child home safety, child-proofing, and accidental injury prevention in the kitchen: woman mapping out kitchen stove area with child
Photo: Courtesy of Home Safety Council
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Kitchen and Dining Area

Respondents to the Home Safety Council's (HSC) Safe Haven research named the kitchen the most dangerous room of the house, possibly because it's also one of the busiest.

• "Hot liquids and food are always being shuttled between the sink, fridge, and stovetop or oven, and neighboring surfaces," says Alison Rhodes of, Evenflo's resident expert on child safety. "You'll want to keep this area off limits while cooking." Gate off the danger zone, if possible, or strap kids into their high chairs. The HSC suggests marking a three-foot safety margin around the stove with tape so older kids know it's off limits.

• Make it a habit to use back burners and turn pot handles in when cooking.

• Store cleaning supplies and home products—especially brightly colored fluids and those with fruit on the packaging—in cabinets with child-locks or latches.

Unplug countertop appliances so that little fingers won't chance into hot toasters or mistakenly switched-on processors. But keep in mind that dangling appliance wires—and tablecloths—are pull-down risks for young children wanting to hoist themselves up to their feet. Put countertop appliances behind cabinet locks when not in use.

Ditch the tablecloth in favor of colorful placemats and trivets.

The key to prevention is awareness. If you have another tip or idea, share it in the comment section below.
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