Childproof Your Home: A Room-by-Room Guide

Do not leave young children alone in the kitchen. Equip cabinets that contain cleaning products with easy-to-install childproof latches. In addition, consider the following:

  • Keep small appliances at the back of counters, and electric cords well out of reach. Unplug appliances when not in use so children can’t operate them; this also avoids shocks in case a youngster pulls one into a water-filled sink.
  • Store plastic storage bags out of children’s reach. Tie knots in used plastic bags before you throw them away. This will keep youngsters from playing with them and possibly suffering accidental suffocation.
  • Place sharp knives on the top rack of the dishwasher or in the silverware basket with blades down to reduce the risk of injury to a curious child.
  • Fill the detergent dispenser cup of your automatic dishwasher only when you’re ready to run it.
  • Keep pet food and water bowls away from toddlers and infants.
  • Use a covered trash basket, and install a safety latch on the cabinet where it is kept. This will prevent little ones and pets from foraging in trash that may contain broken glass, splintered bones, or poisonous substances.
  • Teach older kids to use appliances safely and with supervision, including the microwave oven.
  • Place food and drinks near thecenter of a table or at the back of a counter. Avoid using tablecloths except for special occasions: They are easily pulled off by toddlers and pets.
  • Exercise extreme caution around the stove when children are present. Cook on back burners, with the pot handles turned back out of small children’s sight line and reach. Use safety covers for stove knobs if they are within reach of a young child. Store cookies and other tempting foods away from the stove. And keep a step stool far away from the cooking area.

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