How to Help Ensure Kitchen Safety for Kids
More than 3.4 million children experience unintentional household injuries every year. Safety hazards don’t disappear when the kids walk through the door. What can you do to help minimize the risk of kitchen injury for the kids? Set ground rules. Especially if the kids help you with kitchen chores regularly. Here’s a list of some kitchen rules parents are using to help ensure kitchen safety for kids everywhere.
Seven Kitchen Rules to Help Ensure Kitchen Safety for Kids
1) Don’t fool around in the kitchen
Kids can easily get carried away in a game of tag or hide-and-go seek. This means that even if they’re well aware of potential kitchen hazards, they’re still likely to run around areas of the kitchen. Make them aware of the dangers of fooling around in the kitchen, like slipping on a wet or greasy floor, tripping on cords, or knocking pots off the counter.
2) Turn pot handles to the back wall
Teach the kids to always point pot and pan handles away from them, and towards the back of the burner. Anything as simple as accidentally knocking the pots with their arms because of their short height can lead to disaster. When handling and moving pots, encourage the kids to use oven mitts or dry potholders.
3) Be careful around appliances
It’s very important when using electric appliances kids are under adult supervision. In addition to this, make sure the kids know to wash and completely dry their hands before using them, as electrical devices and water don’t mix. It’s also important to unplug appliances as soon as they stop using them.
4) Ask before you taste
Food borne illness is not a joke, so make sure the kids know to ask before tasting food or ingredients. Yes, even that delicious cookie dough; it’s better to be safe than sorry! The Center for Disease Control recommends staying away from raw dough or batter for foods like pizzas, biscuits, tortillas, or pancakes, as kids run the risk of ingesting E. Coli (from flour) or Salmonella (from raw eggs).
5) Clean as you go
Speaking of bacteria, encouraging the kids to clean the kitchen as they help with small cooking chores can do lots of good. For starters, cleaning the kitchen as you’re using it helps reduce the risk of cross contamination and food borne illness. This habit is expected in professional kitchens for efficiency and accuracy in preparing dishes, so why not make a habit out of this at home? The added benefit of cleaning the kitchen as the kids use it is that it helps maintain focus by decluttering the area, much like the effect of decluttering the office.
6) Practice fire safety in the kitchen
Practicing fire safety rules with the kids involves lots of time. Teach the kids to Stop, Drop, and Roll if their clothes catch fire, as well as to avoid wearing loose fitting clothing to minimize the risk of their clothes catching on fire. Keep them engaged by downloading the Red Cross’s mobile app for kids: Monster Guard. This app was built for kids ages 7 to 11, and helps teach preparedness for real-life emergencies. Make sure your kitchen has a fire extinguisher, and make a habit of checking the kitchen before going to sleep.
7) Discuss safety rules before kids start helping around the kitchen
All the rules above are keys to help ensure kitchen safety for kids. Just remember to clearly discuss these kitchen rules with the kids before they start getting involved in helping with kitchen chores. Encourage them to seek clarification, as educating them on kitchen safety hazards helps minimize the risk of injury down the road.
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