Kitchens and bathrooms can be extremely hazardous to young children if not properly childproofed. Both rooms pose a risk due to chemicals, sharp objects, and other hazards that could hurt young children. Childproofing both rooms does not take that much time, but it does take some daily consideration and extra caution on your end. This article will examine 10 tips for childproofing your kitchen and bathroom.
1. Safety latches on cleaning cabinets
Most households store cleaning chemicals in their kitchen and bathroom, these chemicals could be anything from Lysol to dishwashing detergent, all of which are extremely hazardous to your child. Childproof safety latches can be purchased at most hardware stores and big retail outlets like Wal-Mart.
2. Sharp bathroom objects placed in high up cabinets
Objects like hair clippers, hair scissors, and shaving razors must be placed in cabinets that are inaccessible to small children. These sharp objects can cause serious injury or death to mischievous children.
3. Broken glass
Many of us take for granted that when we break a dish that we will not be cut by the leftover shards on the floor, but to small children these pieces of sharp glass/ceramic can be extremely dangerous. Make sure to clean up and broken dishes or food spills on the ground immediately after they occur.
4. Raw meat
When cooking in the kitchen it is common to get raw meat juice on the floor or counters. The raw meat can contain E. coli, which if consumed can cause serious illness and death, especially for growing immune systems.
5. Remove all electrical devices from the bathroom
Electric toothbrushes, radios, and rechargeable razors and the like are all perfectly acceptable items to keep in a bathroom, but they are all very dangerous for small children. Children have a knack for picking up these objects and placing them in the toilet or bathtubs, which can electrocute them.
6. Use back burners when cooking
When cooking on the stove make sure to use the back burners so that the child cannot pull the handle and drop the hot pan and contents on themselves. A common mistake for parents is to cook on the front burner and leave the panhandle facing outward; this allows hot juices and grease to be potentially spilled on the child.
7. Pick up dog food immediately
Dog food, which is commonly kept in kitchens, is an extreme choking hazard for young children. Unfortunately, this tip requires constant attention when feeding the pets for spilled food, and has to occur until the child matures.
8. Block off the kitchen and bathroom entirely
Both the kitchen and bathroom are very unsafe places for small children, therefore, the best prevention is to block off these rooms all together with childproof gates. In my house, we have servant’s doors that closed the downstairs bathroom and kitchen off from the rest of the house; if you have this feature in your house, you can simply close these doors instead of putting up childproof gates.
9. Get down to the child’s level to check for hazards
A good way to spot danger for children in the bathroom and kitchen is to get on their level and look for anything that could hurt you. A big danger to children is pots, pans, plates, etc. that can fall on them that are left on the edges of counters. While on their level, you should check the sides of counters for any objects that can fall on them.
10. Toilet area
The toilet area can be especially hazardous to youngsters because of accidental drowning, chemicals, reserve tank lid, and toilet plunger. Children can fall into toilets and drown, which means you should keep the lid down to avoid this hazard. The toilet chemicals and plunger should be kept in a childproof cabinet as they pose a serious threat to young children. The reserve tank lid is heavy, but if the child manages to move it, it could fall and injure or kill them.