The kitchen is the yummiest room in your house, but also one of the most dangerous. While young children might see it as a playzone, what lies behind cabinets and on countertops can be a real threat. So how do you protect your little ones when your back is turned?
It’s important to realize that no matter how much you childproof your kitchen there will always be dangers you just can’t help, such as hot pans on the stove when you’re cooking or children climbing on countertops. If your toddler requires constant attention, the best thing to do during cooking is find them another place to play or install a baby gate.
There are plenty of unsafe areas you can control. Let’s focus on those. First of all, put latches on all cabinets and drawers, especially the ones that contain medicine and chemicals. Don’t put them on a shelf unless it’s completely out of reach. Remember how kids like to climb? They’ll crawl right on top of the counters and pull down the bottles.
For added protection move containers to a new location all together, one your child can’t get to. Consider switching to safer products. There is a lot you can clean with things like vinegar, baking soda, borax, and lemons.
Sharp objects – put them away! Next to chemicals, the scariest thing is having your child cut themselves. Store anything with a sharp edge inside a latched drawer or cabinet. This includes knives, blender blades, cheese graters, and peelers.
Unplug electrical appliances when not in use and store them out of reach or in a locked cabinet.
Be extra cautious around the stove. Use the burners on the back of the stove first. If you must use the front burners move the pan handles toward the back. The safer stoves have knobs on top instead of down in front. That way children can’t reach them. If your stove’s knobs are in front take them off when not cooking or get knob covers.
Don’t forget the sink. Hot water burns are another threat. To help avoid this adjust your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At 140 degrees your child can be scalded in 5 seconds, while at 120 degrees it will take at least five minutes.
Whether you like it or not, your toddler is going to sneak their way into the kitchen at some point. Why not give them their very own drawer or cabinet? It should be one they can reach and far away from the oven. Fill it with plastic dishes, storage containers, and other fun items. Your child will feel like they’re helping out and hopefully it will curb their curiosity. Then you don’t have to worry as much about their safety.