child safety

Child Kitchen Safety

When it comes to childproofing and child safety, the kitchen presents unique (but certainly not insurmountable) challenges.

It's been said, "the kitchen is the heart of the home," because families spend countless hours cooking and sharing meals, as well as, visiting, doing homework and playing games there. However, the kitchen can be a dangerous place for children if proper precautions are not taken.

Cooking With Children

From a very young age, children are interested in learning how to cook. Cooking is an important life skill for children to learn how to become self-sufficient as they grow in to adulthood. Take advantage of this time to encourage your child's natural curiosity, while also establishing the foundation of good nutritional habits and kitchen safety skills he will use for a lifetime.

There is no magical age that determines when a child is ready to learn. Start early, beginning with the basics of food handling and preparation. As they grow older, begin teaching how to prepare healthy snacks and eventually full meals.

Rule number one: Always wash your hands. Some additional child cooking safety tips include:

  • Choose age appropriate projects; for example, older children may be able to follow a recipe to bake cookies, while younger children can help decorate the cookies.
  • Save time by cleaning as you go; keep all work surfaces clean and dry.
  • Teach kids how to properly use utensils; use knives by cutting away from themselves.
  • Teach kids how to properly handle raw foods; do not sample uncooked products that contain raw eggs, do not use the same serving trays for uncooked and cooked meats, wash produce before eating, etc.
  • When using the stovetop, use backburners whenever possible and always turn handles inward.
  • Use oven mitts to handle hot pans; avoid using towels which can drape and make contact with heating elements. Replace worn or torn potholders and mitts.
  • Keep things, like towels and paper, that burn away from heat sources.
  • Never place glass utensils, pans or bowls on hot surfaces; the glass can explode.
  • Use only microwave safe containers in the microwave; never use anything metallic, including aluminum foil, in the microwave.
Child Kitchen Safety / Childproofing

Kitchens are full of hidden (and some pretty obvious) dangers for babies and toddlers: hot stoves, drawers full of sharp utensils, and cabinets filled with everything from dish soap to plastic bags are but only a few examples of why you must invest in simple childproofing to keep them safe. Some kitchen childproofing tips include:

  • Install drawer and cabinet baby proof locks and latches.
  • Store all knives and sharp objects in locked drawers; do not use countertop knife blocks.
  • Store all cleaning products, dish soap, plastic bags, medicines, alcoholic beverages, or other potentially hazardous items in upper cabinets. Don't rely solely on child safety cabinet locks, which toddlers can learn how to open, to keep your child from getting his hands on these items.
  • Install child safety outlet covers in all electrical outlets.
  • Install a specialty Child safety refrigerator latch, latches on dishwashers, and oven doors.
  • Make sure all items stored on countertops are pushed to the back and out of reach of young children.
  • Install child safe foam bumpers on sharp edges of counters or tables.
  • If your stove has front facing control knobs, install child safe stove knob covers.
  • Avoid using tablecloths or towels which toddlers can pull down on top of them.
  • If possible, use child gates or doorknob safety covers to restrict young children's access to the kitchen.
Buy Childproof Kitchen Gadgets

General Child kitchen safety tips:

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in a location which is easily accessible in the event of an emergency, yet out of reach of young children.
  • Clean spills as they occur; serious injury can occur when people slip and fall on wet floors.
  • Make sure all kitchen rugs have rubber or non-slip backing.
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edge of tables or counters and out of reach of small children.
  • Keep all medicines and/or household projects in locked cabinets or out of reach of children.
  • Do not store flammable substances near heat sources.
  • Install a smoke detector near kitchen.

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