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  #1  
Old 04-01-2010, 05:21 PM
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Default Ideas for Keeping Toddler From Opening Door?

We have a toddler who has a new pre-occupation with opening the front door and running outside. Any ideas what we can do? I don't think we're allowed to lock the doors, but the little girl is constantly running to the front door and opening it. Most of the time she opens it and runs before we can catch her. We're not very close to the road, thankfully, so we know she won't run out into the street, but it's still dangerous. It's just a good thing there's two adults there most of the time, so one of us can run outside right behind her and bring her back in. She loves it, like it's a game. She'll open the door and grin at us before darting out. Her mom knows about it, and is working with her also, trying to teach her not to open it. So far this is a fun new game that she doesn't seem to be forgetting about anytime soon! We give her a LOT of positive attention in the appropriate times, so it's not that she just needs the extra. It's her age, I figure, but dangerous all the same. We need some ideas if you have any
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:59 AM
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i have a pond on my property, and as an extra safety precaution, my licensor suggested i put alarms on my doors to alert me everytime they are opened. they are very loud and scare the beegees outta everyone. this may be enough to scare her when she opens the door, i know it does my kids. the older ones expect it now, but the little ones are very unsure when they hear it. i got them at lowe's for $20 a piece, and after spending $60 (3 doors) i then found them at $tree for a buck.....ugh!

i'm not big on time outs, but this may be a case where she needs to learn it is not O.K. to do this. if she is an older toddler, i would def. have her sit, maybe even miss a fun activitiy. if she is a younger toddler, a pack and play would become her new best friend
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:27 AM
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What about those cheapie doorknob covers? Have you tried those yet?
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:36 AM
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I would definately be locking my inside door....or else the screen door if there is one. Put a note on the front door that says "Please knock and we will be right there", this child needs some major discipline. You don't say exactly how old she is, but if she is old enough to do what she is doing, then she is old enough for the consequences. Why would you NOT be disciplining her on this. Also, I would consider getting an enclose play area (can be purchased for around $50) for her to spend her time in. That is what those are made for, to keep young children safe.

Mels idea on the door alarms is good, but then what happens if someone comes in from outside, does it still go off. I would take care of the problem--the girl---before I took measures to put up alarms......kids need to learn to listen and learn their boundries.

I have hung bells from my back door before when the lock broke. Not for my dc kids, just so if night someone opened it I would hear it.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:50 AM
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Here's a link to some on amazon. I used ones like these for years and they do the trick. Note though that I did not depend on them to keep the door shut. They will figure out how to pop them off eventually. It's just to slow them down enough so you can catch them and do whatever it is you do to discourage bad behavior.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Cross...0208095&sr=8-2
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:13 AM
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What about those cheapie doorknob covers? Have you tried those yet?
Yes, this is what I was going to suggest.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:22 AM
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Hook and eye on the screen. You can lock your front door. It would be unsafe not to.

