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Expectant Mom's Resource Center Manufacturers' Websites SHOPPING MALL Product Features

Product Features

Cabinet Latch

Cabinet latches are a critical component to a home babyproofing program and therefore an essential part of your safety offering. Most cabinet latches can also be used on drawers and are a must in the kitchen and bathroom. There is a wide variety of latches on the market, from the "six for $1.99" Asian imports found in the mass market, to higher quality devices that can retail for many times that amount. Cabinet latches require simple installation with a drill and screwdriver. For fine furniture, "U" shaped devices are popular. They loop through door handles and work like a bicycle chain.

A good quality cabinet latch should be readily accessible to an adult, but it should prevent the child from opening the cabinet. This is not as easy as it sounds; resourceful toddlers can defeat the inexpensive “push-down” latches with ease. A superior latch should not only prevent the child from opening the cabinet, but it should also prevent the child from pinching little fingers when the door swings shut. There are several quality latches that have this feature.

For example, one manufacturer’s cabinet latch features a patented “trap-slot” design that allows the cabinet door to open about an inch and then locks it securely in place, preventing finger pinching. This product requires a unique “down and out” motion to open the lock. Children do not have the dexterity to perform this maneuver, but parents can do it with ease. Another manufacturer’s cabinet latch has a deactivation feature. One can flip the activation lever and the latch is made secure.

A quality latch should be made out of a strong but pliable plastic material, like nylon; inexpensive alternatives are brittle and prone to breaking. We have all seen the remnants of broken latches in our friends homes. These are products to avoid!

Advice for Parents
It's important for parents to realize that cabinet latches are not a substitute for adult supervision. It's a good idea to relocate toxic chemicals from underneath kitchen sinks and bath vanities to a higher location, even if cabinet latches are used. It's also helpful to leave one kitchen cabinet unsecured with things like plastic food storage containers and pots and pans accessible to the child. Children are naturally curious, and allowing them to explore their environment—in a supervised fashion—is healthy and educational.

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