There is probably plenty of childproofing advice you already know about what it comes to making the kitchen safer for kids, especially if you have very little ones. You need to secure all the cabinets, and you should shorten cords so curious hands don’t pull smaller appliances off the counter.
But, what if you have toddlers and older kids? The kitchen is still the most dangerous room in your home!
You should be thinking about kitchen safety for years after your child is born. These tips will ensure your child stays safe in the kitchen for many years to come.
Use Child Safety Locks on Appliances
You should lock all the cabinets, but what about the appliances? Children who are old enough, and tall enough, to reach them may think they’re ready to give them a try, but that doesn’t mean they should!
It’s a good idea to use safety locks on appliances as well as cabinets. That includes using safety locks on the fridge, the oven, and childproof knobs on the stove.
In some cases, you may be able to find appliances with this safety feature built in. For example, you can find a modern stainless steel microwave with a child safety lock included, so there’s no need to install one.
Use the Back Burners on the Stove
If you have children who are allowed in the kitchen, especially while you’re cooking, they could be in danger. Even a few teens whisking through the kitchen after school can be at risk of getting burnt on the stove if it’s on and they aren’t paying attention to what they are doing.
If you’re cooking with kids around, and especially if you’re cooking something that needs to simmer on the stove for a while, you should use the back burners.
That might take some adjusting. Strangely, most adults prefer the lower right burner, especially if you have an electric stove with a larger burner in that spot. But, if you want to prevent accidents, you should use the rear two burners.
Remove the Handles from Old Refrigerators
Have an old refrigerator hanging around? It isn’t uncommon for old fridges to linger in the kitchen or the garage days, weeks, and even years after a new one has been installed.
That can cause trouble for young children. They may open the door, crawl inside, and find they are unable to get back out. That’s why you should always remove the handles from old refrigerators as soon as they are unplugged.
Don’t like the handles on your refrigerator? They are easy to switch out! It’s an easy way to get rid of dirty or damaged handles, but you can also choose a kid-friendly replacement.
Be Careful What You Put in the Dishwasher
The dishwasher is one thing that little ones can help with. Even very young children can help you remove items from the dishwasher and put them away!
However, how you load the dishwasher, and the items they put away, can put them at risk of injury.
A few tips for loading the dishwasher so it’s safe for your child include:
- Place glass items on the top shelf, out of reach
- Never place sharp knives with the rest of the silverware
- Open and shut the door for your child
- Store the detergent in an upper cabinet in the kitchen
Give Them a Chance to Practice in the Kitchen
At what age do you think it’s safe to give a child a knife? Most would guess in the double digits, but did you know it’s actually better to give young children the chance to practice slicing and dicing?
The best way to ensure your child is safe in the kitchen is to teach them how to be safe in the kitchen! That includes teaching them how to use a knife to cut items, but it includes other things too. It means showing them how the burners work, letting them help you prepare a meal that goes in the oven, and asking them to retrieve items from the refrigerator. The more practice your kid gets in the kitchen, the more confident you can be about leaving them unattended.
The kitchen can be a dangerous place for your child, but it doesn’t have to be! It can be a great place for your child to learn new skills, as long as you follow these tips for making it a safe place while they are growing up.