In a busy household, the kitchen can be the place where most accidents occur – especially if you have children. You should take care when in the kitchen, and remove any potential threats which could cause injury.
Get rid of cleaning products which are not used that much, such as oven cleaner and drain cleaner. Use products which have good safety precautions.
Small fridge magnets are a choking hazard; if you do put photos on your fridge, try to use magnetized pads or even a strong see-through tape.
Blinds with free-hanging cords can cause strangulation. Replace them with curtains – or choose not to put anything on your window.
Dry dog food, such as biscuits, can also cause choking. If you have a dog, remove the bowl and biscuits after they are done eating.
Put it out of reach
- Use childproof locks to secure all drawers and cabinets.
- Move cleaning products you use regularly out of a child’s reach.
- If you keep utensils in a cabinet, and cannot secure it, then put all potential hazards out of reach. These include marble cooking pans, bowls, knives, and glassware. All of these pose a threat if a child pulls them out and they drop on the child.
- A common problem can be houseplants. Some are poisonous and need to be out of reach, or actually out of your home.
Change your habits
- For children – especially younger ones – the utmost hazards in a kitchen are having things spilled on them or tripping over things – whether that is an adult when they are busy in the kitchen, toys or even utensils that have been dropped on the floor.
- Do not carry an infant and hot food simultaneously. An infant’s skin is far gentler than an adult’s. A second of skin contact with a very hot drink, for example, can burn an infant, so if you spill tea or coffee at an average temperature, the child risks burns.
- Put your baby in a safe place while you are cooking. Car carriers are a good option for infants, if they have toys attached. For toddlers, though, you might need a playpen.
- Warm up baby bottles in a pan with warm water, and always check the milk temperature by putting a spot on your skin before you commence feeding your baby. Keep in mind that drinks heated in a microwave may be much hotter than what the containers they were heated in feel like.
- Keep electrical cords up on the counter so appliances like a coffee pot, kettle or toaster doesn’t drop on a child’s head.
- It could be a good idea to use placemats instead of tablecloths. Tablecloths have corners that children like to tug on.
- There are lots of products out there that help make a kitchen safer. These include cabinet locks: If you want something that’s visible and easy to operate, invest in a bigger, but just as secure child lock. It could also be a good idea to buy one in a neutral color. If you prefer a hidden mechanism, consider magnetic cabinet locks. Some come with a magnetic key that’s too big to be a choking hazard. All you have to do is pass the key over the cabinet to unlock it. However, when installing some child locks, putting them in place can entail drilling into the back of the cabinet doors, and you’ll also need a foolproof place to store the magnetic key such as in a high cabinet or in your bedroom.
- Depending on how your kitchen is set up, safety gates can be a blessing in keeping kids out of the kitchen when it is busy and cooking is under way. When you are on kitchen duty, you’ll probably want the type that compresses into place and is easy to set up and remove.
Other safety tips
- If you have a kitchen with sliding cabinets and doors, you should make sure everything is firmly attached to the wall. If not, a child could open the doors and cabinets easily. If you have kitchen bookshelves, make sure that they are firmly fixed to the wall as well.
- Make a note of the poison control number for your area and emergency contact information (such as a doctor) to your refrigerator, or post the note somewhere which is used a lot, like the house phone.
- Set up a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide is odorless and undetectable by our senses, and it can kill or make children seriously ill in small doses that might not clearly impinge on adults.