Safety and Sanitation: Keep the Kitchen Safe for Kids

Mother peeking out from behind a toddler sitting and eating on the counterThe kitchen is often considered the heart of a home. It provides a place for all members to interact together – whether preparing dishes, sharing meals, or just chatting around the table. While it may be one of the most family-fun rooms in the house, your kitchen also presents many hazards for young children. Here are safety and sanitary tips for the kitchen to be aware of:

  • Install protective guards or cushioning on sharp edges and corners where children could injure their eyes or bump their heads.
  • Keep the floors skid-proof with non-skid rugs.
  • Install safety latches on cupboards and cabinets that contain items that pose a risk to children.
  • Keep ovens, stoves, and burners clean and ensure they work normally on a regular basis.
  • Use back burners when cooking, if possible. Common kitchen accidents include children reaching up to grab a pot handle and spilling boiling liquids on their skin. If using the front burners, turn all pot handles toward the back.
  • Use stove guards to prevent children from touching hot surfaces.
  • Parents with young children may want to remove refrigerator magnets, as they can be a choking hazard.
  • Do not leave sharp objects inside the dishwasher.
  • Unplug small appliances such as toasters, blenders, coffee makers, etc. when not in use and store them out of the reach of children.
  • Do not keep a cloth on the kitchen table, as toddlers are likely to pull it down and off the table – as well as everything on top of the table.
  • Teach youngsters to wash their hands thoroughly. Keep a stepstool and soap available at the sink.
  • Wash kitchen towels regularly since they are used to wipe spills, dry dishes, dry hands, etc. You may also consider using a designated towel for drying hands.
  • Sponges should also be disposed of or cleaned regularly. Their warm and moist surface makes them perfect for the growth of bacteria. To clean, run through the dishwasher or place in the microwave for 30 seconds.