appliances don’t have a built-in lock, you can try the Safety 1st Front Loader Washer/Dryer Lock. This product installs with adhesive, and like many adhesive products, it tends to wear off over time. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly before installation. You can also buy cheap double-sided 3M adhesive at Wal-Mart or Home Depot if find the included adhesive isn’t quite strong enough.
- Easy installation
- Fits nearly all front loaders
- Adhesion tends to wear off over time
The EliteBaby Adjustable Child Safety Locks are another, more all-purpose, option for washers and dryers. You do need to watch out for heat with these, as they are not considered heat-resistant. If the outside of your appliances tends to get hot while running, you’ll need to go with the Safety 1st Front Loader Washer/Dryer Lock mentioned above.