water dispenser comparison

Child-proof Water Dispenser & How to Retrofit Yours

Appliances like water dispensers make life so convenient but as a parent, you can’t overlook the risk some of them create, especially when you have a little one. I urge you to consider a child-proof water dispenser!

Apart from wasting valuable water, a wet floor is a safety concern. And if your dispenser also provides hot water, you definitely don’t want fiddling fingers opening those faucets. 

A product like Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser has the necessary features to prevent spills, burns and slippery floors. And if you already have one installed, use my DIY tips to retrofit your current device. 

Best child-proof water dispensers – my top picks

  1. Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser
  2. Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser
  3. Igloo IWCTL352CHBKS Stainless Steel Hot & Cold Top-Loading Water Cooler Dispenser

1. Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser

Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser – Limited Edition - 3 Temperature Settings - Hot, Cold & Cool Water - UL/Energy Star Approved

The Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser is a self-cleaning appliance and also easy to use. Because you load it from the bottom you don’t have to lift those bottles very high. Instead of bulky nozzles and levers, there are simple push buttons. .

This is a versatile appliance that gives you three temperatures to pick from: hot, cold, or room temperature. 

Why to consider it

It has handy extra features like a nightlight so if you need water for a baby’s bottle at night, you don’t have to switch on the kitchen light – no more accidentally waking your little one. The child lock comes standard and an adult will have to release the child lock button before the taps will work. This is situated high on the unit, making it easy to position the machine that the child lock is out of reach of kids. That’s more than enough to deter young ones. 

Features

  • Loading: Bottom
  • Temperatures: Hot, cold, room temperature
  • Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Material: Stainless steel and plastic

Pros

  • Stainless steel components are stylish
  • Bottom loading
  • 3 temperatures
  • Clean with a touch of a button
  • Modern look

Cons

  • A bit noisy
  • Uses a lot of water to clean the unit
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2. Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser

Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser with BioGuard- 3 Temperature Settings - Hot, Cold & Room Water, Durable Stainless Steel Construction, Anti-Microbial Coating- UL/Energy Star Approved

With the Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser you also have a bottom loading machine, so it’s easy on your back. What sets it apart is the BioGuard antimicrobial coating, helping you create a hygienic environment for your family. It prevents the growth of bacteria and the spread of viruses.

Why to consider it

Its Energy Star rating means you can have quality appliances while doing your part for greener living, with less power usage. Also, there’s an effective child lock on the hot water spout.

Features

  • Loading: Bottom
  • Temperatures: Hot, cold, room temperature
  • Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Material: Stainless steel and plastic

Pros

  • Can take 3-5 gallon bottles
  • Bottom loading
  • Nightlight feature
  • 3 temperatures
  • Power saving
  • Hygienic

Cons

  • Only hot water nozzle has child lock
  • Doesn’t run quiet
  • Doesn’t cool as well as some others
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3. Igloo Stainless Steel Hot & Cold Top-Loading Water Cooler Dispenser

Igloo IWCTL352CHBKS Stainless Steel Hot & Cold Top-Loading Water Cooler Dispenser, Holds 3 & 5 Gallon Bottles, Child Safety Lock, Perfect For Homes, Kitchens, Offices, Dorms, black

You can use all 3 to 5-gallon bottles in the Igloo Hot & Cold Top-Loading Water Cooler Dispenser and it will keep water cold as well as provide you with water hot enough for warm drinks. To prevent accidents there’s a child lock on the hot water nozzle. 

Note that this is a top-loading unit. 

Why to consider it

The front legs can be adjusted for leveling. So, you can enhance safety by preventing this unit from wobbling and perhaps toppling over when kids find it funny to make the appliance move. Thanks to a stylish black and steel design it will complement your kitchen. Being a top-loading unit you can easily see when it’s time to exchange the bottle. 

Features

  • Loading: Top
  • Temperatures: Hot, cold
  • Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Material: Stainless steel and plastic

Pros

  • Fits 3-5 gallon bottles
  • Easy leveling 
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Child lock only on hot water nozzle
  • Only two temperatures
View on Amazon

How to child-proof a water dispenser

What to Look for When Buying a New One

When you don’t yet have a water dispenser, make sure you get the right, child-proof appliance from the start, such as the Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser and others on my list. No matter what you pick, use this checklist to identify the best option for your household:

  • Child locks on all the nozzles you don’t want your child fiddling with
  • The bottle capacity must align with how much water you use, so you don’t have to fill up often
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance
  • It must run quiet so it doesn’t wake your child
  • Shop according to your available space. A countertop unit is ideal for smaller spaces, so you don’t have to sacrifice floor space. 