I have a door alarm on my door that notifies me of any entry/exit. Got it at Lowes. Parents have gotten them for their little escapees especially if the live in apartments for the balcony doorwalls/windows.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:30 AM
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I totally agree that the door SHOULD be locked for safety, but isn't it against licensing regs in some places? I could swear I've heard that before...
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:22 AM
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Usually if you read the licensing rules it says you have to have a 'open door policy' not that you need to leave your door unlocked.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:24 AM
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What about a baby gate? then the door can still be unlocked if your not allowed to lock it. In my experience, Little ones that figure out how to open doors figure out how to unlock them. There are extra tall gates that you can purchase that might be taller than the door knob. good luck
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:28 PM
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I like the babygate idea. I have all the kid's cubbies at the door so built a gate between the cubbies to designate an entrance area, It also keeps the youngest out of the cubbies,
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:29 PM
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Thanks for all the great replies! Those are really good ideas! The toddler is 21 months old. I also believe she should be disciplined for opening the door and running. All the other older children are, but at this age, I really don't believe a time-out is helpful, as they don't understand yet (I know so many people who say toddlers understand by that age, but my own experience has shown otherwise). But I don't know of any other way of disciplining her. I really like the idea of the cheapy doorknob covers! I don't know why we didn't think of that yet! We used them at my last preschool in the toddler room. I know we're not allowed to lock the doors (I already asked the owner several times, and because of licensing regulations, we can't. Otherwise that's what we would have been doing long ago for other safety reasons. Yeah, she's old enough to unlock it, but it does slow her down enough for us to catch her usually). I also mentioned the baby gate thing to the owner, and again, because of licensing regulations, we can't do that, either, to block the door way entrance.
So I think the door knob covers and the alarm are the next thing I'll mention to the owner. She suggested the alarm already, but it's a pain because of how often it would go off, especially in the morning at drop off and in the evening at pick-up. Plus during nap time when 3 families pick their children up at different times while everyone is still sleeping. But if it can be turned off during these times, that would help.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:21 AM
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I'd use a sharp, "No." Along with removing her from the area to the other side of the room. If she goes for it repeatedly and acts like its a game, I'd do a younger version of time-out and put her in a high chair or pack-n-play for a while. I'd do differently if it was my child, but our hands are tied with the daycare kids. Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:41 PM
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I talked to the owner today about using the door knob covers, and whether we'd be allowed to use them. She said that it is against the licensing regulations also. Apparently the children have to be able to have access to the door and be able to open it on their own because of fire escape obstruction or something like that. The way I see it, they think the children should be able to do whatever they want, and if they choose to run out the door and get hurt, that's ok because it will be the daycare in trouble and getting shut down, all because licensing want the kids to run the show. Are daycares allowed to do ANYTHING to help keep the kids safe and disciplined? This is the regulations for home daycares. Why can't the owners lock their own doors if they want to? It doesn't sound a bit safe to me. A child could sneak out of the building at anytime and get hurt or killed. A stranger could come in and do whatever... the list goes on. Does anyone else see this as making NO SENSE? ok... I'm done with my spill lol
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:10 AM
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Hmm, that doesn't sound right to me but then again every state is different. What stste are you in? And this is a home daycare? I live in CA and we can lock the door, I have door-knob covers on almost all of my doors (except the bathroom so that the kids can use it when they need to) and a safety gate on the stairs and in front of the foyer to keep them away from the front door. Not being able to lock your doors doesn't seem safe to me and neither does letting the children run out on their own in an emergency. That's what were here for. To escort everyone out safely. If someone knew that someone else was doing daycare and knew they weren't allowed to lock their doors then it would be easy for them to just walk in and potentially just grab one of the kids and run. I know we have an "open door policy" that means that any time that a parent wants to drop by to check in on things they can do so but I don't have to keep my door unlocked. They just knock or call and I'll unlock the door for them. Not being able to lock the doors or not being able to put door-knob covers on doors just doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:23 AM
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When I worked at a center all the doors HAD to be unlocked from the inside. Couldn't get in, but just a push would get you out.
But that's at a center where most of them have to have pull down fire alarms and sprinklers also.

