Once your child learns how to walk, they’re going to be even more curious of everything they see around the house. From nibbling their toys to climbing on tall furniture, young kids will do just about anything to find answers to their own questions.
And as they satisfy their curiosities, they’ll surely be at risk of serious injury, particularly from your household appliances. Considering that you spend a lot of your time in the kitchen, where fire hazards are aplenty, your kids may try to copy the way you use your appliances, and you’ll either end up with a broken appliance or an injured kid. Therefore, it pays to know how to tempt your young ones away from the electrical and fire hazards around your home.
Childproofing Your Home
Childproofing a home isn’t limited to blocking staircases, cushioning sharp edges, and putting down soft mats on the floor. Electrical outlets must also be made safe, especially since they’re just within a baby’s reach.
Installing a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) is recommended in areas with plumbing lines, specifically kitchens and bathrooms, but it might be safer to have it in every room. The GFCI protects your entire family from electrical shock because it automatically shuts off power when it detects an abnormality in the current, such as water being in contact with the wires.
It is also advised to avoid using extension cords, because kids may chew on them, or yank the cords connected to them. Use a power strip, instead, so you can supply power to multiple appliances at once. Ensure that your power strip is hidden from your kid’s view, or use a power strip cover so it won’t attract their attention.
As for your other outlets, use a cap to cover them. It would also be helpful to shorten your cords so they won’t loop around your child’s foot and cause them to fall.
Inspect your electrical wires from time to time as well, and immediately call in an electrician when you spot broken cables or anything faulty. This will save your kids and entire family from potential electrocution or fires.
Using Your Kitchen Appliances Safely
After installing protective devices on your electrical outlets, work on boosting the safety of your kitchen appliances next. If you have a gas stove, check daily for gas leaks and ensure that the appliance is functioning properly. A back burner model is ideal, but if replacing your stove would be uneconomical, just ensure that the handles of the pots over the burner are turned away from your child. Ensure that they’re tight as well.
On your fridge, childproof the door latch with a Velcro or buckle to secure the door shut at all times. Place the breakable items at the far side of the fridge to keep them out of your kid’s reach. Remove the fridge magnets, too, because they can be choke hazards.
If you have a dishwasher, your kid may be awed by how it works, and they may try to sneak their toys or anything that isn’t a dish or a utensil inside. Therefore, childproof its door latch as well, and call an expert in dishwasher repair in Salt Lake City or any other nearby area when it shows signs of damage.
Most importantly, even if your kids are just toddlers, educate them on the dangers of playing with electrical appliances. Use age-appropriate methods of explaining electric shock and burns, and of course, always keep an eye on them. Just because you’ve educated them means they won’t be curious anymore, so your guidance is ultimately the best protection you can give.