Child-proof kitchens

How can parents design a safer kitchen for little ones?

Child-proof kitchens

Becoming a parent will change the way you look at your kitchen forever.

Instead of appreciating stylish design flourishes and decorative touches, you’ll find your first thoughts always turn to the potential hazards that lie in every detail for inquisitive children.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a stylish new kitchen; there are just a few additional factors to bear in mind in the kitchen design process to ensure your precious little ones remain safe.

First off, it’s best to opt for cabinets, worktops and kitchen tables with smooth, rounded corners to remove the risk of sharp edges and bumped heads. It’s also best to avoid any furniture that could easily topple over if kids decide to treat it as a climbing frame, like tall bar stools or free-standing book cases. Instead, choose sturdy, stable furniture with rounded edges, and opt for a high-chair with a safety harness for peace of mind while you cook.

The way you organise your cabinets is equally crucial, as all potentially dangerous items, like knives, chemicals, plastic bags and glassware, should always be kept in high cupboards out of reach. In fact even everyday items like salt or food flavourings need to be stowed away, since these can be dangerous for young children. One useful option to keep these items hidden away but still accessible when you need them is to choose Magnet’s ingenious Cabinet Plus system. This offers a concealed shelf space at the back of your top cabinets that descends at the touch of a button.

For lower level cabinets, oven doors, microwaves and fridge freezers, it’s a good idea to install magnetic child locks to prevent access, and to avoid opening them in front of the little ones, since they learn fast! If you do keep any cupboards that contain safe items unlocked, opt for a soft-close mechanism, like Magnet’s iD3 cabinet range, making it impossible for curious toddlers to slam delicate fingers in the doors.

You can also minimise risks for wandering little hands by opting for an induction hob with a child lock, or installing knob-guards onto a more traditional hob. Similarly, choosing taps with a maximum temperature setting is a great way to protect against scalding.

Beyond the core elements of your kitchen, it’s also important to consider how decorations and finishing touches could pose a potential risk. For example, portable appliances like food mixers should always be unplugged when not in use, with blades stowed away safely in a high cupboard and wires well-concealed so children are unable to grab at them. Finally, pull-cord blinds aren’t recommended for homes with young children as they represent a potential choking hazard, so stick to curtains or shutters to remove this risk.

With these precautions in place, we’d love to hear about any extra kitchen safety secrets you’d like to share with other families, so don’t forget to share your tips with us on Facebook or Twitter.