CHILD PROOFING A KITCHEN
As your toddler becomes taller and more mobile & wondering around,
you nead to continuosly reassess your baby proofing and childproofing
strategies. Kitchens can be a dangerous place for a child, but accidents
around the house can be easily prevented by taking a few precautions and
child-proofing your kitchen space, appliances as well as your home could
well be the difference between an injury and safe living.
Below are some tips on Kitchen Childproofing for Toddlers
Out of reach and harms way
When children become toddlers, they add height to their reach and gain
speed because they are upright and walking more. At this time children
are the most inquisitive with objects they can see. Keep all kitchen appliances
well to the rear of your counter tops and store away in a cupboard when
not in use. Dangling cords over the bench are an accident waiting to happen
if there are small children in the house. Prevention only takes a few
seconds which is all it takes for an injury.
Start education early
Start the education process early and be sure to let children know what
can happen if they try to jag a piece of bread out of the toaster with
a knife for example. Remind them of the dangers of a kitchen and set the
rules for playing areas well away from ovens and home appliances. The
earlier you start an awareness program the less chance of accidents occurring.
Keep forks, knives, cleavers and other sharp items away from baby by putting
them in latched drawers. Never leave them out so baby can get to them.
Always keep them inside locked drawers when not in immediate use. Keep
the key to the drawer away from baby’s reach. Put safety locks in before
your child is old enough to get to them and not after something bad happens.
Make certain to keep poisons, cleaners, and detergents away from the reach
of your child. Place the garbage behind a locked cabinet or put it in
the garage so the baby cannot get into it and dig out something dangerous.
Keep toasters and electric appliances toward the back of the cabinet and
out of baby’s reach. Make sure the cords are bundled up so they don’t
dangle and hurt the baby. His is especially true when the appliance is
hot and in use at the time.
The kitchen is filled with hazardous substances and areas where baby
can get hurt. Before that happens, you need to rethink how your kitchen
is organized so that you can keep your child safe when in the kitchen.
We should take a look at many of the best choices out there for childproofing
Buy Child Safety Locks for Your Cabinets
Cabinet doors that are below your counter are at the perfect
level for children. First there is the danger of the children opening
and closing the cabinet doors. Your child could slam his fingers in the
door, or stick them in the crevice behind the door. The second child safety
issue is what the cabinets contain. There are obvious concerns such as
detergent, and other toxic substances that are usually kept underneath
the sink, but there are the not so obvious concerns too. Kids love to
play with pots and pans, but it should be under supervision. If your toddler
pulls out the pots and pans he could hurt himself, or bang up your walls
and floor. Child safety locks are a great solution for child proofing
your cabinets. There are two basic kinds. One kind connects the handles
of the cabinets so that they can’t be pulled open, but this means your
cabinet needs to have double doors. The other kind is best for cabinets
with one door. These attach to the top of the cabinet, and only allow
it to open about an inch when pulled.
Lock Your Drawers
Drawer locks are similar to cabinet locks. They only allow your
kitchen drawers to be open about an inch when pulled, unless unlatched.
Child proofing your kitchen drawers is critical. Think of the items your
store in your drawers. Silverware is stored in drawers. Obviously knives
are dangerous (even butter knives, but also forks can be dangerous). Many
people have junk drawers in their kitchens. Junk drawers may be home to
matches, and other dangerous items. Take the precaution, and child proof
Make sure you use approved safety latches on drawers and cabinets so
that the baby cannot open these items more than an inch or two. You’ll
need to lock those cabinets if the baby is older because he or she can
get past the latches and it won’t be safe then.
Put Plugs on All Outlets
Outlet plugs are important, not only in child proofing your kitchen,
but in apartment safety in general. Every outlet in your apartment should
be plugged when not in use.
Cords and plugs
Maintenance checks not only of your small appliances but also the cords
and plugs should be carried out regularly. Check for any frayed cords
and have them repaired or replace the unit. Overloaded power points can
cause sparks so be sure to have adequate outlets that have been installed
by a qualified electrician. Follow the operating instructions and unplug
an appliance by the plug and not by pulling on the cord.
Prevent Injuries from Stove and Oven
Purchase knob covers for your stove. These will help prevent
your child from fiddling with them. Also, install an oven lock to prevent
your child from opening and closing the oven, and getting inside, burning
himself, or slamming his fingers. Another consideration is purchasing
a similar type lock for the refrigerator.
Childproof locks for stove and oven knobs
Childproof locks for stove and oven knobs as well as kitchen cupboards
are easily purchased from hardware store and only take a few minutes to
install making them well worth the effort and money.
It only takes a second for a child to fall against the hot surface of
the oven door. Burns can happen in an instant. Oven guards are a must
if you have toddlers. It is just not possible to keep them away from the
kitchen if that is where everyone else in the family is, so again prevention
Your stove is a big hazard for your toddler. Keep a stove that is high
enough so that the toddler can’t get his hands up there. Turn the pot
handles inward when cooking so that the baby cannot reach up and grab
a hot handle. In fact, it pays to keep the child away from the stove when
you are cooking anything as things can become boiled over and can injure
Use the back burners whenever you can when you are using the stove top.
Put child safety locks or latches on the knobs of the stove so the baby
cannot turn the knobs and turn on the oven or stove. Get a latch or locks
so the baby cannot open the oven door. Open ovens that are turned on can
release noxious gases into the house and can be dangerous.
Get a Baby Gate
You may not need to use it all the time, but a baby gate for
your kitchen will come in handy when you are cooking or cleaning. If you
are constantly opening and closing the oven, refrigerator, cabinets and
drawers, the best child safety is to ban your child from the kitchen.
Put up the baby gate, and take it down when you are done.
Sensible cooking techniques
Practicing sensible cooking techniques becomes second nature after a while.
Cook on back burners whenever possible and turn handles in on cooktops.
Keep flames on gas stove tops well under the edge of the pan and avoid
high heat frying to prevent igniting oil.
While children love to help in the kitchen they should always be under
the supervision of a responsible adult. Make sure they are not in a position
to reach in to the bowl of a hand mixer as it is running for instance
and if they have to stand on a chair to reach the bench make sure it is
Statistics have shown the majority of accidents involving children occur
in and around the home. Prepare well and practice sensible cooking techniques
to prevent electrical shorts and food fires on stove tops and in ovens
thus making the kitchen a place of safety instead of a danger zone.