One subject that receives little coverage is kitchen safety. Any competent kitchen designer or installer intrinsically knows the “Do’s and Don’ts” that they must address in order to protect their clients – so the first rule is to ensure that those you may hire are up to the task.
My own movements around the kitchen have been likened to that of Charlie Chaplin on a skate rink so safety for all kitchen users is of paramount importance. Others who may have a more graceful and stylish form of movement are still subject to dangers if they’re not addressed from the outset.
Children and the elderly are of course particularly vulnerable and in this post I’ll suggest a number of ways to ensure that the risk of accidents are minimised starting with the following:
- Place heavy objects in the base units or on lower pull out sections as opposed to storing in wall units. This will help prevent injury should they fall or become dislodged
- We all use bleaches and other cleaning substances that could pose a danger to health – keeping them safe from curious toddlers and children is of prime importance. There are a number of options available to prevent access to these and child cabinet locks come in various types and configurations.
Kitchen Safety – Accidents in the Kitchen
Burns and scalding accidents account for the majority of accidents in the kitchen. Half of serious burns and scalds among the under-five age group takes place in the kitchen and given the lifelong effects of injuries of this type, it’s easy to see why prevention is critical.
There are a number of preventative measures that effective adult supervision of children, will address such as:
- Ensuring pan handles are directed toward the rear of a hotplate as opposed to overhanging the front.
- Leaving hot foods and hot cups out of harms reach for curious little hands as they can still scald a child’s skin 15 minutes after being made
- Keeping young children at a safe distance from potential hazards such as splashes from hot taps or spitting hot oil from a frying pan. Splatter guards for hot pans will help prevent this
- Keeping sharp items away from the reach of children
- Safety gates are not just for the top of stairs – it’s a good idea to have a stairgate across the kitchen door, if possible, so that Baby is kept out when appropriate.
Kitchen Safety for Babies and Young Children
For parents of young children but just as applicable to adults are the following measures.
- Be very aware of the proximity of electrical sockets to your sink and remember that the damp or wet combined with an electrical source can be a potentially fatal mix.
- If you smell gas – immediately contact your Gas Provider’s Emergency Telephone Number.
- Open doors and windows and don’t turn on any light switches or use any naked flames until your Gas provider advises you it is safe to do so. Other dangers in the home include Carbon Monoxide so be sure to fit an audible Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
- Consider using a pair of small kitchen steps to reach high places to prevent strain injuries and to help prevent objects falling out from a higher distance
There are many more safety tips but I do think I’ve covered the most obvious here – however there are a number of websites that offer safety products for babies and children in the home and www.rospa.com (The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) offers training, posters and creative activities to encourage children to be aware of safety in and outside the home.