The kitchen is the busiest room in the average family home, and also the most dangerous. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 67,000 children experience an accident in the kitchen each year. The most common kinds of accidents are burns, scalds, and falls from a great height, however a large number of children under the age of four are involved in accidents which involve the child eating or drinking something poisonous.
If you have a young child, it is a good idea to make sure that your kitchen is child-proof.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your child from common kitchen accidents and injuries.
Clutter Equals Danger – Children are naturally inquisitive, and as soon as your child is able to crawl they will want to go and look at all of those bright bottles, colorful power cords and strange looking shiny objects (including knives) in the kitchen. The easiest way to protect your child is to keep all of those things out of sight.
Six ways to protect your child
- Make sure that all of your cleaning products and medications are in child-proof bottles.
- Put those child-proof bottles in cupboards with child-proof latches.
- Keep your knife blocks and other potentially dangerous items at the back of the counter, out of reach of children.
- Make sure that all electrical appliances are safely positioned towards the rear of the kitchen counters, again out of reach of a child.
- Route power cords behind appliances – one of the most common causes of scalding is a child tugging on, or trying to swing on, a low hanging power cord attached to a kettle.
- Put covers over all electrical sockets that are not in use.
Safe Home Appliances – The above safety precautions will help to protect very young children from the main hazards in the kitchen, but they’re not so effective for older children. Once a child can walk, they’re going to want to explore. Children love to imitate adults, and if they believe that the kitchen cupboards are “adults only” things then they’re going to be desperate to find out what is inside. Try to make the kitchen as child-friendly as possible, and let your child do some things in the kitchen “Just like mommy and daddy”.
- Install a shallow cabinet, and designate that cabinet as being just for your child. Let them keep their own cups and a few other items in there, so that the child can have some independence.
- If you’re updating your entire kitchen, have a low island installed, so that your child can have a work-surface that is at a safe height for them, instead of having to climb onto a stool to help out at meal times.
- Invest in some child-safe cooking utensils and let your child make their own simple dishes. There are lots of child-friendly cookbooks with recipes that do not require sharp knives or hot ovens.
- Upgrade your cooker to one with induction hobs instead of open elements for extra safety.
- Use plastic bowls and chopping boards instead of Pyrex or other glassware if you know your child is going to be in the kitchen.
Finally, educate your child on the dangers of each item in the kitchen, and make sure that they know they are not to go in that room by themselves. When you are in the kitchen with your child, always practice the safety advice you preach. For example, always use your oven gloves, handle knives carefully, and test the temperature of water before you start the washing up. Children learn by example, and if they see you taking risks, they will be more inclined to do the same.
Guest Post | Author Bio – provided by Lauren R, a lifestyle blogger who writes for Appliance City.