The kitchen childproofing checklist

Young children are prone to mischief in all kinds of places, including your kitchen. Take the time to childproof certain elements, and you might prevent disaster in the future.

The kitchen childproofing checklist

1. Exercise responsible appliance use

  • Keep small appliances at the back of counters, and electric cords well out of reach.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use so children can't operate them. This also avoids shocks in case a youngster pulls something into a water-filled sink.
  • Teach older kids to use appliances safely and with supervision, including the microwave oven.

2. Properly dispose of plastic bags

  • Store plastic storage bags out of children's reach.
  • Tie knots in used plastic bags before you throw them away. This will keep youngsters from playing with them and possibly suffering accidental suffocation.

3. Store knives with the blades down

Place sharp knives on the top rack of the dishwasher or silverware basket with blades down to reduce the risk of injury to a curious child.

4. When to use detergents

Fill the detergent dispenser cup of your automatic dishwasher only when you're ready to run it.

5. Separate pet food

Keep pet food and water bowls away from toddlers and infants.

6. Upgrade your trash basket

Use a covered trash basket and install a safety latch on the cabinet where it's kept. This will prevent little ones and pets from getting into trash that may contain broken glass, splintered bones or poisonous substances.

7. Set the table with kids in mind

  • Place food and drinks near the centre of a table or at the back of a counter.
  • Avoid using tablecloths except for special occasions. They're easily pulled off by toddlers and pets.

8. Get stove smart

  • Exercise extreme caution around the stove when children are present.
  • Cook on back burner. Turn pot handles back where they're out of a small child's sight line and reach.
  • Use safety covers for stove knobs if they're within reach of a young child.
  • Store cookies and other tempting foods away from the stove.
  • Keep a step stool far away from the cooking area.

Kitchens are dangerous places for young ones, so it's important to brush up on child-proofing. Once you've gone through this checklist, your home could be much safer for the youngest members of your family.

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