Kitchen Safety For Children

The kitchen is an especially dangerous place for babies; it’s full of safety hazards for tiny people who want to touch, taste, and explore everything they come in contact with. One thing that some parents still do which is very unsafe is to warm a baby bottle of milk in a microwave oven. This can be dangerous because microwaves don’t heat foods consistently throughout. As you’ve surely experienced, microwaved food can be cold in one place, and steaming in another. So to avoid scalding your baby’s mouth and throat, don’t ever microwave their milk. And anytime you give them a warm drink of any kind, make sure you test it for heat before letting them drink it. Another safety hazard in the kitchen, or anywhere else for that matter, is holding the baby while you’re eating or drinking something hot, such as coffee. A wriggling baby and hot food or drink in the same lap is an invitation to a burn. The same is true of cigarettes – if you smoke, don’t ever do so while holding a baby. In fact, child development experts say you should never light a match or lighter in front of small children, as they want to copy their parents in everything. Home safety experts also recommend that parents who smoke always do it outdoors. If you do use matches or lighters, make sure they’re never left lying around, but are always secured where children can’t get to them. Of course, you should never try to operate a stove or oven, or do any other cooking while holding a child. It’s best, if at all possible, to keep your infant out of the kitchen while you’re cooking. This isn’t always possible, so make sure that when the oven is on, you’ve got a screen or something else in front of it to prevent them from touching it. This also is true of wood stoves, fireplaces, and radiators. Anything that’s hot and within reach of a child should be blocked so that they don’t have access to it. Another safety consideration is tablecloths. If the child is able to reach them, they can easily pull them off, even if there are dishes on top. Not only could this be very expensive, but the child could be injured or burned. So when using tablecloths, don’t let small children tug at them. It’s best to put them on only right before a meal, and remove them immediately afterwards, and have the children seated when doing so. And, whether it’s near the kitchen or elsewhere, always keep the door to the hot water heater closed.

Kitchen Utensil and Gadget Safety

Another factor in making your kitchen safe is utensils. Steak knives, butcher knives, carving knives, and bread knives are all found in most American kitchens – and they’re very deadly. There should be no way for a baby or a small child to reach one at any time. They should be kept high enough that you don’t even have to worry about it. Some people use locking drawers for these items, and others lock them in cases. Whichever works best for you, and gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your small children don’t have access to knives is fine. While not as dangerous, other silverware also presents safety hazards. Forks are quite sharp themselves, and any other utensil could hurt a child if they fell on top of it while running. It’s best not to let children handle these except at meal times, or under very close supervision. Many homes today also contain lots of helpful gadgets in their kitchens, such as food choppers and slicers. Make sure these are up and out of the child’s reach, and never let them play with them. Also, if a child is strong enough to open a refrigerator, you’ll want to keep things that could harm them, such as very spicy foods, things they could choke on, or glass jars, on the top shelves. Some families use refrigerator locks for this reason.

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