If your toddler sleepwalks during the night, your child's pediatrician may refer him or her to a sleep disorder doctor for additional care. But until your child's first appointment, you can childproof your home, including the windows. Sleepwalkers can open and exit windows, even if you lock them at night. Some windows don't have the childproof locks you need to prevent this from happening. Instead, choose childproof window locks with keys to protect your toddler. They may help keep your child safe and secure when he or she sleepwalks.
What to Know about Childproof Locks and Keys
Although he or she is small, your sleepwalking toddler may open and climb out of a bedroom window, especially if you place his or her bed right under it. Your child could do this with any window in your home, even if you have flip locks installed. It's possible for your little one to place a chair or small table in front of a flip-locked window, unlock it and climb through.
However, you can keep your little one from doing any of these frightening things by securing every window in the home with childproof window locks that come with special keys. These types of locks come with one or two separate keys that you place in a safe place after you secure the windows, such as on top of your refrigerator, in the top cabinet above your kitchen sink, or on the chain of your car keys.
Other safety locks for kids may not have the unique features or benefits above. Instead, they may have buttons made right into them that your child can easily press and unlock during the night. A number of other childproof safety locks come with latches. If your child is strong enough, he or she can easily flip the latch from close to open within a few seconds. In addition, both types of window safety locks may break off if your toddler pulls them too hard.
When you're ready to safeguard your home to keep your toddler safe, you can order your window locks with keys from diapers.com or some other specialty outlet for children.
How to Install Your Childproof Locks and Keys
Once the locks and keys arrive to your home, you should read over the products' instructions carefully to make sure you have everything you need to install them. You may need to obtain certain tools like a screwdriver to place the locks. After you read the instructions and obtain the right tools, follow the tips below to install locks:
- Where to place the locks: You can generally place the locks anywhere on the windows, as long as they prevent the lower half of the window from moving up when your child attempts to lift them. You may want to place the locks between the sashes and lower window frames for the best protection.
- When to install the locks: In order to prevent installation errors, you may want to install the locks when your child takes a nap during the day. This gives you time to read over the instructions carefully and to call customer service for assistance if you have problems installing the products.
- How to test the locks: After you install the locks, take time to test them for errors or other issues. Use your keys to lock the windows and then try to lift the bottom halves up. If the windows don't lift or move in any way, you installed them correctly. If you can lift or move the windows in the locked position, remove the locks and reinstall them to fix this issue.
Knowing that your home is secure and safe for your sleepwalking toddler at night may help you sleep better yourself.
When your child finally sees the sleep disorder specialist, be sure to ask the doctor or look at a site like http://www.billingsclinic.com for more information about childproofing your home. The doctor may offer more safety tips that you can use to protect your little one any time of the day and not just at night.