In the first of two articles designed to offer ideas on how you can keep the more vulnerable members of your family safe in the kitchen, we present some features you may not have thought or be aware of that can reduce the risk and worry of accidents happening. The first of these looks at how you can help keep the youngest members of the family safer on their visits to the kitchen.
Let’s start by stating the obvious – kitchens can be dangerous places for children. According to RoSPA’s Home Safety web pages every year more than 67,000 children experience an accident in the kitchen – 43,000 of these are aged between 0-4 years and, whilst the kitchen is only the second most likely place for children to have accidents (after the living room), it’s the room where the most serious are likely to occur with boys more likely to be involved.
This got us thinking about our top three safety features that will help little ones avoid those serious accidents:
The kitchen is full of products that are designed to make modern lives easier. And bright packaging is designed to help us choose between alternatives. Unfortunately they can be like magnets to a child. Over the years there have been numerous reports of children finding ways mistaking cleaning products for something tasty. If it’s not practical to put them out of reach then they really need to be locked away. Lockable undersink storage units (pictured), doors and drawers are a great and inexpensive way of keeping cleaning products and other items you don’t want them getting at away from children.
As the RoSPA report recommends small appliances such as kettles should have a flexi cord or be cordless. Traditional cooker hobs all present huge risks for burning even after they’ve been switched off and until they’re fully cooled. Induction hobs work differently. Because they heat only the metal bases of the pans that they come into contact with – and stops doing so as soon as the pan is moved away – the only heat is residual and cooling quickly from that moment. Even the handles don’t get hot! So, whilst some minor burns could still occur, they’d be far less severe than those caused by traditional hobs. Induction hobs even switch themselves off after a short period of inactivity should you have forgotten to do so and a tea towel placed over the hob will virtually nullify any chance of burns even within seconds of switching off.
Whilst the consequences of trapped fingers are usually less severe than either poisoning or burning we’ve all also felt the pain of doing so at sometime in our lives. Quality soft close door hinges and drawer runners are now commonplace in well designed kitchens and will virtually eradicate the threat of any such short sharp pain.
And the beauty of all of these features is that they’re relatively easily fitted retrospectively into your existing kitchen or can be included in the design of any new one you’re planning.