Learning Center

Kitchen, laundry room, garage and backyard safety for kids

cleaning bucket with cleaning supplies

Every year nearly nine million children go to emergency rooms for injuries at home, and more than 9,000 die of their injuries. With some common sense and precaution, many of these injuries are preventable.

While it’s difficult to eliminate every hazard in your home, there are steps you can take to make your home safer for children.

Kitchen safety

  • Keep knives, forks and other sharp objects in a drawer with childproof latches.
  • Lock your dishwasher to prevent children from reaching knives or sharp objects.
  • Install oven locks and stove knob protectors.
  • Keep chairs and stepstools away from the stove.
  • Cook with back burners and turn pot handles inward so children can't reach them.
  • Keep garbage cans behind a cabinet door with a childproof latch.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use and keep them – and their cords – out of reach.
  • Keep matches and lighters in a locked drawer or cabinet.
  • Store cleaning supplies out of reach.
  • Keep liquor out of reach or in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep plastic bags out of reach.
  • Keep refrigerator magnets and other small objects out of reach.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
  • If using a highchair, have a safety belt with a strap that goes between the legs.

Outdoors/backyard safety

  • Repair cracks in walkways and remove tripping hazards.
  • Make sure swing sets don’t have splinters, rusted parts or sharp edges.
  • Cushion the area beneath a swing set with sand, mulch or wood chips to absorb a fall.
  • If you own a spa or swimming pool, install climb-proof fencing at least four feet high on all sides. Remove ladders from above-ground pools when not in use.

Garage & laundry area safety

  • Store tools, chemicals and supplies for gardening, autos and lawn care out of reach.
  • Keep recycling and trash containers out of reach with secure lids.
  • Secure laundry chutes with childproof locks.
  • Keep laundry cleaners in a cabinet with a childproof latch.

Keep in mind that every home is different. This list is a starting point to encourage you to think about ways to make your home safer for children. Additional safety tips for your home are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Child Safety Network.