Of all the rooms in your house, the kitchen has some of the greatest potential for disaster. There are lots of attractive shiny things with sharp edges or knobs on appliances that make noise. The attraction for children can be very great. The diligence of parents to keep their baby or child safe also needs to be great.
Your low cupboards and drawers need to be made child-proof. This is to keep your children away from pointy, sharp things in the gadgets drawer, and to keep children from getting to cleaning supplies, which can be very poisonous, under the sink. It is nice to have a small supply of pot lids and wooden spoons to entertain a child under a cupboard, but keep an eye on any heavy pots that may be pul led out and dropped on a toe.
Many parents take the extra precaution of putting cleaning supplies or poisons high out of reach. The telephone number for your local poison information center needs to be plainly posted somewhere in the open with your other emergency telephone numbers. Also many experts advise parents to have syrup of ipecac on hand in the event that poison control or the doctor advises a parent to induce vomiting in a child. This antidote should be used only on the advice of a physician.
Other things in the kitchen need to be kept out of the reach of children such as alcoholic drinks and medicines. It is nice to have at least one high cupboard that can be locked with a key for keeping the most dangerous of substances and sharp knives. Many people will use a locking box for medicines or for knives. Keep chairs away from the counters and discourage your children from ever climbing on your countertops.
The stove should always be regarded as a danger for burns even when it is turned off. Always treat the burners as if they could be on. Use the back burners for cooking whenever possible and remove stove and oven knobs to a drawer when not in use. Some parents also buy a stove guard to install across the front of the stove to prevent children's reaching fingers from getting burned. Also, turn your pot handles towards the wall to prevent spills caused by accidentally knocking in to them.
Be wary of the dangers of your small appliances. It is so easy to leave an unattended, but hot, coffee pot. There are other dangers besides burns from hot appliances like toasters, waffle makers, and panini machines. If you must leave your kitchen mixer on the countertop at least unplug it and remove the mixing blades. Also remove sharp blades from food processors and keep them inaccessible like knives.
Hopefully the first time you realize your small child has figured out how to climb on the countertop, you will have removed enough dangers that the only thing your child will get is a scolding. It is something that will inevitably happen. As is always true with children, the best insurance for their safety is a parent's watchful eyes.