10 tips to keep kids safe in the kitchen

by Julie Snyder

baby safety-kitchenWhile we might long for having Rachel Ray or your favorite celebrity whipping up one of her famous delicacies, we're stuck being chief cook and head bottle washer!

The addition of little ones underfoot is a given as the kitchen tends to be the heart of the home.

We've compiled 10 sure-fire tips to keep your kids safe.

10 tips to keep your kids safe in the kitchen

1. Keep sharp objects out of reach of small hands

Shiny knives left near the counter are attractive to your child. Help them avoid the temptation by moving them back out of sight and reach.

2. Pots, stoves and toddlers

Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward. Those handles are tipping points for a hungry toddler wanting to help or to sneak a taste. This is again an easy safeguard to avoid a trip to the emergency room!

3. Avoid using tablecloths

Crawling infants and toddlers often grab at anything and everything to pull themselves up. Young children might try pulling on the tablecloth causing hot food and other objects to come tumbling down on their head!

4. Store snack away from the stove

Despite your warnings, once children master that crawling-climbing phase, they will do whatever it takes to reach what they desire. Ideally, these would be kept out of the way, but it's absolutely imperative never to keep snacks on or near the stove, even when cool! This helps train your kid not to go near the stove and saves you heartache of an avoidable burn.

5. Keep young children safe while you cook

Place your baby in a high chair or playpen while cooking to keep them away from kitchen hazards. A busy kitchen can be a host of dangers for a little one on the move. Find small activities to keep them occupied and allow you to remain focused on whether you added spice to your recipe already or not!

6. Watch those wires

Don't allow appliance cords to dangle or hang over counter tops or table edges. Children can't resist giving them a tug. Better yet, unplug and wrap or tuck cords away for safekeeping. Use electrical outlet covers when they're not in use.

7. Teach About the Dangers

Instruct your preschooler about the dangers in the kitchen. Explain to them what is sharp or hot. Tell them the kitchen is not a place for "rough housing" or "horseplay." While it may seem that they're too young to understand, this will instill a respect for the space.

8. Take "baby steps" as you raise young cooks

Have children learn first on non-electrical equipment, like a hand beater, before they progress to electric equipment. Give them metal or plastic utensils, measuring cups and bowls versus glass that can break.

9. Demonstrate Safety

Roll up your own sleeves and tie back long hair. Use oven mitts when handling hot food. Don't leave food unattended. Use caution in how you handle a knife. Remember, small children will mimic what they see you do!

10. Supervise!

Cooking together can be fun! It's also a valued life lesson you can share with your kids. Assign age-appropriate tasks and oversee their progress.

What are some of your tips you can share?