The holidays will soon be here, a magical time to spend with friends and family especially when there are young children involved.
If you need to make sure your kitchen will be safe and ready for small children coming to visit, here are 5 steps to help you childproof your kitchen:
1. Tips to Get Started Childproofing Your Kitchen
One of the best ways to get started making sure your kitchen will be a safe and inviting space for young children is to start thinking like a 3-year-old.
Children are naturally curious and exploratory. They love to run around and can quickly find themselves in situations that are potentially dangerous. To begin to childproof your kitchen, start by identifying any potentially hazardous items laying out that they could reach. Be sure to keep sharp objects and plastic bags securely put away.
Next, identify any electrical outlets that children could get their fingers into, and be sure to cover them with a plastic protector. You’ll also ideally want to keep your trash behind a securely shut cabinet door.
As a general rule, you’ll never want to let a young child into your kitchen unsupervised, especially when hot dishes or knives might be in use.
2. Childproofing Your Refrigerator
You may have seen tragic stories of children climbing into refrigerators or freezers and getting trapped inside with a latched door. The good news is this kind of accident is absolutely preventable.
You can install a fridge lock high up on the door handle to keep young children out. You might also want to temporarily disable your ice/water dispenser if you have one on the refrigerator door. Also, be sure to keep any dangerous or messy foods up on a high shelf that’s safely out of reach.
3. Childproofing Your Stove
With their hot burning elements, stoves and ovens can be particularly hazardous to young children.
To keep children safe, there are locks you can buy for your oven doors so that children can’t accidentally open them. You may also want to place caps over your oven knobs – or just remove them if they’re not in use – to keep children from turning the heat on. When you’re using your stovetop, be sure to keep any pot handles pointed toward the back so that small children can’t reach them.
4. Childproofing Your Dishwasher
As most dishwashers are purposefully designed with their utensil trays low to the ground for easy access, this can be especially problematic when you have young children running around who might be fascinated with knives and other sharp utensils.
There are locks you can get to keep your dishwasher closed. Or, you might just want to be careful with what items you put inside and be sure to hand wash anything potentially dangerous, or at least place sharp objects on a high enough dishwasher rack.
Don’t forget to keep your dishwasher detergent and other harsh cleaning chemicals safely locked away, and wait to add the detergent until you’re ready to run the cycle. You might also want to see if your dishwasher has a “button-lock” option, especially if the young children in your home love pushing random buttons.
5. Childproofing Your Cabinets
Closed cabinet doors are known to intrigue young children. Luckily, you can keep tiny prying fingers from getting inside using one of a variety of locking methods:
- Magnetic locks are some of the easiest to install and will make it easy for adults to access the cabinets while keeping small children out.
- Latch locks are similar to magnetic locks, just press down to get your cabinet door to open.
- Velcro locks are another way to keep your cabinets shut while preserving the finish on your cabinet door – just be sure the Velcro is strong enough to be too difficult for young children.
Hopefully these tips will have your kitchen ready for children coming to your home! If you decide you’d also like to redesign elements of your kitchen - including adding new kitchen cabinets! - our team here at RTA Wood Cabinets will be here to support you. We even offer a FREE kitchen layout design from one of our talented expert designers. You can get yours today by calling: 1-800-788-7575.