By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
Young kids spend a lot of time in the kitchen—eating meals and snacks, playing, and reading—while their caregiver prepares dinner or runs the household. With so much activity going on within those four walls, you’ll want to do your best to keep the kids from getting injured or harmed. Take a look around your kitchen: Is there anything there that could be potentially dangerous to a small child? Here are some ways to ensure their safety:
1. Cover electrical outlets
There’s something about electrical outlets that compels some toddlers to stuff myriad objects, such as small toys and their fingers, inside. But doing so puts them at serious risk for an electric shock or burns, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, which estimates that 2,400 youngsters sustain injuries yearly from playing with outlets. Putting tamper-resistant covers on the outlets reduces the risk.
2. Lock appliances
You might think your child isn’t strong enough to open a big refrigerator but if they’re intrigued by the refrigerator and all its yummy contents, they’ll find a way to get the door open. An adjustable appliance lock, which also works on freezers, dishwashers, and microwaves, will thwart those curious hands from reaching inside and reaching for a juice box.
3. Never leave a hot stovetop unattended
When you’re cooking on a stovetop and leave a child unattended in the kitchen—even for a few moments—accidents can happen. Hot liquids, steam, and a red-lit cooking surface can cause burns and blisters if a child gets too close. If you need to leave the room, take the little one with you.
4. Keep sharp objects out of sight
The best way to prevent young ones from cutting themselves with a sharp knife or scissors that they grab from the countertop is to make a conscious effort to put all dangerous tools out of their reach.
5. Wipe up spills quickly
Adults aren’t only susceptible to falling on a wet or oily floor. Children too can get bruised or break limbs after slipping on a compromised surface. Be sure to mop up any liquids on the floor immediately.
6. Close cabinet doors
How could an open cabinet door pose a danger to a child? Open doors have a way of suddenly closing on a youngster’s tender fingers. Or they’re wrestling with a sibling and—waaah!— someone just banged their head into the edge of the open door and it hurts. The obvious way to prevent injury is simply to keep cabinets closed when you’ve finished getting what you needed.