The accidents that can befall children in the kitchen are particularly horrendous - from burns that can disfigure them permanently to electrocution, the kitchen is not a good place for children to congregate, period. Making a kitchen safe for children begins with keeping them out of the area whenever possible, and under no circumstances should a child ever be in the kitchen during meal preparation. Children in the kitchen not only pose a threat to their own safety, but to the well-being of adults who may be distracted while cooking, using sharp knives or operating dangerous kitchen appliances. We as adults tend to underestimate the speed with which a child can move, and our efforts to recover from distraction are never quick enough in comparison.
An adult or parent needs to look at the kitchen objectively, through a child's eye view, and with the mentality of addressing what may be of great interest to a young inquisitive mind. Large appliances like refrigerator's and stoves should be placed in a position the a child cannot crawl behind them. Electrical cords and outlets should be placed discretely or be prevented from a child's access. For smaller children, child gates should be placed at each entrance to the kitchen, and a playpen or highchair can be set up on the other side of the gate while a parent engages in food preparation.
Finally, one of the most overlooked accidents waiting to happen in the kitchen is presented in the dishwasher. The scalding steam that can come from a dishwasher 30 minutes after the cycle has completed poses a tremendous threat to the safety of everyone in the home. It is best when children are in the home to wait until after they go to bed to run a load of dishes, or even better, wait until they are not present at all.