Safety in the Kitchen–Tips for Parents

June 24, 2011

Word came this week that, tragically, a mother had placed her infant in a microwave oven.  The child died of burns.  A consumer wrote to say that microwaves should have motion sensors placed in them that would prevent their operation if something living was placed inside the cooking cavity.  That is extremely unlikely to happen.

This baby isn't in danger in the kitchen yet!

It did get us to thinking about safety in the kitchen for parents.  Here are some tips you can use to make sure your kitchen is a safer place, particularly if you have young children around.

  • Always turn pan handles towards the rear of the stove.  It makes it less likely a child will be able to reach a pan of hot food.
  • Use the rear burners first, before using the front burners, if you have small children. Again, it will make it more difficult for them to reach the cookware.
  • Try to keep toys out of the kitchen.  It’s hard when the kitchen is an integral part of family life and often contiguous to the family room, but the kitchen should be primarily a work area and not a play area.
  • Make sure all the plugs in the kitchen–and the rest of the house–are childproof.  Modern plugs are made to be difficult to enter to resist children’s inserting a metal object, but the safest items is a plug which completely covers the socket.
  • Be careful where you place hot bakeware when it comes out of the oven.  Good smells are temptations for tottlers who may not realize a metal pan or cookie sheet is hot.
  • Don’t allow children to play around or with kitchen appliances.  A mixer is not a toy. Neither is a coffee maker, food processor or bean grinder.  Knives should be stored in a block and well away from a little one’s reach.