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Childproof Your Kitchen With Care

Childproof Your Kitchen With Care

The unthinkable happens: your child is injured in your kitchen and those injuries are life threatening. You thought that your children were safe in your home, but your youngest son or daughter managed to slip in underneath the kitchen sink and consume a cleansing powder that is toxic.

Fortunately for you, your child will recover. However more than 3 million children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for injuries sustained at home. Of these, more than 2,000 die.

The kitchen is one area of the home where your child are at high risk of getting injured. You can childproof your kitchen with care, to avoid accidents that might hurt or even take the life of your child.

1. Make your kitchen off limits. The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but for your smallest children, this room can be minefield. Toddlers and other small children should be kept out of the kitchen except when eating their meals. Install safety gates to block off kitchen access.

2. Lock drawers and cabinets. If it can be pulled open, chances are the contents of a drawer or cabinet will spill on to the floor. What falls out can easily be scooped up and consumed. Cabinet locks, designed to allow adults in, but keep kids out are a must for every kitchen. Consider multipurpose straps, magnetic locks spring action locks and sliding locks for your home.

3. Cover electric outlets. Children can put little fingers into electrical outlets and get shocked. They can also take small items such as a toy or utensil and jam these inside. Plastic outlet covers are cheap and are sold in bulk. Install these throughout the house, not just in the kitchen.

4. Hazard warnings and preventions. Stove tops are a danger as are other hot surfaces. When cooking, point pot handles away from the front of the stove to the side or back. Older children can reach up or bump into a pot or pan filled with hot food or liquid and get scalded. Ovens, dishwashers and microwaves are other sources of kitchen danger that small children can be exposed to.

Emergency Response

Every home should be equipped with a first aid kit. If your child swallows something that is poisonous, call the National Capital Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for assistance. You will be automatically routed to a poison center in your area. If your child’s injuries are especially severe, call 9-1-1 immediately. Each of the preventative tips mentioned here can be handled by the homeowner with installation typically requiring no more than a screwdriver.

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