New year, new opportunities indicates weekly trips to the gym, carrots instead of candy and an opportunity to break bad habits. How about a resolution that goes beyond 2012 and keeps your children and home safe for years to come? This year, make it a priority to childproof your kitchen and clean beyond the countertops to keep your family happy and healthy all year long.
“Your kitchen never gets a day off,” said Doug Rogers, president of Mr. Appliance® Corp. “Between hot appliances and sharp cooking utensils, kids can often be in danger of hurting themselves. Fortunately, homeowners can prevent most accidents by making a few simple adjustments and educating their children about kitchen safety.”
Follow these resolution tips from Mr. Appliance to keep your kitchen clean and your kids safe:
• Keep items not safe for kids on higher shelves. Place juice boxes, apple slices and cheese sticks on the lower shelves for a healthy snack within your child’s reach.
• Soak refrigerator removable parts in the sink with warm, soapy water to remove stains from food spills to keep new produce as fresh as possible.
• Position refrigerator shelves to make it difficult for children to climb inside and close the door leaving your kitchen with a dangerous hide-and-seek spot.
Stove and Oven
• Turn pot and pan handles in and away from the edge of the stove so curious hands can’t pull them down.
• Remove oven racks and wash them by hand with warm water and soap to remove caked on food that can burn in your oven.
• Establish a “safety zone” marked by a small rug or area of the kitchen to keep kids several feet away from the oven while it’s hot.
• Wipe interior microwave surfaces with a mixture of two tablespoons baking soda and one quart water to remove food stains and keep your microwave clean for future use.
• Encourage children to use an oven mitt when removing a hot plate or bowl.
• Heat a microwave-safe bowl of vanilla extract for three minutes to give your kitchen a fresh scent.
• Keep the dishwasher closed when you’re not loading or unloading. Sharp utensils inside can be dangerous to children.
• Create a “safety zone” when opening the door to a steam-heavy dishwasher to avoid burns from the hot steam. Teach children to wait for dishes to cool down before unloading.
• Give your dishwasher a fresh start to thoroughly clean your dishes. Remove food residue by running an empty dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar.
Most of these resolution tips can be accomplished in a matter of minutes and keep your home safe and energy efficient, too. If you find a problem that you can’t handle, contact an appliance repair professional to help.