The kitchen is rife with hard surfaces, harsh corners, sharp edges and flammable opportunities – all of which seem to attract the attention of children.
We have 5 recommendations for designing a child-friendly kitchen and then taking extra steps to child-proof it during your children’s younger years.
Designing a Child-Friendly Kitchen Enhances Kitchen Safety
If you’re planning to design a kitchen remodel soon, child-friendly features will jump start your childproofing efforts. Here are 5 things to think about:
- Round those edge details. When you choose your countertop surface, you’ll have plenty of options for the countertop slab edge details. We recommend using a style with a rounded edge, which is much more forgiving on heads that bump against them.
Kids spill, drop, splatter and smush – and they don’t always tell you about it. Even if they do, or you catch the spills in action, there’s a whole lotta wiping going on in a busy family kitchen. Quartz and Corian are excellent countertop solutions because they’re virtually indestructible, easy to clean, maintain and are hygienic.
- Lowered countertop heights. Consider lowering a section of countertop to a child-friendly height. By having a kitchen surface well within their reach, children can safely prepare their own food without stretching or standing on other furniture – making them more accident prone.
Kids have a hard time turning faucets on and off and can accidentally kick on water hot enough to scald. Touch-free faucets are the solution and can be pre-set to a safe “start temperature” that can be changed once the faucet is on and running.
- Kid-friendly storage. Dedicate a drawer and/or cabinet in the under-cabinet section and organize it with kid’s plates, bowls, cups, and utensils, as well as some of their favorite snack items. Refrigerator drawers can be great for this too.
Simple Steps for Child-Proofing the Current Kitchen Design
Not planning on designing a new kitchen anytime soon. No problem. These childproofing techniques will still do the trick.
Baby-Gate your galley kitchen.
The good news about galley kitchens is that there are only one (or maybe two) ways in and out. That means you can use a baby gate to keep children out. Get one that’s higher than you think—even small babies can surprise you with their climbing skills.
Switch-out toxic cleaners.
If you haven’t joined the eco-friendly bandwagon yet, now’s a good time to start. Get rid of toxic cleaners so they aren’t a threat, and replace them with non-toxic, earth-friendly versions. You’d be amazed what a little vinegar and water can accomplish!
Lock cabinet doors and drawers.
Baby locks for cabinet doors and drawers are a must. They prevent babies and young children from gaining access to dangerous items.
Keep dangerous items out of reach.
Even if you don’t have a kid-friendly kitchen design, you can still augment existing cabinets with innovative storage solutions. Then relocate sharp knives, small appliances, and other dangerous items located on accessible countertops to their new, designated storage spots. Since doors and drawers have been locked—you’re good to go.