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Child-proofing your kitchen cupboards is essential when you have a toddler, but most child-locks are a real eyesore — with plastic straps that ruin the look of your cabinets, while also proving infuriatingly difficult for adults to open too.
I was reluctant to install anything so exasperating and ugly in my own kitchen, but as my son grew more mobile, I knew the time had come to ensure he couldn't access any dangerous cleaning products or batteries.
Many of the most serious accidents in the home involving children occur in the kitchen, according to the the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA). Every year more than 67,000 children experience an accident in the kitchen, and 43,000 of those are aged under four years old.
To reduce the risk of accidents happening, ROSPA recommends keeping chemicals and batteries in a locked cupboard if possible. So I set about researching my options.
I wanted a locking mechanism that wouldn't involve drilling into my cupboard doors if possible, or having unsightly pieces of plastic wrapped around the handles. So I decided to try a set of magnetic locks.
There's no need to damage your cabinets to secure these locks in place. They simply affix to the inside of the door using strong adhesive (which can be peeled off when the locks are no longer required).
The set comes with an installation tool, which makes it simple to line up the two sections of the lock (one inside the door and one on the interior wall of the cabinet), so I spent very little time getting this system set up (and as any parent knows, 'time' is hard to come by with a toddler around).
Buy it: Aycorn Magnetic Safety Cupboard Locks for Children | £17.99 (Was £26.99) at Amazon
When you want to open the lock you just press one of the round magnetic 'keys' (pictured above) on the outside of the door opposite the locking mechanism and it will click open.
The locks can be disabled with a simple flick of the locking mechanism, so should you want to temporarily leave your cupboard unlocked while the kids are out, you can!
The pack contains enough locks for 10 cupboards and two keys – so if you lose one, you won't have to jimmy the locks to get to the dishwasher tablets.
There really is no sign of these locks on the outside of your cabinet doors. You'd have absolutely no idea I even had child locks in place from looking round my kitchen — that is, until you try to open the cupboard under the sink.
But if you do want a little reminder of where you've placed the locks, the set includes clear stickers with pictures of padlocks on them which you can place on the outside of your cabinet doors, so you know where to apply the key.
One thing to bear in mind: these won't work on extra thick doors — I tried using them on an antique drinks cabinet we store our glasses in and the magnet is not strong enough to connect through the solid wood door.
Also, I would suggest leaving one floor-level cabinet in your kitchen lock-free. Fill this cupboard with sturdy pots and pans you don't mind your toddler playing with, as they're inquisitive little souls and being able to unpack a cupboard full of objects is a good way to keep them busy while you get on with other things in the kitchen (and by 'other things' I mean having a cup of coffee while it is still hot).