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Old 06-18-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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Screen door child lock

With a VERY active 3yr old running around in the camper, it was important for me to come up with a workable way to safely "lock" the screen door to prevent it from flying open if pushed. We've all seen kids stick their heads out of the screed slider opening while pushing on the door... doesn't take much... and they turn the stairs into a very bumpy face first slide to the ground.

I looked around for something to purchase that would do the job and came up empty.
Lightening struck while I was in my local ACE hardware picking up some other items.

I used half of a window sash lock. I "notched" the door trim to allow it to flip around fully... and viola... safety lock!!
It is mounted out of the reach of the kids... but low enough that an adult can stand on the top outside step, reach their arm up in through the screen slider - and open the lock from the outside.

When it's locked... IF someone were to try to open the door... the bottom of the screen door will flex open about 3"... but then it stops. I've tried to force it to open while the lock is locked... let me tell you... I'll bend the door in half before that lock pops past that door jam. It's more than enough to keep a kid from face planting themselves into the ground. It's saved our kids several times - and give us incredible peace of mind where we're in the camper - and works 10x better than trying to "gate off" the door from the inside.

Hopefully this helps anyone else with kids struggling with the same problem.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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Nice and simple, I like it! The striker for my screen door broke and if I can't find a cheap replacement I may just go with your set-up full time.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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Oh boy, now I have a reason to get a Dremel tool.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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You are a much better parent than I am. I figured one fall and everyone would learn their lesson. Sort of like after the first BBQ/Campfire burn, we don't really have to worry about that anymore :-)
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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A fall out of the door may do more than teach a lesson!
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
You are a much better parent than I am. I figured one fall and everyone would learn their lesson. Sort of like after the first BBQ/Campfire burn, we don't really have to worry about that anymore :-)
We've been down the campfire burn route. Not because my son was irresponsible and reached in... but because he tripped... stumbled about eight steps tying to right his balance... and ended up hands first into the firepit. Being a 3yr old, and unable to get himself out (his feet were up off the ground) - he stayed there screaming until we got to him.

Lesson learned? Yeah... along with third degree burns and his hands wrapped for three weeks. In my opinion... lessons that involve risk of severe injury don't need to be "learned" through experience.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=J.Lockhart;139476]With a VERY active 3yr old running around in the camper, it was important for me to come up with a workable way to safely "lock" the screen door to prevent it from flying open if pushed. We've all seen kids stick their heads out of the screed slider opening while pushing on the door... doesn't take much... and they turn the stairs into a very bumpy face first slide to the ground.

I looked around for something to purchase that would do the job and came up empty.
Lightening struck while I was in my local ACE hardware picking up some other items.

That's a good one! I did the screen door deadbolt on mine and mounted it high out of reach of little fingers. I also put a pet screen on the inside of the lower panel as well as a removable bannister on the outside steps. Being a 5'er with three steps and 3 ft to fall you can't be too safe. You're remote in most cases and if it's preventable you'll be blaming yourself for not being preventative IMHO. While some lessons are learned the hard way usually the personal guilt is far worse of a lesson for the parent.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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I added a simple hook and eye to keep my dog from opening the door.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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My sons 18....but I probably would have done something like this ages 2-5....

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Old 06-18-2013, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Lockhart View Post
We've been down the campfire burn route. Not because my son was irresponsible and reached in... but because he tripped... stumbled about eight steps tying to right his balance... and ended up hands first into the firepit. Being a 3yr old, and unable to get himself out (his feet were up off the ground) - he stayed there screaming until we got to him.

Lesson learned? Yeah... along with third degree burns and his hands wrapped for three weeks. In my opinion... lessons that involve risk of severe injury don't need to be "learned" through experience.
Attachment 8653
My Grandson had the almost same accident happen in a fire pit when he was 6. I still have nightmares of his screaming on the way to the emergency room. He just graduated from HS and a scholarship to college.
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