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Chapter Thirty-Three: Kitchen Safety Tips for Children
As children start to learn to walk, the dangers of the home get even more serious. Now kids are able to freely walk around while holding their own, rendering them capable to move things around and even climb onto furniture and/or tables.
Keeping Child Safe Around the Stove,Oven and Dish Washer
Kids will see their parents using the kitchen a lot, especially the stove, and will become very curious about what it is for. Since they are usually too small to look over and see what the stove is, they will either flail their hands around the hot oven or grab a chair and try to climb atop it to get to the stove. Something like this is EXTREMELY dangerous because they will most likely be most interested in it while it is on, so the risk of fire and burning is very high at these times.
While on a chair, kids can touch the hot pans or even the fire, and can climb onto the countertop and touch the hot stove with their hands or feet while pulling themselves up there. Remember to always be in the kitchen when you are cooking, or at least within reach of your child when you know that the stove is on. Another good tip to protect your children when the stove is on is to turn the handles of the pots and pans away from reach and towards the wall. This way, kids are less likely to feel the need to grab onto something that may seem close to them. Also, if your child is old enough to walk or even tall enough to reach over the stove, it can be a good idea to use the burners closest to wall so that it makes it harder for children to see if anything is on the stove or even be able to reach it if they do. Ideally, homes with small children should be equipped with glass-top stoves because they have no open flame, but if that is not feasible, then following these safety tips along with being mindful should work well enough.
Young children are also very prone to getting burns or scalds by an actively burning oven or steaming dish washer. Finding ovens with the knobs turned towards the wall or covers that protect from heat on the window are a good idea. In all, watching over your child at all times, including times that you are not even in the kitchen, is important. Kids are curious to learn and explore the world around them, and without having any known consequences of their actions and curiosities, they will essentially have no boundaries. Be within reach of your child at all times and teach them what is appropriate and not appropriate in the kitchen and elsewhere.
In addition to safety while cooking, childproofing a kitchen includes smart organizational tactics. This includes keeping the set of knives far away from reach, scissors in a child-proof drawer, treats away from the stove and low cabinets, and placing outlets higher up on the wall. While all of these seem like common sense, very honest mistakes could be made by not following these simple rules, and can result in horrifying consequences. Always think and plan for the worst possible scenarios, as children are very unpredictable and you can never be too safe and precautionary with them. As they get older they will begin to understand the danger behind a lot of these mechanisms, but protecting them from it as much as possible before they actually understand can do no harm.
16 Kitchen Safety Tips for Children:
- Make sure that any sharp objects/tools are in a drawer with a childproof latch.
- Make sure to install a dishwasher lock.
- Make sure to install a stove lock and knob protectors.
- Make sure all chairs and stepstools are positioned away from the stove.
- Make sure that all pot handles on the stove are positioned inward or place on the back burners.
- Make sure glass objects and appliances with sharp blades are stored out of reach.
- Make sure the garbage can is behind a cabinet door and that you a childproof latch has been installed on the garbage can.
- Make sure all appliances are unplugged when not in use and that all cords are out of reach.
- Make sure all matches and lighters are stored in a locked cabinet.
- Make sure the cabinet under the sink is free of any and all hazardous chemicals, i.e. cleaning supplies and bug sprays. Make sure these are all out of reach of children.
- Make sure all bottles containing alcohol are stored out of reach.
- Make sure all cords or wires are out of reach.
- Make sure refrigerator magnets or any small objects are out of reach.
- Make sure to install childproof latches are installed on all cabinet doors.
- Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher and that all family members know how to use it.
- Make sure that your child’s highchair has a safety belt with a strap between their legs.