You can also consider a bottle-less water dispenser that you can connect to your mainline. Models like the Avalon A5 Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser do have child locks to keep your family safe. Just make sure this type has quality filters to dispense safe, clean water, no matter the source.

If you already have one

No need to throw out your current water dispenser just for the sake of safety. You can also child-proof your existing appliances with simple hacks.

Change your water cooler’s location

Children are often smarter than we think but still the solution to deter them can be simple. Just placing the dispenser elsewhere or adjusting its position can make it impossible – or at least more difficult – for kids to cause havoc. The advantage is that for now their reach is fairly limited. Options include:

  • Placing the water dispenser behind the baby gate. Read up on some of these (retractable) gates to get one that will work best.
  • Turning the appliance’s front to the wall, making it too difficult for shorter arms to reach.
  • Pick a different room than the kitchen, one that’s used less and ideally where you keep the door shut most of the time, like a laundry room. For ease of use it should be near the kitchen, but if safety is a major concern, even move it to a home office or bedroom that’s off limits to the kids. 

The slight inconvenience these changes create for the adults in the house outweighs the stress of continuously worrying or paying for spilt water and cleaning up multiple messes. 

Use water dispenser guards

Today’s market also caters to this exact concern of parents, by manufacturers selling water dispenser guards. The following two popular brands’ products have proven helpful. 

Distillata Water Cooler Child Proof Spigots

Distillata sells a hot water spigot that’s specifically designed to prevent children from opening the dispenser taps. You need to push at the back of the lever as well as push down on it before it will open up. This also means it can’t be left open for the water to simply run out, because when you release it, the faucet will close. 

This video gives you a good idea of their efficiency.

Pros

  • Too difficult for small children to operate
  • 3 different colored spigots available
  • Compatible with various market leading brands

Cons

  • Only hot water spigot is child proof

Tomlinson White Cooler Replacement Faucet

Tomlinson 1009470 White Cooler Replacement Faucet - Red Touch Guard

Tomlinson sells a Cooler Replacement Faucet that fits most water dispenser brands and you can use their color-coded system to clearly show which one is which:

  • Blue for cold water
  • Red for hot water
  • White for room temperature water

They do sell different types, so pick their child lock types to childproof your home. The user must squeeze as well as push down for the water to run, which is usually too difficult for kids to do. 

Pros

  • Color coded
  • Bulk packs available
  • Prevent dripping
  • Durable 

Cons

  • Users report leaking after a while
  • Not compatible with Vertex
  • Smart kids may figure out how the nozzle works
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Hide The Water Dispenser

You may be raising a future escape artist, so chances are that the baby gate won’t be enough anymore. Completely hiding it from sight is a smart alternative, because your toddler is more likely to get up to mischief with items they see and find fascinating. So, allocate a cupboard to it and make sure there’s a child lock on. 

The bonus is that you can then keep your dispenser in the kitchen within easy reach.  

DIY solutions

Stove Knob Covers

You don’t have to use specially designed gadgets to childproof your dispenser. Other childproofing gadgets may work on your water machine, such as stove knob covers.  

Use Tape and Cardboard

For a budget-friendly alternative, you can use stationery on hand. With cardboard and some tape, you can create a barrier over the faucets that block your child’s access to that section of the dispenser. 

Create a Diversion

Often, it only takes a little redirection to manage your child at home. Placing a distraction like a favorite toy near the water dispenser can keep them busy, so they never get to fiddling with the faucets.

Or, why not give them their own water dispenser to play with, like the Dollhouse Decoration Accessories? Super cute, but no mess and no fuss for you!

Conclusion

It’s possible to make your home safer and give yourself peace of mind about one more thing in your home. You can DIY it or invest in a new water dispenser like the Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Water Dispenser. Make life a little easier, so you can enjoy more moments and worry less.

This Brio unit is a great unit to put next to your child-proof wine rack so you can have a sip from both liquids. 🙂

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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