Child safety lock


Child safety lock

A child safety lock is a special-purpose lock for cabinets, drawers, bottles, etc. that is designed to help prevent children from getting at any dangerous contents. Young children are naturally curious about their surroundings and will always explore, but as they may be unaware of dangerous substances or situations, the results can be fatal. Numerous cases of poisoning have resulted from toddlers eating brightly-colored pills or spilling cleaning solvents[citation needed].

Contents

Containers

In the United States, child safety locking mechanisms have been required by law since 1970 on all containers for potentially dangerous medicines and household cleaning products. These laws are enforced by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. These locking mechanisms may take several forms, but the most common is a design that requires a tab to be pressed firmly as the lid is twisted. Great strength and dexterity are not required to open the bottle, but the process is deliberately made to be unintuitive, and the children who might recklessly eat pills are unable to decipher the opening instructions[citation needed]. Parents and guardians are firmly admonished [1] to keep all such containers out of the reach of children anyway, as no locking device is foolproof. It has become common practice in households to keep medicines and pills in high cabinets (sometimes locked) for safety[citation needed]. Cleaning agents, however, are still generally kept under sinks, where they are accessible[citation needed].

Cabinet doors

Another type of lock is an inexpensive device which can be easily installed into drawers, cabinets, or other openables to prevent easy opening. It consists of a bendable plastic rod with a blunt hook on one side, and is situated on the inside of the drawer or cabinet. The hook catches on part of the drawer or door and prevents opening unless the rod is bent downward simultaneously to disengage the hook. These devices are helpful to pet owners as well — a typical housecat may be able to paw open a cabinet filled with food, but would have trouble operating the hook mechanism. Also available are electromagnetic cabinet locking devices that are activated via remote control [1].

Automotive

Child safety locks are built into the rear doors of most cars to prevent rear seat passengers from opening the doors both during transit and while the vehicle is stationary; vehicles have been built with this feature since the early 1980s. Although called a child lock it is equally effective for adult passengers. The lock is typically engaged via a small switch on the edge of the door that is only accessible when the door is open. Some cars implement the locking mechanism as a rotary device which must be turned with the vehicle key, this design prevents "sticky fingered" passengers from disabling the lock as they enter the vehicle. In both designs the lock is completely inaccessible, especially to the passenger, when the door is closed. When the child lock is engaged, the interior handle is rendered useless, usually by disconnecting the handle from the latch mechanism, or by locking the handle in place. In this state the passenger cannot open the door from the inside and is effectively "locked in", the passenger can only be released by someone lifting the outside handle. Some vehicles implement window-locking mechanisms as well.

As well as the above mentioned mechanism, on many cars there are also window locks. These window locks prevent the windows in the back two doors of the car from opening all of the way. The windows only open to about three quarters. These were put into place from fear of a child 'falling' out of the window.

See also

References

  1. ^ Gaunt, Michael J. (May 2007). "Child-resistant does not mean Childproof". Pharmacy Times. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/issues/articles/2007-05_4676.asp. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 

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