At my home, doors to the outside are locked and I never let the kids open them. They have to stand on the other side of the entrance carpet while waiting to go outside. If they get right up on the door in an attempt to be first, they have to go to the back of the line. I make it all taboo to even go near the outside doors and the gates outside, which works great until the parents show up..... then the kids decide they can stick it to me and bolt. All the safety talk goes out the door when the parents open it.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:21 PM
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Does anyone know where I could look it up to see exactly what licensing regulations are for Indiana where it pertains to outside doors? I just wonder if maybe there was a mis-understanding somewhere. Seriously, I don't get why a home daycare cannot lock their doors. If I were a parent and I thought my child could just run out the door that easily, I would be very unsettled leaving them there. Or if I thought someone could come in at anytime and snatch a child and run, like someone mentioned. That would be all too easy at nap time and after when there's only one adult there, and that adult could be busy helping a child in the bathroom or whatever, and another child could make a run for it. It used to be taboo here, too, for the children to open the door and go outside by themselves, but then a new 2 1/2 yr old came in and started doing it, and no matter how many time outs he received, this toddler must have noticed him doing it, so now she does it ALL the time. Lately it seems she does it more of a way to get attention than anything, because she's been watching us when she opens it, and gets a grin on her face. But seriously, a 21 mo old is NOT going to understand a time-out (and even if she did understand that that's why she got sat in a chair, what good would it do? Why not do whatever you want when all anyone can do to you is sit you in a chair for a minute?) And if we ignore her, she still goes ahead and runs out. I wonder what the licensing people would say if we asked what we're supposed to do to keep these children safe if we can't prevent them from opening the door.... anyway my main question is: where can I find all the regulations for home daycare as it has to do with outside doors?
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:14 PM
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Does anyone know where I could look it up to see exactly what licensing regulations are for Indiana where it pertains to outside doors? I just wonder if maybe there was a mis-understanding somewhere. Seriously, I don't get why a home daycare cannot lock their doors. If I were a parent and I thought my child could just run out the door that easily, I would be very unsettled leaving them there. Or if I thought someone could come in at anytime and snatch a child and run, like someone mentioned. That would be all too easy at nap time and after when there's only one adult there, and that adult could be busy helping a child in the bathroom or whatever, and another child could make a run for it. It used to be taboo here, too, for the children to open the door and go outside by themselves, but then a new 2 1/2 yr old came in and started doing it, and no matter how many time outs he received, this toddler must have noticed him doing it, so now she does it ALL the time. Lately it seems she does it more of a way to get attention than anything, because she's been watching us when she opens it, and gets a grin on her face. But seriously, a 21 mo old is NOT going to understand a time-out (and even if she did understand that that's why she got sat in a chair, what good would it do? Why not do whatever you want when all anyone can do to you is sit you in a chair for a minute?) And if we ignore her, she still goes ahead and runs out. I wonder what the licensing people would say if we asked what we're supposed to do to keep these children safe if we can't prevent them from opening the door.... anyway my main question is: where can I find all the regulations for home daycare as it has to do with outside doors?
Start here: http://www.in.gov/fssa/2552.htm
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:37 AM
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I followed the link above just out of curiosity and glanced at it and didn't see anything about locking doors or safety equipment for daycare homes. I could see how that wouldn't work for a daycare center because of so many families being able to come and go and for fire safety and such but under the safety section it didn't say anything about safety devices or not being able to lock doors. What it did say was how places unaccesible to children should be locked.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:12 PM
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That's what I'm finding also, Marina Vanessa. I wonder if the licensing lady did mis- understand the owner. Maybe she thought she was talking about a center... I don't know, but this thing of not being able to lock doors has became a cause for a LOT of concern.
This morning right after I got there, the owner had to run to the store really quick. Right after she left, a toddler started crying, so I went over to see what was wrong. Another child sat down on my lap where I was kneeling on the floor talking to the toddler. A grandmother walked in just then, and asked if I wanted her grandaughter inside, or if she was ok outside with the other children. WHAT OTHER CHILDREN OUTSIDE?! I jumped up and quickly realized that at least 5 other children had gone out the backdoor, that they NEVER use, and were at the pond looking in! It was like a nightmare! My worst fear had come true so soon, that children would leave the building without my knowing it. They were only there for a second, but AAAHHH! All the things that could have happend!!! As son as the owner came back I expained what had happend and at least she was very understanding and knew how quickly it could happen. I feel HORRIBLE, and have ALL day! My whole day was shot after that. The owner went to the store as soon as she got a chance and purchased those alarms for the doors. But what if a child had fallen in the pond today? What if the grandmother hadn't been so understanding and had called the state on us? Or even as little as to withdrawl her granddaughter from preschool. What if the owner hadn't been so understanding and decided to fire me. That would be grounds for firing someone I'm sure. Instead she didn't place blame on me at all, but I still feel AWFUL! So much can happen, and it seems the rules that are in place to protect children can actually harm them instead.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:59 PM
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Unfortunately, here's what I found on the link Michael put up:

"All approved exit doors shall be operable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge."
"Exits shall not be blocked in the child care home."

I hate licensing regs! Here at least they don't care about situations like this. You play by their rules or no license. It's your problem to figure out how to pull off the balancing act of following a zillion little rules AND trying to keep the kids safe and disciplined simultaneously.

I guess your only option IS the alarm on every door they have access to. A nice ear piercing one would be what I'd recommend. Maybe it'll scare them and discourage it.

I don't know your layout, but I'd make the children stay in the same room and within eyesight of you as you at all times. If you're allowed to babygate them into one room at a time I'd do that and if not you need to watch them like a hawk and whenever they go anywhere near the door or exitting the room you're in they get pulled all they way back to where you are. Don't let them get near where they should not be.

If someone thinks its a game, they need to go into a high chair or pack n play to play for a while. Not just a minute for each year of age. For a good while. It's not a time out, it's a safe place to play since they cannot handle the having run of the house and behave yet. No guarantee that'll be the way licensing sees it though. I once heard of a daycare where a dc boy (young toddler) bit another child, so the provider put him in a high chair so she could deal with the bitten child and not worry about a repeat occurrance while she was distracted. The licensing rep, who was there, wrote the provider up because you can't "punish" a child by confinement. Ridiculous!
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:27 PM
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I don't think that turning a deadbolt qualifies as "special knowledge"
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:41 PM
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you should consider an egress emergency door handle.... it is a one motion inter connecting door knob/handle... both the door knob and dead bolt turn at the same time...

it can be open from the inside, but not from the outside, without the use of a key. It is also heavy and hard for littles to open and close with out much needed effort... They are very expensive around $300-$450.00 for a good one, but it may be worth installing one to keep everyone safe and your business in good standing... I love mine...
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:11 PM
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I would gate the knob. Put a pressure gate in the doorframe in front of the knob. Lile a foot off the floor this is how i kept my own 3 yr old out of her brothers room for a time Or if it's flush put it outside the door, in the standard position. then close door like normal.
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