The Importance of Re-Keying Your Home

Keyless Locks Help Protect Children With Autism

Having secure door locks may be a necessity if you have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Often, children with autism wander outside of the house or even away from the home. The National Autism Association reports that almost half of all children with autism try to wander away from home, school, daycare programs, or the homes of other caregivers. Although it's a serious problem, installing keyless locks is one way to help protect your child.

Why Kids With Autism Wander

Some kids with autism wander when they become overwhelmed with their environment and try to escape the anxieties brought on by sensory overload. Others are impulsive, or like to explore and are attracted to a favorite place. Many children with autism become fixated on certain sounds or objects, and may wander off when something attracts their attention.

Although their reasons for wandering vary, autistic children often have a particular place or activity in mind when they wander away from home or school. The challenge parents and other caregivers face is finding ways to keep them out of harm's way.

Reasons Standard Locks Don't Always Work

While keyless lock systems cost more to install than traditional locks, they reduce the risk of your child getting out of your home and wandering away. It isn't uncommon for kids with autism to learn how to operate slide bolts, a type of lock people use to secure doors from the inside. Even if you install a slide bolt higher on the door, young children can get to the lock by standing on a chair or other item they can move to reach the lock. This puts the child at added risk of falling and being hurt.

Single deadbolt locks are another common type of lock people use, but they don't work well at keeping wandering children in. The locks can be unlocked from the inside by twisting the knob.

Although a slide bolt that has a spring-loaded catch is harder to unlock, many kids eventually figure out how to work the lock. However, this type of lock may slow your child down and give you time to realize what he or she is doing.

Keyless Locks

Keyless locks are an option for doors leading to the outside that you want to lock to keep your child inside. Since there are different types of keyless locks available, consulting a skilled locksmith like Ottawa Key Shop can help you determine the choice of locks that best suits your home and situation.

  • Keypad system. Some keyless locks come in the form of a keypad system that requires you to enter a code. Although you must remember the code, this type of keyless lock reduces the risk of your child unlocking the door and getting outside the house without you knowing.

  • Keycard locks. Some locks require that you swipe a card instead of using a key. Although you should keep the keycard in a safe place where your child can't get to it, you will need to have the card easily accessible in case of fire or other emergency that requires leaving your home quickly.

  • Fingerprint systems. Fingerprint door locks are another option for giving you peace of mind. You don't need a door key and your child can't get out. Since you won't be adding your child's fingerprint to the system, the door won't open for him or her.