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How to Childproof a Patio Sliding Screen Door

Rebecca Moore

Sliding screen doors are an excellent way to let in fresh air, but unfortunately they can be less than safe for babies and small children. Sliding screen doors provide a lot of temptation for a baby or toddler who can see out of them to the world beyond.

Not only can babies and toddlers pinch their fingers in sliding screen doors, they can also damage the screens and may be able to easily escape through them if they are not secured properly.

  1. Install an automatic sliding door closer at the top of the sliding door to cause the door to close automatically after being opened. The closer comes in handy for times when someone goes through the door with his hands full or simply forgets to close the door.

    A closed door is the first important safety feature in keeping a child from going outside unsupervised.

  2. Install a sliding door lock. While a closed door is good, a locked one is even better. A sliding screen door lock will keep a child from opening the door and getting out.

  3. Install a sliding screen door alarm. Alarms are great for notifying parents that a child has managed to open the sliding screen door. A parent can hear the alarm go off from anywhere in the home and quickly check to see whether the child has gone outside. The alarm shuts off as soon as the door closes.

  4. Install pet-quality screens. Pets and children who put a lot of weight against screens can cause them to tear or be pushed out of the frames. Pet-quality screens not only keep pets from pushing through the sliding screen door but also prevent children from pushing through it.

  5. Place rubber gym-type flooring on the concrete patio to cushion falls and prevent scrapes.