Many child-safety experts believe that children should never be allowed into the kitchen and that no amount of childproofing can make a kitchen safe for them. This is rather ridiculous at best. Making the kitchens safe for children is just as possible as making any other room in the house safe for children. The suggestion of not allowing children in the kitchen may be in good intent but is not practical.
Use Safety gates. - For very little tots, say up to about three years old, the kitchen door entrances can have a safety gate installed to keep them out of the kitchen while activities that may be hazardous to them are in progress. This is not always possible so additional safety practices should be implemented. The following kitchen safety tips will help make you kitchen safe for children.
Use Cabinet doors and Drawer Locks. - Cabinets and drawers are major culprits for pinching injuries to children. Drawers, which are often at the height of a toddler's head, should be installed with automatic closing slides that keep the drawer shut even after they are closed. Cabinets and drawers should all be secured with internal locking devices because external locks that need to be put back in place after each use are often forgotten.
Remove Electrical Dangers. - Approximately 85 percent of all electrical injuries involve children from one to four years old. The primary reason is that safety electrical outlet covers have been removed and appliances are out. Installing outlet covers are the most common solution to keep children from electrical hazards. A self-closing outlet cover that slides back into place when the outlet is not in use is best to reduce this hazard. GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets are required by code in new construction for most hazardous areas in the home including the kitchen. They are a great safety device but cannot accommodate a self-closing outlet cover.
Prevent burns. - Burns and fires are the leading cause of accidental death in the home for children under 15 years old. Very young children up to two years old are most frequently admitted to emergency rooms for burns and are most frequently burned in the kitchen. Often this occurs from pulling down table cloths that have hot items on them. In addition, the dishwasher is often the source of burns for tots. They should be locked at all times. The steam escaping from a dishwasher can scald a small child. Ovens and stoves can also be made safe too. Turn the pot handles toward the wall, and if you're not using all your burners, use the ones at the rear of the stove. Glass-top stoves are recommended because they have no open flame. Ovens with the knobs at the rear of the stove are best as children can't reach them.
Plan Kitchen Activities with Common Sense. - A lot of childproofing a kitchen is just plain common sense on the part of the parents. For example; never keep treats above the stove. Kids are curious, and they are resourceful. A kitchen designer will take children into account when planning a kitchen by placing outlets higher up the wall and selecting child-safe appliances. Take advantage of their expertise when planning your new kitchen or kitchen remodel. Kitchens can be a hazardous environment for children but making a kitchen safe for children is easy if you have eliminated the hazards by putting a few common sense safety practices and measures in place.