The kitchen is a microcosm of the world, with plenty of room for experimentation, trials, and extraordinary baking artistry, as well as numerous safety hazards. You can introduce it to your child as an intriguing place within the context of kitchen safety for kids to minimize the possibility of accidents and injuries.
While it may appear impossible to ensure your child’s safety in the kitchen, you can do it by eye on them while they work. This post discusses the best ideas, suggestions, and strategies for keeping kids safe in the kitchen.
Safety In The Kitchen For Kids
Kids feel enthusiastic and are always curious to know and try every interesting thing possible under the sun. Naturally, they want to do things independently as they are filled with overconfidence, but they are blissfully unaware of the hazards in the kitchen. So here are some safety measures kids need to follow in the kitchen:
- Using high chairs and positioning them appropriately: A high chair with good straps is the perfect seating arrangement for kids in the kitchen, which restricts their movements. Position the chair at a place away from the working area and within the parents’ sight helps them pay continuous attention to the kids’ actions. Also, ensure that there are no switches near the seating.
- Playing with kitchen toys: Give kids their set of kitchen toys to play with, making them feel like they are participating with their parents. For instance, you can play with them by picking vegetables or vessels from the kitchen and asking the kids to imitate your actions using their toy set. This activity helps introduce kids to kitchen chores gradually before they begin handling any tools.
- Locking the kitchen: When there are kids in the house, keeping the kitchen locked after use is preferable. This will prevent the kids from venturing into the kitchen alone, especially in your absence. Also, to calm the kids’ curiosity, they should be allowed in the kitchen when parents prepare food.
- Assigning simple chores: Initially, assigning simple kitchen chores, such as passing small cooking pots or spoons to parents. Allow kids to stand nearby and observe how things are being done. They can stir in between the cooking under adult supervision and help you knead the dough.
- Managing electronic appliances: All electronic appliances should be unplugged, and their electric cords should be hidden behind them when not in use. Waterproof the kitchen making it seepage proof, damp proof, and dry. Many times, in humid or leaky kitchens, electronic appliances may cause electric shocks. Operating electrical appliances should be done only under adult supervision. Keep reminding kids to switch off all kitchen appliances they have used.
- Managing breakable and hot cookware: All breakable crockery and hot pots with food should be kept out of children’s reach to avoid injuries and burns. Hot pots containing hot food must be kept away on the cooking top as kids may touch these hot pots and burn their hands.
- Wearing appropriate clothing: Make kids wear small, tidy clothes before they enter the kitchen. Baggy or flary clothes are more likely to get entangled, and kids may fall and get hurt. Preference should be given to sleeveless clothes over baggy clothes or full sleeves, as the latter can catch fire. Make kids wear aprons to avoid spills on the clothes. Loose clothes may get trapped in drawers or gadgets or may dip in food.
- Supervising and strictly cautioning kids: Strict supervision is needed for kids as one cannot expect total obedience from them. Kids are super active and curious about everything around them. Therefore, they should be properly warned not to enter the kitchen alone, not even to prepare something to surprise the elders. When kids get used to doing kitchen chores regularly, they should be reminded about the set rules.
- Wearing shoes and slippers: Kids should wear comfortable shoes or slippers in the kitchen, which will protect them from potential burns or wounds. Also, the plastic slippers will protect kids from potential current shocks while switching on/off any electronic appliances or switchboards in the kitchen.
- Cleaning and other safety measures: If something spills in the kitchen, it should be cleaned immediately, as kids may slip over it. Safety locks should be used for covering the knobs of the cooking stove. Kids may put the knobs on when someone is not around, which can be dangerous. All dish wash liquids, gels, kitchen countertop cleaners, kitchen floor cleaners, mosquito or cockroach killer sprays should be kept in a lockable compartment. These items should be inaccessible to the kids as they may swallow or lick these items.
- Beginning easy: Initially, kids should be given blunt knives. When they get a firm grip on these knives, they should be gradually introduced to sharper ones and taught easy cutting methods. In the beginning, kids must be taught to hold food pots that are at normal room temperature, to help them get a firm grip and get used to lifting the weight of the food pot. Gradually they should be allowed to hold little hot pots only while wearing gloves. Kids should be taught to handle raw meat or non-veg separately.
- Making a checklist: Kids should be provided with a complete checklist of things to do before beginning any kitchen chores and after the work is completed. The checklist may include teaching kids to gather all necessary ingredients before preparing a dish to avoid chaos and avert minor accidents in the kitchen.
- Training kids for emergencies: Kids should be taught to smell the gas leakage. In such situations, they must be told strictly not to put the light switch on. In this case, they should be trained to run out of the kitchen, and immediately inform an adult. Always keep a first aid box ready in the kitchen for any immediate medical attention. A handkerchief must be provided to kids to wipe hands regularly for being aware of any injury.
- Washing hands and first aid: Kids should wash their hands and vegetables thoroughly before touching anything in the kitchen and cutting or chopping activities. Minor cuts and burns are an unavoidable part of the kitchen.
- Ventilating the kitchen: The kitchen should be well vented for fresh air, clean and at a suitable temperature favourable for the child. To this end, exhaust fans play an important role in the kitchen.
- Other preventive measures: Some other measures that can be followed for creating a hazard-free kitchen are the following.
- A fire extinguisher is an utmost necessity of a kitchen
- Telephone numbers of the fire department, the nearby police station, and the hospital should be written in bold on the outer wall of the kitchen. Both elders and kids should be aware of these numbers
- Houses should be earthed properly for all electrical fittings
- Proper insulation of electrical and electronic appliances should be done to avoid shocks and burns
- For adequate visibility, there should be sufficient light in the kitchen.
It is easier to child-proof the entire house than just the kitchen. However, that should not prevent children from learning new skills in the kitchen. Toddlers can sit on high stools or have their own play kitchen equipment. Older children may be taught the right use of culinary tools and working practices to enhance their abilities and interests. Confirm your kitchen has a fire extinguisher and that electrical items are properly earthed. Also, ensure that children are always under adult supervision when in or around the kitchen.
- A high chair restricts the motion while enabling them to see things happening over the counter and thereby keeps them safe.
- Letting children help parents bypass small spoons, pots, and pans in the kitchen can help them enjoy and be a part of the cooking process.
- All electronic appliances must be unplugged and switched off when not used.