Kitchen Safety Basics

Here's where the hazards can occur and how to minimize the risks

General Safety

For young children, the kitchen is a compelling place: Parents are bustling around, pulling colorful items from refrigerators and cupboards. Things are going on out of a toddler's sight on counters and stoves, and he yearns to see and participate.

The combination of all this activity, your child's innate curiosity, and your sometimes divided attention means that it's especially important to childproof the kitchen. Here's where the hazards can occur and how to minimize the risks:

General Safety

  • Check for sharp edges and corners where children could bang heads or injure their eyes. Install protective guards or cushioning.
  • Secure all knobs and handles.
  • Seal off all electrical outlets with safety plugs.
  • Keep floor skid-proof. Use nonskid rugs. Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Install safety latches on all cabinets and cupboards with contents that could pose risks to children.
  • Keep spices out of children's reach. Many are toxic.
  • Use a child-resistant garbage can or keep your trash behind closed doors in a locked cabinet.
  • Dispose of plastic bags safely by tying each in a knot before throwing it in the trash.
  • Keep aluminum foil, waxed paper, and plastic wrap dispensers away from children. The serrated edges on the boxes can cut little fingers.
  • All alcohol should be securely stored out of a child's sight and reach. After a party, make sure to empty all glasses.

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