Childproofing Your Home

child playing behind safety gates in front of stairs at home

You want your home to be a safe place for your kids whether they are crawling, toddling or walking. You may not be thinking of all of the new ways kids can find to hurt themselves, but your kids are! Here are just a few tips for childproofing your home.

For a longer checklist, be sure to read: Tips for Childproofing Your Home.

15 Quick Childproofing Tips

  1. Cover all electrical outlets with child-resistant covers.
  2. Keep chemicals out of reach and in locked cabinets.
  3. Use the safety belts that your baby’s swings and bouncy seats come with.
  4. Shorten curtain and blind cords. These present a choking hazard.
  5. Remove the plastic tips from door stops or replace the door stops with one-piece door stops.
  6. Secure unsteady furnishings.
  7. Make sure hallways and stairs are well lit at all times.
  8. Put a gate at the top and bottom of stairs to keep babies and toddlers from going up or down.
  9. Put the baby’s crib away from all drapery, electrical cords and windows.
  10. Move mobiles and other hanging toys away from the crib before your baby is able to reach them.
  11. Use hand railings for children getting their first “big kid” bed.
  12. Lock the medicine cabinets, and keep all vitamins and medicine locked away.
  13. Lower your household water temperature.
  14. Keep knives, plastic bags and cleaning supplies used in the kitchen out of children’s reach.
  15. Add protective covering to stove and oven knobs.

This is just a start on the things you can do to keep your kids safe in your home. Learn more by clicking here. You’ll see there are lots of things to do to keep your kids safe!

Take Your Steak from Good to Great with Some Grilling Pointers from the Pros

Man Eating Steak

Summer is here and that means more time outside, firing up the grill. There is no downside to making the best steak – except being in charge of the grill at every meal. So grab your “Kiss the Cook” apron and your tongs and get grilling. 

Make friends with your butcher. A good steak dinner starts with the best cut of meat. And no one knows how to pick the best cut better than a butcher. Your butcher will know the best steaks for grilling are thick and have a lot of marbling, thin white streaks of fat. This marbling keeps your steak juicy and adds flavor. Choose bone-in, as well.The bone absorbs some of the heat and distributes the heat more evenly.

Don’t thaw a frozen steak. If you aren’t getting your steak from the butcher but are pulling it out of the freezer, don’t thaw it ahead of time. Frozen steaks lose less moisture and retain more flavor. Give it a try!

If your steak is not frozen, take it out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before grilling to bring it to room temperature so it cooks evenly.

Pre-heat your grill. If your grill is hot enough, you should not be able to hold your hand over the grates for more than two minutes.

Prep your steak by lightly coating it with canola oil or olive oil. The oil will allow the surface temperature to get seared fast ensuring a juicier final product as well as greatly aiding the charring of the meat’s surfaces.

And season simply. If your steak is well marbled, just add some coarsely ground black pepper and kosher salt to bring out its natural flavors. Season a bit more than you might other grilled items as some of the steak’s seasoning will be lost in the grilling process.

Leave your steak alone. Let it develop a seared crust on the grill before flipping it. Flipping your steak too many times can allow it to lose flavoring so only flip it once.

Don’t overdo it. Err on the side of undercooking a steak rather than overcooking it. You can always put the meat back on the grill if its too rare.

Take five. Once your steak is off the grill, wait at least 5 minutes before slicing. This gives the juices a chance to settle back into the meat. The internal juices will redistribute throughout the steak and the steak will relax and become tender. Cutting too soon will allow the juices to spill out turning a medium rare steak into a medium plus steak.

Enjoy! And get a good apron, because you’ll be doing the grilling from now on!