We have never really gone overboard on the whole babyproofing thing. We did the stairgates and padded a couple of sharp corners, but didn’t bother with cupboard or fridge latches. There is only one cupboard that had any dangerous things in anyway – all the cleaning stuff. Both the kids seemed to go through a one month period where they really wanted to get into it. I just tied it shut with a tea towel and repeatedly said no because it was dangerous and boring. Luckily I very rarely go into that cupboard anyway and they learned that was the one place they were not allowed to get into. Strangely enough they both preferred the pan cupboard where they could bang the shit out of really noisy things anyway.
Basically I wanted to keep them safe but not to the point where I would actually have to do any DIY. Which was a very successful plan until I realised that was raising my children in a potential death trap.
The first time we viewed our house it was bathed in light. It was such a contrast to our dark ex council flat in Stockwell that we put our blinkers on to the various damp patches on the walls and the wallpaper yellowed with cigarette smoke and bought it. The lovely huge windows had two downsides. Firstly they went on to prove very expensive in window coverings and secondly, they swing out a full 90 degrees and the sill was pretty low. But we didn’t really panic – we knew we would have to do something eventually but there was no chance of our kids being able to reach the handle for years yet.
But then came the time that I went to get my child from his nap as he was just turning two and found that he had climbed from the top of his headboard onto the ledge and was walking Spider-Man style behind the blind towards the window where he would only have had to twist the handle round for it to swing out with no resistance which would not have ended well. There may have been some shouting and swearing and hugging (me) and some crying (him) (oh, ok and me as well too). From that point on the window was locked … permanently.
We did buy some of the ikea window lockers – they are ridiculously cheap. But they are not pretty, and look like a temporary (and very plastic) solution. If I’m sticking something – then looking a bit crap for a while is fine, but if you are drilling holes then I’d rather it was a permanent solution. So we never put them in and the window stayed closed.
But then a lovely friend (who got a little over excited when I got mumsnet blog of the day once) offered me a Locit window restrictor to review, so I said yes. You can buy them from a company called Window Ware. They cost £14 and you can get them online.
It was very easy to install – I surprised myself by managing to get it all done and cleaned up within 15 minutes. Honestly there really was very minimal swearing (apart from when I drilled the hole into the hinge side of the window rather than the side that actually opens – see there was a good reason we were avoiding DIY).
It is formed of a flexible cable that comes out of a base unit that screws into the window on one side – this then clicks into the housing that is fixed on the frame on the other side. The website describes the cable as having been ‘load tested to 2kN for 1 minute’. I have no idea what this means but it sounds like it should be tough enough to take a bit of toddler chewing. You can press a button to release the cable if you want to open the window completely or there is a key which locks it in place.
The really good thing about this being a product from a window manufacturer is that it does not look like a kid’s safety product, it looks like part of the window instead. It feels robust and solid and like something I’d be quite happy to have on there from now until the point where I’d quite like a window lock to stop my child climbing out of the window at night to go to a party. I am most pleased – I’m afraid I don’t have a star rating system so here are five happy faces and a dancing dog I drew myself.
I was given this product to review – but my opinion and words are my own and cannot be bought! I review hardly anything because of two reasons. 1) Very few people know I am alive. 2) My house is already filled to the brim with things I don’t really need 99.7% of which is cheap plastic tat from the front of magazines and party bags, so I’ll only take anything to review that I genuinely want and will use and that other people may find interesting to read about.