I love patios. You love patios. Chances are, your children love them just as much as we do. However, an unsupervised child on an outdoor patio can lead to accidents and injury. Pools, fire pits, electrical outlets, potential falls — the patio is not a place for a kid to be without supervision!
Luckily, there are a few excellent ways that you can childproof your sliding patio door to keep your kiddos inside the house.
Securing Your Sliding Patio Door With A Lock
There are many sliding patio door locks available on the market (and we actually wrote an article about how patio door locks work). You should choose one that works for the age and height of your child. These locks should work in addition to the locks on your doors.
If your kid is a climber or particularly adept at opening and closing things, the doors can be pretty easy to figure out. However, you have one advantage that your kids don’t have: height!
Place the additional lock at a height that only adults can reach and you should be in the clear.
These locks are a secondary measure to childproof your doors. Some will require you to secure them to the wall near the door, and others will not require any real installation.
Securing Your Sliding Patio Door With A Bar
Don’t you remember growing up when your Dad cut down that old broomstick and stuck it in the track of the sliding door every night? Was that just me?
Well, things have changed slightly since then (although not that much) and the bars are much stronger. Now, the bars fit precisely in the door track and they are harder to remove.
It’s a strong solution, but it’s not very child-proof. The thing is, once your child sees you do this a few times, they will very likely start messing with the bar. We all know how that goes.
This is our least favorite method of securing a sliding patio door. It’s smart to use it in addition to the lock on your door, and it should never be used as the only way to childproof the door.
Securing Your Sliding Patio Door Electronically
Setting up a home security system or a door alarm is a great way to childproof your home.
Although technology can fail and the only real way to ensure your child’s safety is to watch them properly, the electronic systems tend to be pretty useful and accurate.
This method is going to be a bit more expensive than the others we have mentioned, but it is a long term solution even as your kid’s age. Although you may not truly need an alarm to go off when your ten years old goes outside, it is nice to know that they have left the house. Mainly because they probably forgot to shut the door when they left!
The home security system/electronic door alarms are going to work not just when you have a toddler but also as your children age. They also work to increase the overall safety of your home and not just to childproof it.
Can I Use Baby Gates To Secure A Sliding Patio Door?
If you don’t want to or can’t secure the actual door, then you should look for ways to block your child from the entire door area. If you have a baby or a very young toddler, you may be able to use childproof baby gates to keep them out of the area.
The more time they spend away from the door, the less chance they have to learn how to open it and put themselves in danger.
Is This A DIY Project Or Do I Need A Professional?
Truly childproofing your sliding patio doors should be done when you baby-proof the rest of your house. When your child starts rolling over and sitting, you should know that crawling comes next. As soon as crawling happens, your entire home should be baby-proofed.
Now we certainly understand that your eight-month-old will not be capable of sliding open your patio doors, but it won’t be long before they can. While you are on the baby proofing kick, do it all at once. If you wait, you may forget something, and it’s not worth the risk.
You can hire a company to come in and do the entire process for you. Or you can crawl around on your hands and knees and see the world through your child’s eyes.