The kitchen can be a dangerous place for a young child. This article suggests seven simple steps to preventing kitchen injuries and keeping toddlers safe. By following these steps, parents can protect their children while still allowing them to enjoy sharing time in the kitchen.
If you have a young child at home, you already know how difficult it can be to prevent him or her from getting into areas that are off-limits. Children are naturally curious, and as soon as you turn your back they will go exactly where they are not allowed.
Most times, a child’s tendency to explore beyond the boundaries is a mere inconvenience that can be frustrating or; at times, humorous. When it comes to the kitchen, though, it can be downright dangerous. Here are seven steps you can take to protect your toddler from injuries that can happen in your kitchen.
1. Install safety locks on cupboard doors and drawers.
You can purchase inexpensive plastic locks from most hardware and parenting stores. Once installed, these devices will prevent children from accessing the cupboards and drawers. Alternatively, depending on the configuration of your cupboard doors and handles. you may be able to use latches or hooks that connect the handles together and do not require being physically installed. As an option, you can choose to leave one or two cupboards accessible to your child and stocked with safe plastic containers. Though you may have to wash the containers afterward, your toddler can enjoy playing with them while learning how to stack them and put on lids.
2. Use a baby gate to limit your child’s access to the kitchen.
When the oven is in use, you will want to prevent your child from touching it and being burned. Because it is difficult to monitor your child’s every move, you may find that a gate across the entrance to the kitchen is useful for keeping your child restricted to the adjoining room.
3 Store sharp knives in your upper cupboards.
As your toddler grows, he or she will soon be able to open drawers and reach inside. For this reason, you should take preemptive action by relocating any knives (or other sharp instruments) to a higher location that will remain out of the reach of your child.
4. Relocate cleaners from under the sink.
If you store household cleaners under your sink that would be unsafe for your child to touch, get into his or her eyes, or ingest, remove them and store them elsewhere. Even if you have child safety locks installed, it is not worth the risk.
5. Keep the kitchen floor clean and free from hazards.
Toddlers spend a lot of time playing on the floor. Considering the fact that the kitchen floor is a prime location for harmful bacteria to grow, regularly sweep and mop the area. If a piece of food is dropped, clean it up so your child does not pick it up later and eat it.
6. Keep electrical cables out of reach.
When a toddler sees a dangling cable, his or her first instinct is to pull it. If that cable is connected to a toaster on the counter above, that toaster can fall and injure the child. Avoid this danger by keeping all cables safely out of reach or by putting appliances away. If there are outlets accessible to your child, insert plastic plugs to prevent your child from inserting a fork, finger, or tongue.
7. Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove.
A handle pointed outward over the edge of the stove presents a temptation for the child to reach up and pull it down. This has the potential to result in serious burns for the child. To prevent this from happening, align the handles in such a way that a child cannot reach up and grab them. Likewise, if you have hot foods liquids, or grease in containers on the cupboard, keep them away from the edge so your toddler cannot reach them. Especially if you have an electric griddle.
By taking some simple precautions, you can eliminate the majority of the dangers your kitchen can present to your toddler. You can protect your child while still allowing him or her to enjoy spending time in the kitchen with you.