2.5 year old escaping

LynnOctober 15, 2001

My nephew has been escaping the house. He can take down the baby gates and open the dead bolt lock. He has gotten out of the house twice. I was wondering what you guys would recemend my borther can do to keep his little one safe. He does not want to lock the door to his room (he feels that this would be a fire hazared).

Thanks for you advice.


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What about chain locks on all the doors leading to outside? That's what we do for our 2 yr old. She can't reach the chain locks because they are up really high.

-Tara W

    Bookmark   October 15, 2001 at 3:48PM
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Sounds like my son few years ago! He could climb anything. We put deadbolts up at the top of the doors, chain locks too. We nailed a wooden home made gate across the steps leading off the deck. We also put a lock on his bedroom door for naps, in case I was going to be outside in the garden while he was napping. He was a sleep walker and still is, my biggest fear was him going out in the middle of the night in winter. He really was a child that had to be watched carefully, he was/is intensely curious and fearless. He got alot better by the time he was 4. Good Luck, do what you have to to keep him safe.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2001 at 5:04PM
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We bought the balls you put over door knobs that are supposed to be child proof. two out of three of them worked, the bathroom one he could open but the outside door he couldn't. we also made a fence and nailed it across the outside of our sliding door when he started to push the screen out and we've nailed all the screens on our floor-to-ceiling windows in. I think the idea of having chains up high is really good.

We also put the lock on his room on backwards, not to lock him in (although I have been tempted) but to keep him from locking himself in.

At my moms house she had an alarm on the door (pool in backyard) that went off everytime somebody opened the door. that worked really really well. One part attached to the door and the other attached to the frame. I think it was originally for security, if someone broke in.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2001 at 7:33PM
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I got my husband to change the deadbolts on the doors leading outside. You need a key to lock/unlock them from the INSIDE. Then I put a nail in the door frame by the top hinge to hang the key on (just in case of an emergency we need to be able to open it quickly ~ and you DON'T want to be looking for a key to get out of your house in case of fire.)
It's a bit of an inconvenience but not like the "inconvenience" of losing a child.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2001 at 1:52AM
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Here in NYC at least, the deadbolts w/ keys on the inside are ILLEGAL--a major fire hazard. A boy in Brooklyn died up against the door that had that sort of key, and the key was supposed to be hanging on a hook nearby.

Sometimes it's harder to open a door with the key than with the knob; you could try keeping the key in the lock (though you'd have to worry if they could take it out).

Another idea would be to move the lock to up high, though that means another hole in the door.

Or, install a hook-and-eye up high on the door; since you're home, you can unlock it withouth a key, though the kid wouldn't be able to. That means more holes in the door, though.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2001 at 1:41PM
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When my first son was 2.5 I set him on my bed to watch a movie and then went to take a 2 minute shower. I did that all the time without a problem, closed my bedroom door, he never went anywhere. But this one day, I came out of the shower and he was gone and the front door was wide open. He was sitting on the driveway petting our indoor cat. In my towel, I was trying to get both the cat and him back inside.

The next day we put chain locks on the front and back doors, and I went back to taking him in the shower with me.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2001 at 4:33PM
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Stephanie...boy your story sound like mine except we lived in an apartment complex and had just returned from the pool. I put DS on the potty and started getting ready to shower when I hear the front door open. DS ran out naked to the pool and jumped in. Thank goodness he had just taken swimming lessons or eveyone would have seen me drop my towel and jump in to save him.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2001 at 5:55PM
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We have screen door and we put the hook-and-eye latches about a foot from the top of the door. The kids can't open them even standing on something. I would also suggest putting window guards on any windows on the second floor. My DS learned at about 3 how to open the triple track screens on the window which scared me half to death. We have two windows on the second floor that are a straight drop to the concrete driveway below. I put the guards in the windows in the summer and remove them in the winter when the windows are locked. I got mine at Home Depot- but you have to *ask* for them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2001 at 11:57PM
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On all the doors in our house we have 'hook and eye' locks now - really easy to just screw into the architrave and door, and easy to crash through if there is a fire.

On the main front door we also have a bolt lock - up really high so there is no way they can reach it (ours are three and two and at the collaboritive stage) now all I need to find out is how to stop them sticking bits of 'things' into the disk drive of my mac - just as an aside - my two year old threw a metal money box through his second floor bedroom window - they are all very expresive arn't they?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2001 at 4:53PM
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Just be sure you stop it now. My nephew was really good at escaping when he was 4. He would sneak out of the house and took the car keys with him and would turn the lights on or the radio and once started it. Meanwhile his parents would be sleeping and didn't have a clue. He knew enough to push a chair in from the dining room and to unlock the door. They wouldn't lock the deadbolt because they felt they didn't need to (huh?). One day he left the house and got in the neighbor guy's car and he caught him and returned him home. Then two years ago he got his 2 year old sister out of her crib and packed a bag for her and they were off to get mommy at work while their dad was sleeping (he was working night shift and his wife worked during the day and refused to pay for a sitter). They live across from a school and a teacher saw these two little kids walking down the street in hardly any clothes. Neither of them had on shirts or socks or shoes. They took them in the school and called the cops to report missing children. BIL woke up sometime later and realized they were gone. After a while he called the police and found out they were across the street in the school. BIL and SIL laughed about it later that day. It wasn't funny! They were walking down the street and were following the route they took to get their Mom and the nexty street they would have went on is VERY busy.

Do whatever it takes to keep that child in the house. We just have one of those eye hooks on the screen doors and that was all we had to worry about over the summer. Shane didn't try to escape like some of your children, thank goodness! I would also try punishing this child to get him to realize it's not okay to try to break out of the house. He's old enough to learn.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2001 at 8:30PM
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My son did this same thing at around 2 years old--he'd be gone in a flash. I called him Houdini. We bought the chain locks and that really worked well. Of course now, he knows what to do to get them open, but he can't quite figure out how to work all the locks the right way to get the door open.

Also, the main door we had a problem with was the one leading to the basement, with a lot of steps. We had those knobs with the stick-like key that we used just for that one. That way you could lock them from the inside, upstairs.

We also turned his bedroom knob around so that he could never lock himself in his room--I heard horror stories of when my husband was little, hee hee!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 2:31PM
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This happened to my sister. Her son was two, and he escaped while she was putting in a load of laundry. He ran all the way down the driveway, and onto the sidewalk of a fairly busy road. She was in her underwear and a T-shirt. Obviously she didn't give it a second thought, and just chased right behind him. After she caught him, she realized she was half a block from home, at noon on a weekday (heavier traffic) and realized she was in her underwear. He is now 10, and she still yells about it!!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 9:00PM
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This just happened to me this weekend. I was upstairs putting some laundry together when it got very quiet. I went downstairs to find the locked outside door unlocked and open. I ran outside and didn't see my 2.5 yr. old son anywhere. My husband pulled up just then and he took off down the street yelling for him. I called 9-1-1 and the police already had him. Someone found him about a block away. What we did that afternoon was put in a regular doorknob about a foot and a half above the other knob. This way both knobs have to be turned in order for him to get the door open. This way we didn't have to mess with extra locks or chairs being pulled up to the door to unlock deadbolts or chains. We're only a few days into it but it seems to be working very well.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 4:36AM
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