Kitchens are the heart of every home, offering the ideal place for families to gather, eat and socialise together. However, kitchens are also well-known hot spots for potential dangers and can cause parents a great deal of worry, especially for families with young children. To ensure that your kitchen is as safe as possible for you and your family, it’s important to take the right precautions and undertake some careful planning to help prevent accidents and maintain a child-friendly zone.
Stain resistant work surfaces are a great option for busy kitchen environments. Wooden worktops benefit from being extremely low maintenance and can be cleaned easily and quickly with warm water. Wood also tends to have a softer landing surface than other worktop materials, and can be sanded down for a smooth touch. Having rounded cornices and curved pelmets fitted around your worktops and cabinets can also reduce the risk of your child hurting themselves on sharp edges.
With families who lead busy lifestyles, there is bound to be some wear and tear on the kitchen surfaces. However, having your kitchen fitted with durable, cost-effective materials such as solid oak, the room can be kept in optimum condition for many years, reducing the need for frequent upgrades. When choosing a work surface, you may also want to look for a lacquer finish that is resistant to damage and stains caused by food and drink spillages.
As well as standard cabinets, you may also want to think about using full height cabinets to store dangerous items out of reach, including knives, liquids and cleaning products. Wall cabinets with doors are also a practical way to keep glasses and plates away from curious hands and also provide great space-saving solutions – ideal if your kitchen surfaces are constantly cluttered.
Don’t forget that installing child-friendly cabinets doesn’t necessarily mean you have to compromise on style or quality. Companies such as Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets offer a range of elegant and modern solid wood fittings that can blend seamlessly into any kitchen.
Built-in appliance cabinets are a great way to keep children away from dangerous scenarios involving cookers, dishwashers or microwaves. Not only can they provide a useful safety barrier, appliance cabinets can be tailored to blend seamlessly into the style and design of the room.
As a general rule of thumb, appliances should be placed in a safe and convenient position to facilitate easy movement of hot dishes and plates. Hob guards can also be fixed around cookers to prevent accidents during food preparation.
For extra safety and peace of mind, you may also want to install soft-close draws to your cabinets to prevent children from catching their fingers. Catches and locks can also be fitted to drawers and cabinets to help prevent children from accessing dangerous items like knives.
When it comes to the layout, open plan designs generally work best for family-focused kitchens by reducing the risk of accidental collisions. Having a table or separate work surface area away from where you are preparing meals is a great way to keep your children at a safe distance whilst still being able to engage with each other.