Tapping into the Diamond Certified Experts: Kids and Keys

by Chris Bjorklund


In my role as the Savvy Consumer for the Diamond Certified Resource, I get many opportunities to tap into the expertise of Diamond Certified company owners. I interview them for radio spots for KNBR, KSFO and KGO, as well as for consumer tips that are published in Bay Area newspapers. Some of them are featured in this monthly newsletter. These experts have deep knowledge of their industries and have taught me many things, from how to improve my gas mileage to how to prevent water leaks in my bathroom.

Recently, I came across an interesting tip that deserves attention. Katelyn Radtke, operations manager of Foothill Locksmiths, Inc., has a warning about the potential hazards of letting teething children play with house keys and car keys. Ms. Radtke says parents allow this all too frequently, and it makes her cringe. “Keys can be coated with chemicals and grime. As a locksmith company, we use a lot of different lubricants and sprays, and those remain on the keys when they’re in use. Those things should never be ingested by a child, even if it’s just a small amount.”

Ms. Radtke says a set of keys can also be a choking hazard, as pieces of the keys or keychain can break off. “Another huge factor is the replacement expense of keys. Even if they aren’t lost, keys can get damaged if they’re played with or chewed on, especially if they’re electronic. Of course, they can also be lost altogether. Just last week, my friend posted on Facebook that her son had been playing with her keys and they disappeared in the house, so she couldn’t go to work. She called for a quote and it was hundreds of dollars to get a new car key. That’s not an expense anyone wants to deal with unexpectedly.” And don’t forget about the small batteries in some remotes and electronic keys—they’re a swallowing hazard for little ones.

Kids always seem to be fascinated by keys and how they work. The best solution might be to get your toddler their own set of keys that they can teeth on and keep yours out of reach. Maybe parents and grandparents reading this will have more suggestions!

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