Childproofing Ovens & Stovetops

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Feb 2003

We are buying a house which will have a gas stove (we currently have electric). With our electric range the controls for the burners are along the wall in the back and haven't been a concern. However, gas ranges have the burner controls right at the front. What is the best way to childproof that so the child can't turn on the burners? Thanks! Lori

Most gas stoves require you to ''push-&-turn'' the knob, which is too complex for most young kids to figure out. For extra assurance, you can usually just pull off the knob handles (it's virtually impossible to turn the stove on without them), and just put one on when you want to use the stove. R.K.

We have a gas stove with knobs at the front, too. We just removed the knobs, leaving the metal rods sticking out a little in front. We just turn those rods to use the range-- it does take a little strength, but that's how it works as a deterrent for the kids--they're not strong enough to turn them. Christina


My nine month old is now very mobile and we have stepped up the pace of our child proofing. In the course of checking our house for possible dangers, I discovered that when my oven (one of those stove/oven units that is free standing) is used the outside gets extremely hot. The unit is one that came with the house so I am not sure if one or all of the following is a reason that this happens: 1) because it is old........ we have no way of knowing how old it is for sure, but since no one sells the right size aluminum drip plates (to go under the burners) I assume it is pretty out dated. 2)because it is/was the cheapest model on the market....... the previous owners seem to have been very frugal 3)because it is a gas appliance.... maybe an electric one wouldn't get so hot (I am grasping at straws.) 3)because all stove/oven units do get hot and there is nothing to be done

I am very worried that my son will be burned by touching/leaning on the stove. I am wondering if anyone out there can tell me if a new stove/oven would have better insulation so that this is not a concern. (I have a funny feeling that a salesperson would look at me like I am a nut if I asked, and then just yes me along.) Also, if anyone else has had a similar appliance and what they did to fix the problem that does not involve remodeling the kitchen. Rose

I'm very interested to hear what ideas people have for childproofing a stove. I've been successful in teaching my son to just keep his distance, but my oven door has an unfortunate tendency to drop open, becoming a hot, heavy metal hazard as it swings (it's a semi-antique stove, that works great but for this flaw). I've tried a couple of things that were not very successful - e.g. the bungee cord slowly relaxed due to the heating, and then suddenly shot off. One thing that was a total failure was the little plastic latch I got from a catalog (Safety First, I think) - it is specifically designed to keep kids from opening the oven door, and it ripped right off with very little effort - I'd stay away from this little waste of money.

I saw your concerns about childproofing your oven. Mine is also old (and still good I might add) and gets hot on the outside when on. Ours has a window so you can see inside it. Here is what I did to teach my 18month old daughter. When we turn the oven on, we also turn on the light inside and we have taught her that when that is on it is HOT and not to touch. So far so good....

Our electric oven gets very hot on the outside when in use. I don't bake too often, but when I do, I just put a couple of kitchen chairs in front of it as a physical barricade. Also, even though she has never actually been burned, my two year-old daughter has deep respect for things that are hot. So she never seeks out the oven when I tell her it's on and very hot. I would advise you to impress on your child that it is hot and very dangerous. Good luck.