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How to Child Proof Your Kitchen

Updated on June 29, 2012

Your kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for babies and children. From appliances to choking hazards, the kitchen is full of safety concerns. Here are some tips to make your kitchen safe for the entire family.

The refrigerator contains many hazards for children, including glass bottles.
The refrigerator contains many hazards for children, including glass bottles. | Source

Refrigerator Childproofing

While it might seem like a harmless appliance, there are actually many hazards for children in a refrigerator!

Many items stored in the refrigerator are easily spilled or broken (such as eggs), which can cause a risk of falling on a wet floor. Also, many items such as pickles, jelly, and salad dressing are stored in glass containers, which could break and injure a child. To protect children from these items, store any glass containers or anything easily opened on high shelves in the refrigerator. Do the same in the freezer, if it is accessible.

Also, if you have a side-by-side refrigerator, you may be able to strap the door handles together to make it completely inaccessible. Wrapping a strip of Velcro around the two handles, and moving the Velcro strip to the top of the doors, will make it virtually impossible for a small child to open the refrigerator or the freezer.

Childproof latches make drawers and cabinets difficult to open.
Childproof latches make drawers and cabinets difficult to open. | Source

Childproofing Cabinets and Drawers

Children are very curious, and when they see you getting "treasures" out of cabinets and drawers, they want to get inside them too! Because you never know what will interest them, it's important to have childproof locks or latches on the cabinets and drawers in your kitchen.

Many adults complain about childproof latches on cabinets, but they are actually very easy to use! Any inconvenience is a small price to pay for your child's safety.

The most recommended latches are the kind that sit just inside the drawers or cabinets. The drawers or cabinets can only be opened about an inch, and then the latch has to be pushed down and unhooked to open the rest of the way. They are a huge advantage to keeping things out of little hands!

A Velcro strap is a great way to keep the oven door closed.
A Velcro strap is a great way to keep the oven door closed. | Source

Childproofing the Stove and Oven

The stove and oven is one of the most obvious dangers to children in the kitchen. The heat it produces and the hot foods that are often in the oven or on the stove can be deadly to a child. Here are some tips for keeping children safe around the stove and oven:

  • Use the only back burners of the stove so that hot foods are not near the edge where children could grab them.
  • Turn all pot handles around toward the back of the stove so children cannot reach or grab them.
  • Every time a child is near the oven, remind them that it is hot and they are not to touch it. I always tell my daughter that it is hot even if it isn't on. I'd rather her think it is always hot and never touch it than to have to wonder if it is turned on or not.
  • Warn everyone in the house when you are using the stove or oven. That way all eyes are watching the children and know that it is hot. I also like to tell everyone when I'm about to open the oven door so that they know to stay out of the kitchen.

Small appliances should be unplugged when not in use.
Small appliances should be unplugged when not in use. | Source

Did You Know?

The best way to childproof any room is to see things from a child's perspective! Get down on your hands and knees and look around. If it looks like it might be interesting to a child, it needs to be childproofed!

Small Appliances in the Kitchen

Small appliances that are used in the kitchen, such as mixers or food processors, can create hazards to children as well. Make sure to store them away in childproof cabinets or on high shelves when they are not in use. When they are out, keep the appliances pushed back as far as possible on the counters, and make sure the cords are not near the edges of the counter. Unplug all appliances when not in use, even if they are not yet put away.

Basic Childproofing Tips

These tips apply to all rooms, not just the kitchen. Follow these rules to help prevent safety hazards:

  • Store food away in closed cabinets or in sealed packages to prevent choking.

  • Keep cleaners, detergents, and medicines out of reach and in childproof cabinets or drawers.

  • Use gates to block rooms that you don’t want the child to access. Also use gates at the top and bottom of stairs, and around anything that should be restricted.

  • Keep windows closed and locked to prevent children from pushing on or falling through screens.

  • Place outlet covers in all electrical outlets. Be sure to replace them when an outlet is no longer being used.

  • Scan the floor for anything that could be a tripping hazard and remove it. This includes electrical cords and rugs, which are often culprits.

Follow these tips for a safe kitchen and, most importantly, safe children.

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    • Jeff Gamble profile image

      Jeff Gamble 4 years ago from Denton, Texas

      Great hub Amy! I've done just about everything you mentioned in my kitchen several times over (I've got a brood of 4). One thing I did was make an "okay to play" cabinet that has plastic bowls and some big plastic spoons. That's where the little ones are re-directed when they are trying to get past the childproof latches and such.

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      That's a great idea, Jeff! I'm sure they enjoyed have a safe place they could get into.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 4 years ago

      It's a long time since I had to worry about childproofing the home. Nevertheless, I will have to relearn this vital safety regime when Grandchildren appear on the scene. Voted up and useful

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      seanorjohn - I hope this helps! We didn't take down our childproofing in between children...didn't want to have to relearn it ourselves! Thanks for the votes!

    • AustralianNappies profile image

      AustralianNappies 4 years ago from Australia

      This has given me some great ideas about child-proofing my kitchen, thanks!

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      AustralianNappies, I'm so glad it was helpful. Thanks for reading!

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