Got Kids? Avoid Kitchen Disasters

It wouldn’t be fair or accurate to describe your average kitchen as a deathtrap. In fact, if you’re a particularly fervent cookin’ momma, then the very suggestion may even offend you! But let’s face it: the kitchen is probably the most hazardous room in the entire house, and if kids don’t know what they’re doing in there, then it can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Some parents assume that keeping kids safe from kitchen-related hazards is as simple as, well, keeping them out of the kitchen! But this doesn’t really teach them anything - and besides, there really is more to it than that. There’s no need to keep your kids out of the kitchen all of the time - you just need to make sure that the kitchen is as safe as it can possibly be, and that your kids actually know how to use its facilities safely.

Cooking lessons

Teaching your kids to cook is an incredible thing for many reasons. It helps them out a lot when it comes to boosting their culinary skills, of course! It also helps them foster good eating habits, as it teaches them to be a little bit more aware of what is actually going into their food. And when kids learn to cook, they’re leaning an important skill that will grant them more responsibility, independence, and confidence in the future. There are loads of recipes out there that are perfect to make with kids

But teaching them to cook will also teach them a lot about kitchen safety. In fact, cooking with your kids is probably the best way to get them used to safety practices! That’s because they’re getting a hands-on experience of navigating the kitchen and its various appliances one step at a time. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that some of that culinary confidence doesn’t go to their heads - you don’t want to walk into the kitchen and discover that they’re trying things out by themselves and putting themselves at more risk! Make sure they know that an adult always needs to be around to supervise them.

Heat risks

Burns and fires are the leading causes of injury among young children who are admitted to hospital from their homes. And where do most of those injuries occur? That’s right: the kitchen. Even very young children who you’d think wouldn’t be able to reach anything that could burn them have been known to be injured in such a way. This is generally because hot items are placed on cloths to prevent them from damaging the material underneath - and if that cloth is hanging off the surface, then it can be pulled. 

The best ways to avoid heat risks tend to be found in the purchase of the right kind of oven. Glass-top stoves reduce the risk of burns by tremendous amounts due to the lack of open flame, and ovens with function knobs out of the way, near the top or rear of the oven, make it very difficult for kids to operate them. It could be said that open flames are safer as it’s more obvious when not to go near the oven, as opposed to glass-top stoves. In any case, it really is best to keep kids away from ovens and kettles unless under the closest of supervision. 

Use safe cleaning products

A lot of the cleaning products you see in stores and television commercials are loaded with unsavory elements. They tend to be filled with too much sodium, alcohol, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, ammonia, parabens, and a bunch of other ugly-sounding terms. Even if you don’t know precisely what damage it all does, you know that you don’t want them in the air of your home! Using organic cleaning products in your kitchen will make it much safer for you and the kids. Such safe products from Better Life can be purchased for the kitchen and pretty much any other room in the house, including your kids’ bedrooms!

Another thing to consider is that a lot of these powerful cleaning products are a little too powerful, in that they kill pretty much every bit of bacteria around. The fact is that a bit of bad bacteria in your home helps your children build up their immune system. It’s not enough to make them ill, necessarily - but it gives their immune system the workout it needs! So when you utterly destroy all the bacteria in your home, you could be creating more health problems down the road than you’re preventing. 

Access denied!

There are times when children - especially the really little ones! - shouldn’t be in the kitchen at all! When we’re cooking a really elaborate and involved meal - let’s say, for example, you’re cooking up Christmas dinner -, there’s just no way we can keep an eye on everything while also keeping an eye on any children who might be in the kitchen with you. 

So sometimes you need to make sure they don’t get into the kitchen at all, especially when they might get under your feet and cause some real problems! Some homes have doors to the kitchens, but most are open - so you should consider installing a gate to prevent unsafe intrusion from little ones. 

Miscellaneous safety tips

Even most adults don’t seem to know the majority of safety tips that you need in a kitchen! Sure, they know the basics - how to cut things, what not to touch, when to wash your hands, etc. But there are a lot of tips you need to keep in mind. For example, not putting sharp knives in a sink full of water, because the person may not be able to see them when they reach into the water. And what about when things go wrong? Do you know when and when not to use water to tackle particular fires? Do you know never to add water to a pan that has hot oil on it?

Readers of this blog probably do know all of these things, but you’ve probably seen your fair share of people ignore these rules and tips! So it could be that children aren’t taught about these things often enough. Consider printing off safety tips and rules on a piece of paper and sticking it somewhere in the kitchen where your kids can see it - or consider making a safety poster together!

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