Never work with children or animals?! How to make your kitchen safe

Keep your kitchen safe (and look good!) with stylish new kitchen cabinets

Many of us view our kitchen as the heart of the home. We increasingly use it not just to prepare and cook food, but also to eat, drink, socialise and entertain. And of course, since the first Covid lockdown, many families continue to use their kitchens as spaces to work or study.

Ideally the kitchen is a hub where all these various activities can take place. But if you have children or pets, how can you ensure that your kitchen is safe for them to enjoy being part of family life without risk of coming to harm?

Here are ten quick tips to help make your kitchen safe for children and pets!

Plenty of storage

You can never have too much storage in your kitchen! No matter how large or small your kitchen it really is well worth using every inch of space as a storage solution. This will help you to have a flexible and multi-purpose kitchen that is truly family-friendly.

There are so many ways that you can maximise your storage without making your kitchen look cluttered. In the kitchen below for example, tall cabinets can provide extra storage space at the top for less frequently used items, the island provides storage as well as additional seating and work space, and the open shelving doubles as storage and a decorative aspect of your kitchen.

Keep everything safely out of reach

To keep your kitchen as safe as possible for children and pets, always try to keep everything out of reach. Store small appliances and kitchen tools away in cabinets rather than leaving them on work surfaces. Ensure that china, glassware and other breakables are not accessible. 

And remember to put away any toxic materials such as cleaning products, spices, and food poisonous to pets such as dark chocolate or nuts. 

Use caution with heat

It sounds obvious that you need to position all heated areas and surfaces well out of reach of small hands and paws. But it can be so easy to overlook this when you are busy. So try to get in the habit of using back hobs whenever possible and also turning all pan handles toward the back of the hob to make them more difficult to reach.

Avoid risk of flames

Also on the subject of heat and cooking, make sure that any flammable objects such as oven mitts and tea towels are kept well away from the hob.

Use child protective devices wherever needed

If in doubt, use child protective devices. Better safe than sorry. Some of the best ones to consider are:

  • Plug socket covers
  • Cupboard locks
  • Door hinge locks
  • Door finger guards
  • Hob covers
  • Knob covers and locks
  • Window locks
  • Kitchen gates

No sharp edges

As well as child protective devices, make sure there are no sharp edges or awkward corners on your kitchen cabinets that could cause bumps and grazes for smaller people and animals. If some of your cabinet doors have seen better days it may be worth considering replacing them with new kitchen cabinet doors from DIY Homefit. This can quickly make your kitchen look as good as new as well as making it a safer environment for your children and pets.

Invest in non-slip flooring

When choosing flooring for your kitchen, do this carefully to ensure that it is as non-slip as possible. This is important not just to protect the child or pet from hurting themselves, but also because of the related havoc it could cause if this happened. Just visualise a dog running into the kitchen, skidding and knocking other things over!

Vinyl can be a really good non-slip flooring or another – more expensive – option is natural stone. If you decide to have rugs in the kitchen make sure that they are non-skid rugs and/or use rug grippers to weigh them down..

Make your seating area secure

If you have a separate seating area in your kitchen for family activities do make sure that it is hazard-free otherwise it will be counter-productive. Tables ideally need to have legs rather than centre pedestals, as they are then less likely to topple over. Avoid using tablecloths as these can so easily be pulled off by toddlers or pets.

Use solid, firm chairs and ensure they are pushed firmly back under the tables after use to prevent a curious toddler climbing up there! And if you have a high chair, make sure it is positioned safely where it can’t be easily toppled or clambered on.

Hide your rubbish bin

For some reason, a full rubbish bin seems to hold a weird fascination for children and pets. So it makes a lot of sense to either conceal your rubbish bin inside a cupboard or to use one that is child-resistant. Check out DIY Homefit’s range of pull out waste bins that can fit neatly into your kitchen cabinets, whatever the size.

Protect your kitchen from children and pets!

Last but definitely not least is the need to protect your kitchen from the wiles of children and pets! While the main priority of the above measures is to keep your children and pets safe, the sad truth is that when incidents occur in the kitchen they can cause damage to your kitchen as well as your children and pets.

So as well as the above considerations, build in as much resistance and durability to your kitchen as possible. Use the best quality materials you can for work surfaces and flooring so that everything is as stain and scratch resistant as possible. Keep everything as clutter free as you can as this helps to minimise the risk – and related consequences – of slips, trips and falls.

So, if you want to make your kitchen increasingly the heart of your home, that is safe for everyone who uses it, we hope that this article has helped to point you in the right direction.

Check back in again with us soon for more home and lifestyle tips from DIY Homefit.