Home security for the wandering child

Most home security systems are intended to keep people out, but parents of wandering children often need the opposite. Follow these tricks to help keep your child safe and indoors.

Home security for the wandering child

1. Door chimes

  • Attaching a set of chimes or bells to your exterior doors is both decorative and helpful in keeping kids under a watchful eye. Whenever opened, the door will jingle excessively, making it more obvious to busy caregivers inside or those who've stepped out to take out the garbage or get the mail.
  • It's also a security method that isn't obvious to many small children which reduces the risks that they'll try to find ways around it.

2. Hook and eye locks

  • These locks are easy to find, easy to install and make a great first defence against children wandering without supervision. Placed high up on any door, they can successfully prevent exterior doors from being opened without the help of an adult.
  • However, hook and eye locks should never be the only prevention in place, as children have been known to stack books on chairs or use brooms or other handled instruments to open locks and go exploring.

3. Double-lock deadbolts

  • Some parents are uncomfortable installing a deadbolt lock that requires a key to open either side of the door. They worry about fire risks and whether they'll be able to get out of the house in an emergency, but for parents of children who wander, it's often worth the extra planning.
  • These locks deter children who would otherwise be able to open a regular deadbolt lock and go outside on their own. As any parent of a wandering child knows though, kids can be determined.
  • It's imperative that your keys are secured when you're indoors so your child cannot open the door without your help.

4. Battery operated door and window alarms

  • These inexpensive devices can be found at most big box stores and sound a chime when anyone moves by them. When placed strategically, these small systems can effectively keep a parent updated on their child's location.
  • Pets and other children can cause complications, and extra curious kids may surprise you in their ability to move them, but they're a convenient option for many homes.

5. Professional home security systems

  • Home security companies have experience designing systems for specifically this purpose. They can be modified to alert parents of an open door without waking other children in the home. They can be paired with video surveillance in case a child gets out before a parent gets to the door, providing authorities with an idea of where they've gone, as well as a recent picture and accurate information regarding clothing that can be passed on to the media or to volunteers.
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