By Diana Smith,
Most people and child-safety experts agree that no matter how hard you try, your kitchen will never be completely safe for kids. Kitchens are full of hot surfaces, sharp objects and dangerous chemicals that can seriously hurt your kid, so if possible, children should be kept out of the kitchen or in their high chairs at all times. However that’s not always an option, so here are some steps you can take to make your kitchen as safe for kids as possible.
Secure your drawers and cabinets
Drawers and cabinets can really injure your kid if not secured properly. However, kids love to play around them, open them up and explore their content. Once your kids start walking, open drawers also become dangerous for their little heads. However, if you install automatic closing slides, your drawers will automatically shut and stay shut even after a hard shove. There are also systems that prevent drawers from slamming and pinching fingers.
Another way you can make drawers and cabinets safe is by installing latches or internal locking devices. However, even though latches are cheap and easy to use, your kids can quickly learn how to operate them, so a proper locking device is your safest bet.
Keep chemicals out of reach
A lot of us keep detergents, cleaning products, pesticides and other toxic chemicals in the kitchen, so it’s very important to keep little hands away from them. The best way to store these products is to keep them locked in a high cabinet. Another thing you can consider is switching from hazardous cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia and chlorine to much safer natural products made of vinegar, mineral oils, beeswax and other. These products are much safer for both your kids and the environment.
Kitchen fires are the leading cause of burns in children younger than 14. However, if you want to make sure that your child doesn’t become a part of this statistics, you have to make your kitchen burn-proof. If you have a dishwasher (especially an older model), make sure to run it before your children get up or after they go to bed, because if kids open the dishwasher while it’s running, the steam can seriously hurt them. It’s also smart to invest in a new Electrolux dishwasher that has a quick cycle of only 30 minutes so you can easily keep an eye on it and your kids until it’s finished. Your stove and oven can also be safer. When cooking, keep your pots on burners at the rear end of the stove and keep pot handles turned towards the wall. Additionally, we all know how curious kids are, especially when it comes to buttons and knobs, so get an oven with the knobs at the rear of the stove or invest in some knob covers. Some new ovens also have quadruple-glazed oven doors that are always cool, even if you have a turkey in the oven for 4 hours.
Watch out for sharp objects
Store knives, scissors, blender blades, peelers, graters and other sharp tools in drawers with a lock or in high cabinets. Some boxes of cling wrap and aluminum foil also have sharp cutting edges your kids can easily hurt themsleves with. Additionally, all glassware and china should also be stored in closed cabinets, because if your child gets to them, they can break them which can cause serious injuries.
Keep meds and vitamins in a safe place
If you keep meds and vitamins in the kitchen, make sure they stay in their original packaging with child-resistant caps. Also, keep them in a hard-to-reach place, just in case.
Even after you take all of these steps, the best way to keep your kids safe in the kitchen is to keep a watchful eye on them and use common sense. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your kitchen in peace.