I’m excited to introduce you to the author of this article, Daniel Sherwin. Daniel is a single dad raising two children. He created DadSolo.com to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them in their parenting journey. Daniel has a 9-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son who regularly help him cook and bake. What started as a necessity has become a hobby and a passion for his family.
Cooking and baking are fun ways to create “healthy” meals. But when you’re in the kitchen with kids, safety needs to be a top priority. Each year, thousands of children enter the emergency room with cuts and burns. But, you can keep your own kids safe by taking the time to teach them about safety in the kitchen.
These six safety steps can keep the fun in cooking while keeping your kids out of the emergency room:
1. Wear Proper Attire Make sure you’re all wearing clothing that is safe for cooking. Avoid loose sleeves and layers, which can catch fire or cause dangerous spills. An apron is a great way to keep clothes clean while offering protection. Wear shoes that won’t lead to slips or falls.
2. Know What Should Be Childproofed While cooking with kids can be fun, there are some kitchen tools and spaces that should be left to adults. Keep knives and other dangerous objects secure with childproof storage, and only allow them to be used with your supervision. Don’t let small children cook over open flames; keep them away from hot oils and pans. If you’re cooking on a stovetop, turn handles inward to avoid tipping pots over and causing serious burns.
3. Be Cautious When Using Appliances Food processors and blenders are beneficial when preparing food, but they can pose serious risks to little ones. Keep kids away from appliances with blades or teach them how to use them properly. Also, be cautious with heated appliances, such as waffle irons and griddles. And, talk to your children about the dangers of operating electric appliances near water.
4. Clean Up Messes As You Go Spills can be more than just an inconvenience – they can cause accidents in the kitchen. Teach your children to clean up while they cook, especially liquids that may have dropped onto the floor. Cleaning up bits of food on the stove and in the oven is also critical because even a small amount of grease or food can cause oven or kitchen fires. Use non-toxic cleaners and gloves when necessary.
5. Make Food Safety a Priority Burns and cuts aren’t the only dangers in the kitchen. Food poisoning can pose a serious threat to the health of your family. So, be sure to teach your children about food safety. Raw meats and eggs should be kept refrigerated until you’re ready to prepare them. Use separate cutting boards and knives for raw meat because the juice can seep into porous surfaces and contaminate other food items. Consider wearing gloves when handling raw meat, and teach your children proper hand-washing techniques.
6. Prepare for Real Emergencies No matter how prepared you are, accidents might still occur. So, be prepared with basic safety supplies. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and have it serviced on schedule. Put together a small first-aid kit and store it in a spot that is easily accessible for you and your kids. Keep a phone near the kitchen and show your kids how to dial 9-1-1.
Showing your kids how to safely prepare meals is a wonderful way to teach them life skills.
Be prepared, be patient, and have fun!
Photo Credit: Pixabay