Simple Tips to Keep Baby Safe
The kitchen is the hub of family life, but it is also a tempting space for exploration. Babies and young children are naturally curious and do not easily recognize common hazards that seem obvious to adults. Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to protect your children in the heart of your home. Here are a few areas to focus on as you get started.
Use back burners for cooking when you can and remember to turn your pot and pan handles in and away from the edge of the stove.
The stove is a key hazard hot spot, so it’s important to keep it out of bounds. When cooking with just one or two pots, always use the back burners of the stove. Be sure to turn pot and pan handles so that they face away from the edge of the stove and can’t be grabbed or knocked off by a curious toddler. Another simple solution is to fit safety covers over your stove knobs to discourage children form playing with these tempting dials.
The reflective oven door may fascinate your children, especially if they are able to stand and admire themselves in the glass. However, your oven door may get hot to touch when the oven is on and may stay hot long after it’s been turned off. Attaching an oven door guard to the front can help reduce surface heat. Fitting it with an oven door lock will help stop your children from opening it up to see what’s inside…or using it as a step up to the stove.
Your dishwasher may save you time and money, but it places fragile dishes within easy reach of children who want to see what’s inside. Secure the door with a multipurpose appliance latch. Even with a latch, it’s good to get in the habit of loading knives, forks and other sharp objects downward in the utensil basket. This helps protect a young child who is trying to “help out” while the latch is unlocked.
Fridge and Freezer
Your fridge and freezer may seem cold and uninviting, but a curious child may see the items inside as tempting toys. Attaching a heavy-duty refrigerator door lock goes a long way toward safeguarding against the potential risks of your children accessing foods that should be off-limits.
Toddlers love to rummage through cabinets, but risk trapping their fingers in the door and encountering off limit foods and other items. Install locks on your kitchen cabinets to keep them off-limits, but always make sure you use them discreetly. If your children watch you open the locks often enough, they may eventually learn how to open them.
Small electrical appliances such as kettles and toasters often have long cords that can be pulled by your baby or toddler. If these cords hang down where your children can reach them, consider using a cord shortener to keep them out of reach. Additionally, keep appliances away from the edge of your countertop to lessen the chance of them being knocked off.
Making your kitchen a family-friendly place doesn’t have to be a challenge. Inexpensive and easy-to-use safety devices and a bit of forethought can help make your kitchen a great space for all family members, even the youngest. These devices don’t replace the need for supervision, but they do make it easier to protect your children.