Children learn how things work by exploring their environment. Here are a few tips to keeping your home a safe environment for young explorers on the prowl and a review of safety measures for older children who already know the basics.

Home Safety Tips for Kids

1. Check your Electrical Appliances

Studies show that many home fires are caused by electrical devices. Check your electrical appliances, cords, and outlets. Are they in good condition, without loose or frayed cords? Replace or professionally repair any appliances that spark, smell unusual, or overheat.

2. Toddler-proof the kitchen

  • Secure low cabinets with child safety locks where you store appliances and cleaning supplies.
  • Install child-safe knobs on stove burners so that little hands can’t accidentally turn on the gas or flames.
  • Turn off your oven, stove top, dryer and any other appliance when you aren’t using them. Never leave the house with any appliance running.
  • Keep hot items out of reach and turn pot and pan handles around and out of the way of curious fingers.

3. Empower your young child to explore safely

  • Now that your kitchen is toddler-proofed, engage your young child to participate safely. A kitchen stool can entice youngsters to help out at the island or to reach his/her own sippy cup. Try a collapsable stool that can be tucked away when you aren’t able to supervise.
  • Supervise any art or science projects that involve electrical devices.

4. Review basic kitchen safety with your older child

  • Explain how to use each appliance safely while you are using them, taking advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate safe practices.
  • Review microwave safety. Show your child how to select a microwave safe bowl and to use pot holders when removing containers from the oven.
  • Remind your teen to always keep electrical appliances away from water to avoid shocks and to stay away from electrical sockets if their hands are wet.
  • Remind your child to always check that the oven and other cooking appliances are turned off before they leave the kitchen.

5. Install a Surge Protector

Install a whole house surge protector to limit the power that hits your appliances, limiting the risk of electrical fire. Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters prevent electrical shock and fire by shutting off faulty circuits.