How to Childproof Your Kitchen in 12 Steps

Worried sick about the dangers that lie in the kitchen for your toddler? Here's how to stop sticky fingers from poking around.

How to Childproof Your Kitchen in 12 Steps

The kitchen is one of the most used and the most dangerous rooms of the house with sharp objects, large equipment and hot or toxic liquid at every turn.
“The kitchen is where some of the most serious home accidents occur, particularly to young children,” says Ashley Martin, public health project manager at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Careful planning can limit the number of accidents that can happen in the heart of the home

While Ashley admits that “it is never possible to completely ‘childproof’ a kitchen and that supervision is often key” she does say that with careful planning you can limit the number of accidents that can happen in the heart of the home. 

Tick the boxes off with our childproofing checklist and make your kitchen safe for your little one.

Your Kitchen Safety To-Do List

  • Block off kitchen access: Use safety locks, gates or barriers to put a stop to unwanted little visitors. Stow away any step stools and ladders so kitchen explorations don’t end in nasty falls.
  • Keep any hazardous objects and toxic substances up high and out of reach: Knives, scissors and other sharp tools, as well as toxic substances such as laundry liquids and detergents, should be stored in the highest kitchen cupboards. Avoid burns and spills by making sure any handles or cords aren’t hanging over the edge of cabinets or counters for your child to grab or trip on, and watch where you place your hot beverages and pots.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is in easy reach: An all-purpose fire extinguisher that works on electrical and grease fires is the best choice, but only extinguish a fire on your own if it is small and contained, otherwise call in the fire department. Another good tip is to stick all emergency contact numbers on your fridge or any visible spot.

The New Kitchen Rules

  • Only give your child unbreakable materials: Wailing arms and porcelain don’t make a good combo so when feeding your child only give them plastic and rubberised bowls and cups. Parents spend hours a week in the kitchen, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your toddler wants to explore here too. A nice idea is to set aside a bottom cupboard filled with non-breakables that your little chef can play with.
  • Pick up and clean up right away: You’d be surprised by the speed that kids can move at when they want something enough, so if you drop a plastic bag or cling film pick it up straight away to avoid them playing with it. Also, wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent any potential tears and head bumps.
  • Ban countertop sits: The danger of a fall and the number of sharp objects and appliances to hold onto is enough to instate this rule. Another good tip to stop wandering little ones from banging their head is to stick guards on the corners of counters and tables.

How to Use and Store Your Appliances

  • Turn handles to the back of hobs: Use the back hobs when your saucepans are on the heat and when you do, make sure you turn your handles to point to the back of the stove where tiny outstretched hands can’t reach them.
  • Install safety latches: While you might have already put childproof locks on cupboards and drawers, don’t forget to attach them to your microwave, fridge, oven and garbage bin. With their flickering lights and turntables, these appliances can provide more entertainment than colourful toys!
  • Put away your appliances: Shorten electrical cords on your appliances such as kettles, toasters and blenders to stop them from hanging loose. Once finished using your small appliances, stash them in cupboards and use socket covers to stop curious minds putting their fingers or other objects in your power sockets.

How To Protect Your Child From Bigger Kitchen Hazards

  • Guard your cooker: Use a cooker guard and cooker knob covers to stop your toddler from reaching any burners or turning on the stove. You don’t want any burns or scalds.
  • Close your dishwasher: The dishwasher is full of dangerous objects, from detergents, dirty knives to glass. Load knives, pointy end downwards, so your child doesn’t grab the sharp end first. Make sure your detergent and powder is poured in just before you turn your machine on so no nasties make it to your little one’s mouth.
  • Check your refrigerator: All choking hazards are generally any object that’s small enough to find through a toilet roll, so if you want a decorative fridge then look for extra-large magnets. The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ doesn’t apply when you have a wide-eyed tot, so be sure to vacuum underneath your fridge.

Childproof your kitchen with these products: 

Safety 1st Magnetic Lock (2 Pack), £10

Lindam Socket Covers, £3.50

Hauck Safety Gate Triglock Gate in Silver, £28

Lindam Safety Catches, £3.50

Safety 1st Soft Corner Guards, £8

For more advice and tips on childproofing your home, visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.