Childproofing Your Kitchen in 5 Steps
Having children means there will be lots of changes in your home, and one of the most important changes is childproofing. Some childproofing ideas might seem obvious, like utilizing plug covers. Some areas are not so obvious, yet need a great amount of attention. The last thing you want is your curious baby or toddler getting a preventable injury. One area of the home that contains many potential safety hazards is the kitchen. It won't take much time to update your kitchen, and the safety of your child is certainly worth it.
Some materials will depend upon the types of cabinets and appliances you have in your home.
Step #1 - Install Safety Gates
One easy solution to kitchen safety is placing a safety gate at the entrance. This idea works best for homes that are set up with a single doorway entry into the kitchen. If this is the case in your home, you need to choose the right type of safety gate, according to your preference. Follow the manufacturer's directions for installing the type of gate you purchase. Some gates require only a tension closure. Others require marking and drilling the structure to the wall.
Step #2 - Organize and Lock Up All Poisonous and Toxic Materials
The kitchen is a very common place to keep medicines and household cleaners. Unfortunately, these items are responsible for the injury of many small children every year. The best solution is to go through the entire kitchen, searching for all potential poison hazards. You then have the option of placing these items all in the same cupboard, preferably up high, or placing them all in a locking box meant for this purpose. If you decide to store them in the cupboard, be sure to follow the instructions for installing cabinet locks on all cabinets.
Step #3 - Install Drawer Latches
In addition to cabinet locks, install drawer latches on drawers that contain knives, scissors or other dangerous items. Installing these generally requires a drill or screwdriver, to attach the active piece to the inside of the drawer.
Step #4 - Secure Large Appliances
An often overlooked step in childproofing the kitchen area is securing the large appliances to the wall. This is done to prevent the appliances from falling onto a vulnerable and curious toddler. Many a toddler is known for climbing furniture, and the stove or refrigerator are no exceptions. Place marks on the wall with a pencil and a measuring tape. Install no-tip brackets to these items with a drill.
Step #5 - Prevent Burns
From hot ovens to boiling water, there are several reasons to childproof your stove. Installing a latch for the oven door is simple and self explanatory. There are also knob covers available for stoves with front knobs, and oven stove top guards, to prevent little hands from reaching a hot burner or pan.
Childproofing your kitchen won't take much time, and it is necessary. To make the kitchen less scary and more interactive, try clearing out a low cabinet and filling it with plastic bowls and such. This gives your child something to do while you are busy in the kitchen.