Gobble, Gobble!!! Turkey Day is just around the corner. With the holidays approaching we will be spending more time in the kitchen. Kitchen safety is an important aspect of keeping children safe during the holidays. Here are a few tips we can teach our kids to keep them safe during this busy holiday season.
- “No Hokey Pokey with the Pots and Pans!” – When it comes to pots and pans on the stovetops and countertops, always rotate all the handles toward the back burners and far away from the edge of counters. If the pots have double handles, use the back burners only and push the pots and away from the edge of countertops. Toddlers are especially curious and if they can see anything hanging over the edge of a counter, they will reach for it.
- “What’s Hot and What’s Not!” Kids respond best to safety rules when they understand why we have them. At an early age, you can educate them on what items are hot and cannot be touched, such as stove tops, fire pits, pots and pans, candles, etc. Point to items and let them sense the warmth without touching it, with verbal reinforcement, such as “Candle hot, will burn you”. Starting this at an early age will help your child understand why they are not allowed near these items.
- “Chop, Chop!! Rushing around in a busy kitchen seems like a normal routine during the holidays but take time to slow down in the kitchen. Children often mimic the actions of their parents. Never allow running in the house. Knives, glass and hot containers of fluid can be dislodged and cause injury in the kitchen. Scissors and knives should be kept out of reach of small children.
Teaching children to help with cooking can be a fun learning experience and a chance to teach safe cooking techniques to your kids. Give them age-appropriate tasks with clear instructions. Set good examples for them, so that they can develop safe habits in the kitchen. When they are old enough, introduce them to cooking by helping with the preparation. Make sure they can see and reach the supplies and tools by using step stools and counter=height seating. Never allow children to climb or sit on the countertops or cabinets as this often results in injuries.
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