Nothing is more important to us than our children. Keeping them safe is our top priority. But the fact is, children face dangers every day. Many are in our own homes. Fortunately, you can take precautions to help minimize the dangers to which your children may be exposed. This is particularly true for the room where your family probably spends a lot of time: the kitchen.
Accidental burns and poisoning are just two of the dangers your child could encounter in the kitchen. More dangers include: sharp objects, falling objects (like stools or countertop appliances), and electric shocks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300 children in the United States are treated in emergency rooms every day for burn-related injuries.1 More than 300 children are also treated daily for poisoning.2
If you want to create a safer environment for your young children, consider a few of these safety tips:
1. Keep harmful items out of reach.
Think choking hazards, batteries, sharp objects, toxic substances, and medication. Cover electric outlets with childproof covers. Children are naturally curious. If they can get a hold of something, they most likely will.
Keep in mind that what may be out of reach for a baby may not cut it for toddlers or older children who can reach higher, climb, or use a table or chair to get where they want to go. Make sure potentially dangerous items are stowed where your little one can’t reach.
2. Use latches/locks on drawers and cabinets.
Child latches and locks are another option to keep dangerous items away from children’s curious reach. These can be purchased online and in stores. You can choose from many options to fit your kitchen.
Additionally, the CDC recommends keeping the nationwide poison control center phone number accessible: 1-800-222-1222. Call the poison control center if you think your child has ingested a poisonous substance, but is awake and alert. Call 911 for a poison emergency and your child has collapsed or isn’t breathing.
3. Watch the heat.
The CDC tells parents to use safe cooking practices like not leaving food unattended on the stove. Make sure your home’s water heater temperature is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
4. Keep children away from items that may fall.
Stools, chairs, and small tables may tip over when a baby pulls themself up to stand. Make sure you never leave your child unattended with any potentially dangerous furniture. Ensure all countertop appliances are away from the edge of counters and cords aren’t hanging where your child can reach them.
5. Keep an eye out.
The most important safety precaution you can take is to never leave your child unattended. Even if your entire kitchen is baby- and child-proofed, nothing can keep your child as safe as your watchful eye.
For more information on keeping your children safe, visit CDC.gov.
Categories: Home Safety/Childproofing, Safety Tips
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Burn Prevention, 2019
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Poisoning Prevention, 2019