Keeping Kids Safe In The Kitchen
29.5% of all home accidents occur in the kitchen, which is higher than any other part of the home, including the yard. There are an overwhelming number of hazards in a kitchen, especially for a young and inquisitive child. Some of these are obvious, such as stoves and ovens, and others pose less apparent risks, like the cord on a window blind. Educating children about the dangers, childproofing and moving objects out the way can all help to reduce the risk of accidents. This means that as a parent you can worry less and enjoy spending quality time with your children.
Burns And Scalds
Each year 200,000 children under 4 years experience scalds, the most common type of burn, and an estimated 50% of these are caused by food and drink spillages. Good habits to get into that can reduce the risk of accidents include turning handles away from edges on pots and pans when cooking, childproofing oven and stove knobs so children can’t turn them on and being aware of steam caused from ovens and kettles. Teaching children the risks at home and setting up a designated child-safe area in the kitchen out of harm’s way can help to minimize accidents.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
Children are naturally curious and like to explore new places and objects to see how they work. While this is an essential part of their learning it also applies to dangerous kitchen objects, like shiny knives, ceramic dishes and breakable glassware. Moving things so they are out of reach is recommended, but if a child can still see something that they want to play with they will usually try to climb up things to get to it. Climbing up kitchen counters, on dining chairs or anything else they can use is an accident waiting to happen. If they don’t fall they then reach what they’re after which can be just as bad. It’s better to put tempting items in cupboards where they can’t be seen so that a child won’t even be aware of them.
Most people store their cleaning products in their kitchen and will have a specific drawer or cupboard where they’re all kept together. This makes sense until you add a child into the equation. Children like to experiment with mixing things together to make ‘potions’ and it will be no exception if they get their hands on your cleaning products. Products that contain bleach, such as toilet cleaners and disinfectants, and ammonia, common in window cleaners, can be deadly if mixed together. The ammonia makes the bleach break down into hydrochloric acid, which then reacts with the ammonia to make chloramine vapors. These are extremely toxic, and the liquid can also begin to boil and spray. Many cleaners can also cause skin problems, such as irritation and burns, especially as children’s skin is more sensitive. Keep cleaning products out of reach or put childproof locks on cupboard doors.
Taking simple precautions to keep your child safe in the kitchen can make it a much more relaxed environment where they can learn to cook as well as understand what can be dangerous. Childproofing gadgets and rearranging where items are kept can help put your mind at ease as there are less things that they could hurt themselves with.