Accidents do happen. A most graphic example here is head-on collisions and other mishaps that have caught our attention and reported on the news. The streets may look lovely at nighttime, with all the blend of street and vehicle lights showing you America’s commerce and industry is all alive and well. But alas and alack, over 38,000 Americans perish every year due to accidents on the road.
As a young mother, you may take comfort in the fact that your child is safe from harm while at home. The stress of America is far too noisy and far too chaotic compared to life within your precious abode. And yet, you’d do well to be warned.
Over 12,175 children die every year in America. While many of these deaths are outside the home, a good percentage happen inside. For children less than a year old, most are caused by suffocation (pillow, etc.). Also, drowning is the biggest culprit for those aged 1 to 4 years old.
All that goes to show that certainly, accidents can also hound your child at home. Though the majority of these mishaps may not be deadly, it’s always best to minimize the risk as much as possible.
The good news is there are smart ways to mitigate such risks to your child. And as you’d be spending more time in the kitchen than most, we’re showing you expert advice on how to childproof the food place. Above and beyond, a little forethought should go a long way in ensuring your little bundle of joy remains as free from harm as possible.
What’s Best to Babyproof Your Kitchen
Right off the bat, know that the kitchen is no place for kids. And you should make it a point to ensure that it’s off-limits to them if you’re not around. Think of all the things that could endanger them: the kitchen knives can cut them, the matches which can cause a fire, and so on and so forth.
In addition, there are a lot of toxic chemicals in the kitchen that pose a risk to your child. Some of these are :
- Furniture polish
- Dishwasher detergents
- Drain openers
So, ensure such chemicals are not within reach of any toddler just crawling around. You can do that by securing the cabinets with a spot-on magnetic lock or a traditional latch. Or you can place these mixtures high up and out of reach of children.
Careful when doing the dishes. The biggest hazard a child can do is ingest detergent. Run the dishwasher right away once the detergent is added. It would be good if your dishwasher has a lock mechanism.
Another danger is children could be burnt. So make sure your microwave is out of reach. A little straight thinking should bid you well. If your child is present, don’t casually turn the microwave on, then walk away. If you leave hot food inside it, your child could go for it and get burned.
Also, make sure your stove knobs aren’t easily accessible to your child. You may have to remove them if you’re out of the house or put a stove guard to avoid children from playing with them.
What Could Go Wrong
Sometimes, you may have to do some serious remodeling of your kitchen to ensure it’s babyproof. For instance, you can install a door with a lock so your child could not just accidentally enter. Or you could expand your kitchen for greater space, break down walls and install a dining space and a pantry. More space can mean more room to position your child away from danger.
Certainly, home remodeling or additions can be a tall order. Allowing experts to get the job done could be wise, in this regard. It ensures the finished job is as sturdy and as dependable as can be for everyone — your child especially.
Here are essential aspects of the kitchen you should be on the lookout for to protect your child:
An oven that’s too easy to open
The greatest danger here is burns. Moreover, if you leave a mini towel on the handle, the oven door could hit your child’s head as he opens it. Check if you can lock the oven door in the oven settings (if it has one). Or you’ll have to put a lock mechanism so the oven door won’t be available for your child to play with.
Easy-to-access small appliances
You might think the kitchen countertop is away from the reach of your child. But if you have a walking toddler, chances are he can reach onto it. That means he can play with the kitchen appliances on top of it. Cords that are sticking out (e.g., coffeemaker) can easily be pulled and down your appliances go. If you have a stool, that can make things even more dangerous so keep it away.
Make sure your cutlery isn’t just sitting on top of your kitchen countertop. Your child could reach for it and cut himself accidentally. Put it where the block of knives is beyond reach (e.g., top of the fridge).
And talking about the refrigerator, make sure your child can’t open it on his own. If so, you might want to factor in a latch. It’s all about safety precaution. It seems a tall order. But it’s better safe than sorry. Your child’s smile should tell you that.