9 Effective Ways to Child-Proof Your Kitchen

Let’s face the facts. The kitchen is not a safe place for kids. But sometimes it is just not possible to keep them out of it. Like during the mad meal time rush when food has to get on the table and into little mouths…NOW. That’s when a child-proofed kitchen can be a life-saver—literally.  
Whether you’re planning to have kids or already do, now’s the time to take measures to make your kitchen safer for little ones. Take a look at these 9 steps to a more kid-friendly kitchen:

  1. Child-proof locks are the most obvious way to make your kitchen safer for kids. Put them on any cabinets or drawers they can get their little fingers on. Especially the ones that contain sharp knives and harsh chemicals. Be sure to also put them on the refrigerator, oven door, and dishwasher.

  2. Outlet covers. Did you know that 86% of electrocution injuries happen during mealtime for kids ages 1-4, according to the 911 Infobook? Pretty scary. Experts say normal outlet covers are great, but the kind that slide back into place on their own are better.

  3. Garbage disposal with safety switch. The garbage disposal is a dangerous, yet often forgotten-about hazard in the kitchen. A garbage disposal with child safety features is a good idea if you have or will have kids who are tall enough to reach the sink.

  4. Baby gate. Crawlers and walkers can’t hurt themselves in the kitchen if they can’t get in. This is great for keeping them out before and after meals.

  5. Hidden trash can. You may think to keep knives under lock and key, but trash can be dangerous too. Children could choke or ingest something that could make them very sick. Cabinets with built-in trash cans are a great option or you can buy accessories to attach one under the sink. Just be sure to put a child lock on the cabinet!

  6. Child-safe appliances. One of the biggest dangers in the kitchen is the oven. If you’re in the market for a new one, make sure the oven knobs are out of reach. Child safety experts also warn against gas burners due to open flames.

  7. Stain resistant surfaces. As a parent, you know spills, fingerprints and spit-ups are going to happen. Stainless steel is the most obvious kid-proof choice for appliances. Countertop materials are also something to consider. Home design experts recommend Corian and Silestone as two great kid-friendly options.

  8. A kid-friendly drawer. Instead of making the entire kitchen off-limits, give your child a low drawer they are allowed to go in. Fill it will kid-friendly items that’ll keep their attention and keep their curiosity at bay. This is also a great place to store their plates and cups for meals.

  9. Run the dishwasher at night. This tip actually comes from a  firefighter and paramedic! They say the steam the dishwasher releases is hot enough to hurt a small child. They say to run it while they’re asleep and can’t get burned.