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We've got a ball faucet1 in our kitchen, and a toddler (2 years, 10 months) who is really into playing in water and strong enough to haul around chairs - so we're regularly having to get her out of the sink and clean up the huge puddle she leaves behind.

I've been utterly unable to find a way to child-safe this thing. Searching Google leads to a bunch of articles on how to repair them (apparently, they're prone to leaking), or information on bar faucets (which have a similar name).

DIY'ing it has also been a big let-down because, while I can secure it's vertical movement fairly well, it takes a surprisingly small amount of twist for the water to start flowing.

Does anyone know how to secure one of these?

1: While not the exact model, this is a good example of the type, and very close to what we have. enter image description here

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    Can you do something with the chairs? I'm not sure how a toddler can get a chair to the sink, etc., without time for intervention. Also, though this is not what you've asked, have you tried forbidding her from playing at the sink without an adult present? Oct 26 '21 at 20:55
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    I presume you’ve tried securing it with a big rubber band (between spout and handle)? Is it an option to secure the room? If she can reach the tap, then in theory she can reach the hob hot plate and controls with the same chair method (switch definitely out of reach?). Baby Dan baby den let us put a "fence" across one of our rooms. Would she remember the tap if it was all hidden by a bag? Maximum mobility, minimum sense is a tough stage!
    – Pam
    Oct 26 '21 at 21:13
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    Yep, and the rubber band is great for restricting vertical movement. Unfortunately, these faucets also start if you turn them, and they take a shockingly small turn to get the water going. Unless we can convince our landlord to let us install a door, securing the room would be difficult because she can climb over all the baby gates we've tried. She's got a good memory, and hiding other stuff hasn't worked, so I'm not optimistic about how well bagging the tap would work. The stove controls are child-safe when they're off, so that's not a concern as long as we don't walk away while it's lit
    – Morgen
    Oct 26 '21 at 21:27
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    Hmmm, I’d be inclined to cover it with a box big enough to be hard to grasp with toddler hands but relatively light (just in case). We had some success protecting our lower bookshelves with big sheets of Perspex velcroed on. Might be you can do the same in front of the sink. Otherwise I’d be inclined to get a big, absorbent, memory foam bath mat for in front of the sink to catch the puddle and make the chair harder to get in place in front of the sink.
    – Pam
    Oct 26 '21 at 21:41
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    Toddler is a really wide range... what age are we talking?
    – Joe
    Oct 27 '21 at 2:55
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After a little discussion in the comments, I'll put forward one suggestion.

I'd recommend looking for something like this (on amazon) for in front of the sink. It's a memory foam, non-slip bath mat and they're sometimes on offer at places like Costco (UK), so I believe cheaper models are available. That one is fuzzy, but I've seen an equivalent that is more rubbery and smoother (more like wipe clean). In my experience, they're like big, heavy, rubbery sponges. They're quite thick and actually quite fun/comfortable to stand on, so it might provide a nice distraction, too.

It'll (hopefully) do two jobs:

  • It might prevent the chair from being moved in front of the sink. If she's dragging the chair rather than lifting it, the non-slip and slightly higher profile of the bath mat will make it harder to get it in front of the sink (buying you time to catch her moving the chair).
  • If the chair makes it into position and the water flows, it'll catch at least some of the puddle. Because the mat is spongey, do be warned that it might make the chair less stable.

I'd also recommend "rug gripper tape" to keep the mat in place if it's too easy to move (in my experience, they have rubber backing and are quite "solid" so you might not need this), and I'd install the mat when she's not looking and say it's for mummy/daddy's comfort on their feet when they have to stand at the sink. I'd probably waddle over it a few times for fun at this point, too - I genuinely do like the feel of these things!

And, I'm sure you've already done this, but check the thermostat on your hot water is high enough for comfort but low enough for practicality.

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  • Best answer ever! I wish I could think this far outside of the box. :) Oct 29 '21 at 16:02
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    Thanks @anongoodnurse. I know how much fun taps can be and playing with water isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's the indoor puddles that are problematic. If the OP lacks a bath in the apartment, then I might also recommend a cheap paddling pool to wedge in the shower tray and let her get her water "fix" that way with a shallow bath (usual bath-safety applies there). Or if the weather was warmer, outside with a shallow basin of water (or water pistol) and a paintbrush to "paint" the concrete.
    – Pam
    Oct 29 '21 at 16:13
  • All great suggestions! I don't have little ones anymore, but I do have grandkids, so I can pass these on. :) Oct 29 '21 at 16:48
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    I just remembered playing "Bloop" with my first granddaughter (12-13 months old, not talking much yet.) Fun memory! We were at the sink with a small tub full of bubbly water, and she was supplied with a lot of small stones (different sizes) for her to drop into the water. We would listen for the different sounds each stone made, then I would repeat the sound, saying "Bloop" in different voices. She loved this game, and could play for an hour. Water is a lot of fun! Oct 30 '21 at 17:34

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