How Do You Childproof A Refrigerator Water Dispenser? | 5 Super Simple Methods
The older children get, the more curious and playful they become. Their home becomes their playground, where they find new things to explore every day.
If the refrigerator has caught your toddler’s eye and become the latest object of their curiosity, this post is for you.
We’re sharing a few ways you can childproof the area around the refrigerator as well as the water dispenser on the fridge, which is a common temptation for children as they get taller and can reach the lever.
How do you childproof a refrigerator water dispenser?
There are a few simple steps you can take to childproof a refrigerator water dispenser. While they aren’t permanent, they are effective at deterring a child from making a huge mess in the kitchen.
Switch the default setting to ice
You can change the default setting on the dispenser panel on your refrigerator to ice instead of water. This way, if your child makes it to the fridge and is able to push the lever, ice will come out instead of water.
Ice isn’t ideal to clean up in the kitchen either, but it’s certainly less messy than water. Ice won’t soak your child and turn into a huge mess that you’ll have to clean up.
Put plastic or a block of wood behind the dispenser lever
Get a small piece of plastic or wood and push it carefully behind the lever so it can’t be pushed backward. Doing this will prevent the lever from dispensing water or ice, so hopefully, your child will get bored when nothing happens and move on to explore something else.
You can easily remove the block when you need to use the dispenser, and put the piece of wood back in when you’re done.
Turn the water dispenser off
Most refrigerators have a shut-off valve somewhere on the refrigerator that you can turn so the dispenser is completely off. If you find it easier to just remove the possibility of your child playing with the fridge, that’s an option as well.
Once your toddler is older and they aren’t interested in the refrigerator water dispenser, you can turn the water back on.
When all else fails… install a baby gate
It’s certainly not the ideal solution, but remember that most phases are temporary for children. If you need to block off your kitchen from an unruly toddler who won’t leave the refrigerator alone, then you gotta do what you gotta do!
Baby gates are great because they’re mobile and can be folded down and stored away when necessary.
Related post: How to Childproof Your Fridge
How do I lock my water dispenser?
Most refrigerator water dispenser panels have an option to lock the water dispenser. Most are locked by pressing and holding down the “lock” button for 3-5 seconds, and they can be unlocked the same way.
It depends on what model and brand of fridge you have, but you can easily do a Google search for your refrigerator model and “how to lock my water dispenser” to find out or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.
You can also refer to the owner’s manual for your refrigerator, which will have instructions on how to lock and unlock the water dispenser.
Older refrigerators may not have this option on the control panel, but we still recommend consulting the owner’s manual to see if they include any suggestions for parents.
Oftentimes, children and toddlers need to learn from their own mistakes in a safe, controlled environment. Obviously, spilling water all over the floor is a mess most parents don’t want to deal with, especially on repeat.
Allowing your child to see what happens when they play with the fridge may teach them faster than any other deterrent will. They’ll find out that having cold water all over them is uncomfortable, and may move on after getting soaked a few times.
Did we cover the best ways to childproof a refrigerator water dispenser? Have you tried any of these for your own children yet? Leave us a comment!