When designing a kitchen it’s important to keep in mind safety, especially if you have children in your home. These days there are many products that offer safety in the kitchen. In addition, there are many things you can do along with the design that will improve the safety of your kitchen.
A child safe kitchen doesn’t need to look like a padded nursery – there’s no reason that a child safe kitchen can’t be just as attractive as any other kitchen.
Child Proof Cabinets
Revolving doors and cabinets where fingers can get stuck can be the most obvious hazard, particularly because they conceal all kinds of interesting things that are attractive to kids. Soft closing drawers and hinges have a come a long way to reducing risks. Heavy doors are also likely to do damage, as are exposed hinges, so at the design stage it’s worth considering these things. Rounded corners and edges on cabinets will help reduce the chance of serious injury, as will using lighter materials rather than solid ones. If your kitchen has been designed with sharper corners, it’s possible to fit temporary soft, rounded corner pieces.
Cabinets and drawers with internal locking mechanisms like safety catches, internal latches and key card locks will all help to keep children out of cupboards and drawers, as will detachable handles. Some require cupboards and doors to open slightly in order to reach the latching mechanism – don’t underestimate how quickly children will learn how these work…
Child Proof Drawers
Special straps and latches can also be fitted to the outsides of cupboards which require a little strength to open – they may not look as nice but they’re very effective. Most of these measures can cheaply and easily be installed into existing kitchens with standard cabinet and drawer mechanisms, and they’re often sold as a complete kit.
Young children first learning to walk are particularly prone to slips and falls. Hard or slippery floors are also a danger for clumsy young kids. For this reason, hard concrete, stone or tile floors can be dangerous surfaces in kitchens (as much for adults as children, in fact). Vinyl flooring, linoleum flooring and floating floor are all more forgiving surfaces.
Kitchens with low glass must have safety glass installed, with a shatter resistant film placed over them. Benches with access to both sides, particularly if they are narrow, make it easier for children to reach whatever is on the bench. Tall, precarious stools can be a hazard too.
Child Proof Outlet Covers
Where possible, outlets in kitchens should be installed up at bench level, out of reach of children. For those that aren’t, special outlet guards are available to protect your outlets from being tampered with.
Child Proof Oven
To keep children away from ovens, special oven guards also exist, which block off the oven altogether. Stovetop guards are also available which create a tall barrier over which children can’t reach and play with stove controls or burn themselves on hotplates or open gas flames.
There are many other things you can do to keep your kitchen safe for young children. Consider these common sense solutions or discuss your needs with your designer. If you need more help with making your kitchen safe for children please contact The Wright Kitchen today!