We all feel protective of the special little people in our lives. So when statistics show that the kitchen is the room where children are most likely to suffer a serious injury, it can feel tempting to keep them out completely. This is one approach, but keeping young children out of the kitchen has its downsides. For one thing, youget to spend less time together. For most of us the kitchen is the hub where the family gathers. Free from the distraction of games consoles and TVs, the kitchen can be the perfect place for the family to interact. Creating a safe place for your children to be in the kitchen means you can all be together much more.
Then there’s the missed opportunity for learning. Children learn a lot by copying, so when they see you preparing good food they’re more likely to gradually pick up some cookery skills and go on to help you and later cook for themselves when they’re older.
So if you have small children or are planning to start a family soon, make sure your new kitchen includes features to make it as safe aspossible for the whole family to enjoy.
How do I make a child friendly kitchen?
With dangers ranging from trapping fingers to burns, there’s lots to think about when planning a child friendly kitchen.
Soft-close cupboards and drawers help to ensure little fingers don’t get trapped. At Schwarz Kitchens all our units are fitted with soft-close mechanisms, so no sore fingers and no loud bangs!
Store your cleaning fluids and detergents high out of reach if possible. If you don’t have enough high level storage, keep them in a locked cupboard. Childproof cupboard locks are readily available from nursery shops or online.
Hidden recycling storage
Recycling is fantastic for the planet, but some materials can be hazardous for young children. Opened cans are often very sharp, and bottle caps and other small items are a choking hazard. When you are choosing your new kitchen, opt for integrated recycling storage – and with multiple compartments you’ll find it much easier to sort your recycling too.
Child friendly appliances
Unless you’ve decided on a range cooker, a high level oven is usually best, so it’s out of reach of very small children. Induction hobs are a good choice when you have little ones reaching up and touching everything they can. Unlike a ceramic hob, an induction hob does not retain heat once the rings have been switched off. Many electric hobs are fitted with a safety lock which prevents a child accidentally switching on the rings. Ask your kitchen designer which appliances have the best safety features.
Don’t forget the utility area. Washing machines can seem fascinating to your toddler – almost as good as a TV!. An integrated washing machine hidden behind a cabinet door can is less of a temptation for young children to play with, and it looks sleeker too. Choose an appliance with a child safety lock to make it even easier to avoid accidents.
It’s usually convenient to have most of your kitchen sockets higher up, so you can plug in small appliances. If you have any low-levelsockets, make sure you use childproof socket covers to keep small fingers outof them when you have your back turned.
Hide alcohol away
If you’re including wine storage in your kitchen– racking ora chiller, make sure it’s out of harm’s way. The last thing you want is shards of smashed glass all over your floor – and it’s a waste of your best vintage too!
Keep all sharp knives and other utensils well out of reach of young children, and keep them out of harm’s way as your children grow with a self-locking knife block, such as the stylish one from Joseph Joseph.
For more ideas and advice on child friendly kitchens, speak to one of the team of designers at Schwarz Kitchens.