As a parent, all you want to do is protect your kid and make them happy. That’s why you spend money on the best school and quality toys. It’s all to create a safe world for them to grow up in, especially when it comes to the home.
Parents have the most environmental control over where you live, but sometimes there are dangers that get overlooked. The kitchen may be the most common place for accidents to occur since it’s used multiple times a day.
To find the balance between using your kitchen and making it safe, try these top tips. They’re easy and quick, so you don’t have to worry about your kids being in the kitchen any longer.
1. Check Your Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are some of the loudest features of any home. When they stay quiet for months at a time, it’s all too easy to forget that they’re there. You can absolutely trust that they’ll go off when they need to, but you can always stay ahead of the game by checking on them every couple months.
All you need to do is press and hold the test button that every smoke detector has. You might have to wait a few seconds, but the alarm will go off. If it’s not very loud or if it doesn’t go off at all, you’ll need to replace the batteries.
Since fire can be so easily started in the kitchen, regularly checking your smoke detector for dead or weakened batteries is one of the best things you can do to make your kitchen a safe place for your kids.
2. Store Away Potential Dangers
There are plenty of ways that people keep things out on their countertops for easy access. Knife blocks and jars that hold cooking utensils sit out on the counter all day, every day. Kids can easily grab onto these things as well, knocking them onto the floor and accidentally cutting themselves.
That’s why you should store away potential kitchen dangers. Knives, can openers and even silverware should be in drawers or cabinets. If your kid could reach across the counter or stand on a chair and reach it, the danger is still present.
3. Explain the Appliances
Young kids know that the kitchen appliances help make their food, but they won’t know how the appliances are used. They may see a red burner cooling down after the stove has been turned off and wonder what the red coils must feel like.
Once your kids are old enough, try to explain the appliances to them. Let them know that things like hot burners and plugged in toasters are never a place for fingers. They should even learn about the oven, in case they wander in while you’re baking.
4. Clean Your Pantry
Sometimes it seems like kids have bottomless stomachs, so having too much leftover food may not be an issue in your home. Still, you need to remember to clean out the pantry and the cabinets in order to keep bugs at bay.
The first step to keep bugs away from your kitchen is to wipe up food when it’s spilled. This happens all the time as food is put in and taken out of cabinets and the pantry. You should also plan to deep clean the pantry once a month or at least twice a year. You can throw out food that’s expired and leave fewer snacks for bugs and rodents.
5. Sanitize All Surfaces
You clean dishes in your kitchen every day, but when was the last time you wiped down the counters? It’s something that plenty of people forget to do, but that’s how bacteria builds and spreads around your home.
Buy sanitizing wipes or spray solutions to wipe down your counters once a day, if not after every meal. Raw chicken and beef may leave splashes behind that you don’t see, leaving your kids more vulnerable to salmonella if they touch that surface.
6. Ask First, Lick Later
The younger they are, the more kids like to put things in their mouths. Toys, remotes and shoes are just some of the things parents often try to move out of reach once their child gets that look in their eye.
Kids will especially try to lick things in the kitchen, like a spoon that’s just mixed a bowl full of brownie batter. Sometimes letting them lick is okay, like if you’ve mashed potatoes. Other times, they may try to eat raw ingredients that could make them sick.
Establish a rule with your kids that they should always ask first before licking something in the kitchen. They may not follow the rule all the time, but you’ll mostly get a heads up before they try to ingest foods that may or may not be good for them.
7. Invest in Safety Plugs
Some kids might get curious about appliances when they get hungry, like if they want to try to make toast on their own. Keep them away from dangerous situations by investing in safety plugs. A few little plugs over your kitchen outlets makes it much more difficult for kids to do something they’re not supposed to, and you can easily remove them whenever you need to cook.
8. Hide Your Spice Rack
Spice bottles are easy to accidentally knock over and spill. If your kid accidentally spills your spices, they’ll probably want to eat them too. Whether they reach for the salt or cayenne pepper, health complications could arise after even just a mouthful.
You can buy a rotating spice rack to keep hidden away in a cabinet or in the pantry. It’ll be an extra step to take it out every time you need a spice, but your kids won’t want to investigate your spices if they’re out of sight and out of mind.
Go the Extra Mile
Kitchen safety is one of those things where you can’t see what happens first and prevent it later. Go the extra mile by considering what your kids might do if left alone in the kitchen. Covering plugs, cleaning out the pantry and hiding knives are all easy steps you can take to make your kitchen a safer place for kids.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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