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9. Underneath cupboards and appliances – That forgotten space underneath cupboards and appliances is a germ hot-spot! Because they’re so awkwardly out of reach, these spaces almost never get cleaned properly, therefore there is a build-up of germs and bacteria that could make us very sick. We aren’t likely to come into contact with these areas often, but children on the other hand spend a large majority of their time on the floor so are more likely to come into contact with the germs that lurk there.
Solution – Be sure to add these long-forgotten areas to your cleaning routine. You could also use something to block off these areas to avoid any small hands attempting to retrieve lost toys.
10. The oven – It goes without saying that the oven can be a dangerous appliance if misused. Young children won’t understand the dangers associated with an oven and certainly won’t stop to put oven gloves on before touching it.
Solution – Invest in secure safety latches for the oven, then attach these to any compartments that can be opened. It’s also a good idea to put a temporary warning sign on the oven to remind little ones that it is out of bounds.
11. Tea towels and dishcloths – You may be surprised to know that tea towels are one of the most bacteria ridden spots in your home, and yet we regularly use them to dry clean dishes. In the kitchen, the tea towel is commonly hung on a cupboard or oven handle, in easy reach of children.
Solution – Attach a hook inside a cupboard door that is securely fastened with a safety latch. Not only will this prevent children from playing with tea towels but it will also neaten up your kitchen.
12. The hob – Whereas most food you cook in the oven or microwave is out of reach, concealed behind a door, anything you cook on the hob is out in the open. Not only will the contents of the pans be boiling hot but so will the pans themselves and the surface of the hob, which a curious little hand could reach up and touch.
Solution – lf you are going to use the hob, always use the back rings first so the pans are further out of reach. Make sure that any pan handles are pointed towards the back of the oven rather than hanging temptingly over the front. Do not let unsupervised children in the kitchen if the hob is in use.
13. Pet items – We have even less control over what our pets come into contact than we do with our children, so it’s not surprising that pets often carry a large amount of germs.We’re not suggesting that you stop your children coming into contact with the family pets, but we do recommend that you are mindful of your pet’s cleanliness and the whereabouts of their toys, bed, water and food bowl. Children learn by example which means they might well think it is acceptable to have a drink from the dog’s water bowl or play with the cat’s toys.
Solution – As you do with the children’s toys, designate a pet’s toy box that is off-limits to children. Store pet bowls in a separate room and remove the food bowl from the floor when it is empty. Also, clean your pet’s toys on a regular basis to avoid a build-up of bacteria.
14. Climbing surfaces – As you may recall from your childhood, children love to climb anything and everything they can. The trouble with climbing is that what comes up must go down! It’s easy to fall when climbing and as most kitchens are fitted with tile or laminate flooring, there is no gentle surface to break a fall. Also, if a child is successful in their ascent, they will reach the designated ‘out of reach’ zone where we hide all things child unfriendly.
Solution – Don’t make it easy for young alpinists to scale the kitchen! Avoid leaving objects around that may be used as a step-up. If you think something is out of reach, think again – it’s always better to put objects away in cupboard/drawers that are securely fastened with a safety latch.
15. Sharp Items – The last thing you want your child playing with is sharp objects, and there is an abundance of knives and other sharp objects to explore in the kitchen.
Solution – Do not leave sharp objects on the work surface! Even if you use a knife block or magnetic strip, they are still accessible. The best thing to do is invest in knives with safety covers for the blade, and then store all sharps in a securely fastened drawer.
16. Unstable Items – Out of reach items such as picture frames, clocks and shelves are easy to forget about. Although children are unlikely to reach these areas, you still need to ensure that these areas never reach your children.
Solution – Check that all hanging items and shelving are securely hung and aren’t likely to fall down. Don’t overload shelves and make sure that the mounting you use to hang décor is strong enough to support its weight.
At Dream Doors we always have your best interest in mind which is why we take everything into consideration when designing and fitting a kitchen. If you would like to visit your local showroom or speak to us about what we can do for you and your kitchen then please find your local showroom and get in touch.