Did you know that most injuries occur to children in a kitchen environment? It makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, there are all kinds of dangerous objects in the kitchen that can cause serious injury to a child of any age. Your child could cut themselves with a sharp knife, get burned from a stove or microwave, fall while trying to climb up onto a cabinet or counter, and put themselves in a number of other dangerous situations. With the holidays approaching, now would be a good time, I think, to review some kitchen safety tips.
If your child is able to climb and starting to reach for things, then it is a good time to start teaching them about kitchen safety. Help them associate with hot and cold sensation by letting them feel things that come out of the refrigerator, or freezer, with things that come out of microwaves and cooking appliances. A safe method to do this would be to warm up a cup in a microwave just to the point where it is warm, and then let the child feel it, teaching them the word, hot. As the child connects the feeling with the word, apply it to the oven and the stove top so that they have a sense of awareness of the kitchen environment. Allow them to feel the hot air that comes out of the oven when the door is opened, while keeping them a safe distance from it, to develop their word association skills further.
2 – Keep sharp knives out of reach of small fingers
Your child loves to watch you do things and often, they are only trying to mimic your actions when they see you cutting things on the kitchen counter. In order to prevent any accidents from occurring, make sure that your knives are kept off of counters and even out of drawers. I put my steak knives in a small storage container with a lid and then store it in the back of a cabinet where they are out of sight and out of mind.
3 – Turn pot handles
It is easy for a child to reach up to grab a pot through curiosity, or the intent to be helpful, but this can lead to horrible burns occurring and a dash to the nearest hospital. When cooking at the stove, make sure that your pot handles are turned in towards the wall and even then, never leave them unsupervised if you have children nearby. It only takes a couple of seconds for a child to reach up and try to grab the pot.
4 – Don’t hold your child while cooking
Children can be fussy when their parent is not paying attention to them but the worst thing you can do is try to work in the kitchen while holding a child. This is only an invitation for that child to reach and grab things that you are using, such as a knife or a hot pot. Instead, put your child in their highchair or at the table with a project to work on while you do your work. Make it a fun and learning experience by giving them food to taste, smell, and touch. This will keep them occupied so that you can focus on making dinner.
How do you keep your children safe in the kitchen?