Kitchens and laundries can be very dangerous places for small children. So keeping these areas safe are of paramount importance. Doing a room check will give you a list of everything you may need to put away to secure your child's safety. As silly as it might sound, lowering yourself to your child's height, will give you a 'bird's eye view' of their play environment and will make it easier to identify those dangerous areas.
- Make sure you lock away or move to a higher cupboard all the laundry and kitchen cleaners like soap powder, spray and wipe, nappy san, dishing detergent, carpet cleaner etc. Also relocate any products like anti-freeze, pesticides and paint/thinners to a shelf in the garage.
- Secure or remove tablecloths as children can't resist the urge to pull on them. This can be dangerous as they may pull something heavy that could hit them and cause injury. It could be worth your while to invest in some clips to secure the tablecloth down to avoid this from happening. I also make sure my towels don't hang on the oven door, as this can be rather dangerous if your child decides to pull the door down.
- Always keep your dishes and glassware in a higher cupboard to avoid little fingers from trying to investigate and possibly break these items. This will avoid the unnecessary situation of broken glass or plates where shards can imbed in little hands and feet. I always had a Tupperware cupboard for my children to play in and it really worked a treat.
- It's so important to keep your plastic bags away from children. I have witnessed a child placing a bag over their head before I promptly removed it. If you are going to keep 'Lego' or other small toys in large ziplock bag, please ensure they are as far away from your child as possible. Even grocery bags need to be kept up high. I actually have a material bag made out of a tea towel with an opening at the bottom. I hang it on a hook in the pantry. You can purchase these from a Fete or they are easy to make. These days I have a lot less plastic bags and a lot more reusable bags from Coles or Woolworths to try to reduce the use of plastic bags at home.
- Rubbish bins provide an enormous fascination to children. I know my granddaughter just loves to touch the bin and try to push the pedal to open it. If your child doesn't listen to your requests like "move away because it's dirty"; "that has germs", then it may be a good idea to place the bin inside a cupboard if you have space or place it in an area your child doesn't have access. I do believe in the adage "Out of sight, out of mind". Some children are simply determined to conquer whatever it is in their environment. Sometimes it's easier to move the object they gravitate to and avoid any form of confrontation.
- It is very important to make sure cigarettes, matches, ashtrays and lighters are removed from your child's reach.
- This is where a fire extinguisher can be handy in case of any fires occurring in your home.
- Ensure all scissors and knives are kept safely away from small children. Ideally a knife block for both scissors/knives is a good idea, as they are lifted high up on the kitchen bench.