The kitchen is the heart of the home, where friends and family spend time eating, drinking and relaxing. It’s also the place where you store your cutlery, prepare food and cook meals, making it a room that poses a lot of hazards and risks. If you’re expecting, or you have young children, you’ll probably want to baby-proof your kitchen in order to mitigate these risks – after all, there are a number of dangers in the majority of domestic kitchens. With planning and preparation, you can baby proof your kitchen – remember, child-proof doesn’t mean childsafe. All of your medication and severely dangerous items such as knives and sharp utensils should be kept completely out of reach of children. Lark and Larks have put together some tips and tricks to help you ensure your kitchen is as safe as possible for tiny hands:
Supervise your kids at all times when they’re in the kitchen
If you’ve got young children or a baby, you should always supervise them when they’re in the kitchen. According to ROSPA, more than two million children under the age of 15 have accidents in and around the home a year, resulting in a trip to A&E. If you’re unable to keep an eye on your child while you’re cooking dinner or busy in the kitchen, then you should put your child in a safe and confined space, such as a play yard or baby chair. This way, your little one can still be part of the action, but the risk of danger is removed.
Store all your cleaning products, pesticides and detergents in a cupboard
New parents should keep all cleaning chemicals stored in a high cupboard with a child lock. You should put child safety locks on your kitchen cupboards and drawers as soon as your child learns to crawl. You should keep the latches on even after your child is no longer a toddler, as latches on cupboards and drawers define consistent limits that your child will learn to respect. Some wily children are able work out how to unhook safety latches. If your baby can open latched cabinets, then you should put any dangerous chemicals out-of-reach, or behind a safety gate so that your kids can’t access them.
Switch to non-hazardous chemicals
Where you can, you should try and switch over from hazardous chemicals such as chlorine-bleach and ammonia in glass cleaner, to safer alternatives, such as non-chlorine bleach, vinegar, beeswax, mineral oil, and compressed-air drain openers. Although these won’t pose as much of a risk, you should still keep these behind a child-locked cupboards. You should also purchase cleaning chemicals or detergent with child-safe caps. Don’t ever store hazardous chemicals in food containers as this could cause confusion.
Keep plastic bags, tin foil and cling film out of reach
Plastic bags, cling film and tin foil poses a huge suffocation risk to children, and the sharp edges of the boxes and serrated cutting edges are at risk if they’re in curious hands.
Store your glassware and china up high
We all know how dangerous broken glass and china can be, and many china sets hold a lot of sentiment for many families. In order to avoid any accidents, you should store your china and glassware up high, behind a child-locked cupboard door.
Keep knives and tools in latched drawers
Every kitchen will have sharp amenities such as kitchen knives, blades from food processors, prongs, forks, peelers, graters and so much more. In order to avoid any mishaps or injuries, keep these out of reach of children, whether that’s in a locked drawer or secured on the kitchen countertop in safety containers.
Move any electrical equipment out of reach
There’s a strong chance that your kitchen has a vast range of electrical equipment. Whether it is a coffee machine, toaster, kettle or any other form of other electrical appliances, you should keep them out of reach of your children). When you’re not using any of these kitchen appliances, make sure you unplug them and hide the cords when they’re not in use.
Never leave any items that pose a choking hazard on low surfaces
According to The Guardian, grapes are the third most common food-related cause of death among children who die in from choking incidents. Never leave grapes, balloons, bags, coins, seeds or any small items that pose a choking hazard. Make sure they are stored up high, in a secured cupboard.