Children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore the home. They like to pull wires, press buttons and seem naturally curious about things they’re not supposed to touch. To keep your children safe, follow this guide to baby-proofing your kitchen appliances.
Latch the doors
Just like your cupboard doors, use adhesive mount safety latches on your large appliances. Secure the doors on your fridge and freezer, dishwasher and washing machine. There are many types of latches on the market, and they are inexpensive and easy to install. This will give you peace of mind that your child can’t get into the dishwasher (where crockery is waiting to be smashed) and the fridge. To be on the safe side, store medicines and other items that may be dangerous to children on higher shelves, and unpack the dishwasher as soon as it’s finished.
For smaller appliances, the first rule is to keep them out of children’s reach. Most cords can be folded up into the bottom of the appliance or tucked away. Unplug appliances when they aren’t in use, especially if they have tempting buttons or chopping/heat functions. The best defense is to teach and reinforce appliance safety to your children from as young as possible, for example – no hands in the blender, no knives in the toaster etc.
Cover the knobs
Stove knob covers sit on the knobs to prevent little hands accidentally turning on the heat. If you have a gas stove, install a carbon-monoxide alarm in your kitchen to alert you to gas being turned on accidentally. Help build a natural safety awareness in your children by not letting them sit on/play with the stove when it’s off and teaching them about heat.
Most electrical outlets these days pose little threat to children, but outlets and wires are worth considering when baby-proofing your home. Take stock of the electrical hubs in your house. Outlet covers are great for unused outlets, and sliding covers allow you to use the outlet and have the slider slip over it when you unplug the appliance. For outlets that are never used, an outlet plate is a good option. Wires also pose a threat to little ones. Use cable ties, wraps and sleeves to keep your wires bundled and hidden. If you use power strips, make sure to use safety covers as well.