We all want a stylish and modern fitted kitchen that is beautiful to look at and
a pleasure to cook in. But if you have children the kitchen can suddenly become an incredibly dangerous place and there are a number of hazards that may not have occurred to you in the past. Kids
love to explore, and for this reason the kitchen can seem a very exciting place. All those cupboards and drawers to rummage through as well as bottles full of brightly coloured liquids that look
good enough to eat! But don’t despair, just because you have an inquisitive toddler doesn’t mean you have to forfeit the luxury of contemporary kitchen design. There are just a few simple
adjustments you may have to consider to reduce the risk of your little one coming to any harm.
You could of course fit a stair gate across the kitchen door to prevent your child from entering the kitchen at all, in theory this is a great solution but many find it impractical in everyday life and turning the kitchen into a no go area only results in making it even more appealing to the child.
These days there are some safety features that tend to be built into many modern fitted kitchens as standard as they do actually improve the function of the kitchen. Soft-closers on doors and drawers for example are fantastic. They prevent the risk of trapped fingers simply by softening the action of the door, and as they prevent slamming they ultimately prolong the life of your kitchen units. If they are not included when you buy your kitchen they are fairly cheap and easy to install at a later date. Of course soft-closers do not prevent children getting into cupboards in the first place so it is advisable to store anything hazardous such as cleaning chemicals completely out of reach. You may choose to fit cabinet lock to prevent access. These are cheap and readily available but in my experience the cabinet locks currently available are not all that reliable. They bend and snap easily and you have to drill holes into your new doors to fit them which is really not very appealing. If you are still at the planning stage consider a bridging unit situated above your kitchen sink to store cleaning products, a very modern look in contemporary kitchen design. This way they are well out of reach of even older children yet easily accessible when you need them and you will not need to fit a lock.
Locate your oven at a safe and convenient height that limits the need to carry heavy, hot dishes across the kitchen. Some modern appliances
have safety features such as lockable buttons so read the instruction manual and if you have them, use them. You may also choose to use a hob guard to stop children from grabbing hot pans
resulting in serious injury.
Keep sharp knifes at the back of the drawer, or in a knife block at the back of your work surface. Some choose to use a magnetic strip attached to the wall to suspend their knifes from. Personally I think these a a bit creepy, but I suppose they are out of reach or wandering hands.
One of the biggest problems is that kids just love to help out in the modern fitted kitchen, and thats fine as long as they are under close supervision. Allow your child to stand next to you on a non slip stool to help when you are washing-up or preparing a meal.
It would be impossible to eliminate every potential hazard from the kitchen, but simply by being aware, and making your child aware of the dangers the whole family should be able to enjoy this social space safely and you should not have to compromise your luxury kitchen design too much.