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Tips for Babyproofing a Kitchen

Tips for Baby Proofing the Kitchen

By
Cheryl Butler,
September 8, 2007
Episode #031

Page 2 of 2

DARK AND SCARY

When you do leave access to these places, be sure that the doors are not self-closing. Remove any springs that would cause the door to close automatically. A small child could crawl inside. It would be a very dark and scary place for a little one. If you are cooking or washing dishes, it only takes a moment for you to look at the pot you are stirring or the pan you are scrubbing. This moment when you take your eyes off your child is precisely the moment he’s going to climb into that cabinet. Make sure those doors stay open.

Any drawers or cabinets with items that are not as safe should have safety latches to prevent the child from opening them. I have yet to find a completely failsafe child safety latch. Most latches work well, but our kids are like little engineers and if given enough time to do so, they will find a way around just about any obstacle. Therefore, I highly recommend putting any dangerous items completely out of the reach of little hands.
I’d like to think we all know the basics of baby proofing, yet I still hear stories about injuries that could have been prevented. Once you have your cabinets and drawers secure, here are some other important baby-proofing tips for your kitchen.

  • Remove any refrigerator magnets that can fit into a child’s mouth. These are choking hazards. The magnet itself can also become detached from the decoration and pose a threat. Don’t think that just because they are kept high on the fridge they are safe. Magnets can fall and slide down to a child’s level without too much difficulty.
  • If your stove’s knobs are on the front of the stove, please be sure to install knob covers. There are also stove guards you can install on the front of your stove to prevent little hands from reaching up and touching burners. If you have a drawer on the underside of your oven, you may want to remove the drawer handle as it can be used to climb up the front of the stove. I know this one from experience.
  • Be sure to keep all poisonous substances in their original or labeled containers. Keep all of these items, including soaps and cleaners, completely out of your child’s reach. I keep mine on a wire shelf high up in the pantry with nothing climbable below it. The more out of reach, the better.
  • Consider your trash before disposing of it. If the item you are tossing is potentially dangerous, take it all the way outside to the trash can. Don’t put it in your kitchen pail. Items such as plastic bags or empty dish-soap containers or bottle caps can be dangerous if your child decides to dig around in the trash for treasures. I keep my trashcan out of reach too. Again, I have learned from experience.
  • If you have any appliances on the counter, be sure to keep the cords completely away from the counter’s edge. Little hands can reach up and tug on them, possibly causing injury.
  • If you have a dishwasher, you can use the same type of latches that you would use on an oven door to keep the unit from being opened by toddlers. This is important because a toddler can easily open most dishwashers made today. If you have knives, glass or even dishwasher soap in the dishwasher, you have a hazard. Even if the dishwasher is empty, it’s not a safe place to play.
  • Refrigerators are pretty difficult for a toddler to open, but it does happen. If you have a toddler that opens the fridge, you may want to install a lock on that door as well. Since my younger toddler cannot open the door on his own, I don’t have one on mine. My daughter can, but she’s allowed to get her own fruit out of the drawers. I keep the bottom half of the refrigerator’s contents child-friendly for her. Any breakable items I keep on the higher shelves where she cannot reach them.
There are always going to be hazards when it comes to children and there’s no way for me to cover each and every one of them. Hopefully, this show will have given you some ideas of some of the actions to take when baby-proofing your kitchen.

That’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed listening. I’d love to hear from you. Please share your baby-proofing ideas with me.

If you would like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy, or if you’d like to share a wonderful tip of your own, you can e-mail mommy@quickanddirtytips.com. Also, if you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to post a review at iTunes. I’d really appreciate it.

Baby image courtesy of Shutterstock

The Mighty Mommy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com. This week Grammar Girl is talking about capitalizing proper nouns so be sure to check out her podcast!

This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!

Music – “Golly Gee” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"

 

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