Simple Steps Toward Childproofing Your Kitchen

Childproofing your kitchen is an important step toward protecting your young child at home. The kitchen is filled with possible dangers including appliances, equipment, cleaning supplies and other chemicals. Even after you’ve childproofed the kitchen, be sure to never leave a small child alone in the room.

Childproofing Your Kitchen: Think Vertically
Children are curious people, but they are luckily often bound to the floor by their inability to walk or their small stature. A great trick for childproofing your kitchen is to store dangerous materials as high as possible.

• Always keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove so a child can’t reach up, grab the pot and get burned by the contents.

• Keep cleaning supplies, pesticides and other harmful materials locked in a high cabinet. Always keep them in their original containers and avoid putting them in food containers like milk cartons.

• For the lower cabinets within a child’s reach, install drawer and cabinet latches. Every cabinet should have a latch, even if the contents don’t seem hazardous. Things that aren’t chemicals, like toothpicks or utensils, can still be choking hazards or have sharp edges.

Other Kitchen Childproofing Tips
After the most dangerous items are out of your child’s reach, other hazards can still exist.
• Always keep the dishwasher closed when not in use, and only add detergent when you run the machine. This chemical can be harmful if ingested.
• Buy childproof products whenever possible. Many kitchen chemicals, vitamins and medications come with child-resistant caps.
• Keep pet food and water bowls out of reach of children.
• Purchase a stove guard to protect your child’s hands from hot burners.
• Use unbreakable dishes and glasses for your child’s food. Broken items can leave dangerous shards on the floor.
• Wrap up the cords of appliances to keep them out of reach of your children. These can be highly hazardous to children in a variety of ways.

Childproofing a Home: Teach Your Children About the Dangers in the Kitchen
Educating your children is a key element to childproofing, particularly in a room as potentially hazardous as the kitchen. As your children grow older and more curious, explain why certain areas like cabinets, the oven and the trash can are off limits.