Keeping Your Kids Safe In The Kitchen

If your family is anything like mine, you probably find yourself gathering in the kitchen on a daily basis, and it’s easy to understand why.  Our kids enjoy the kitchen because it is the center of activity.  As parents, we want company while we cook and encourage people to congregate there. And of course, everyone loves the kitchen because of the food options that this room promises.
It’s my firm belief that the kitchen is an excellent spot for a family to come together, not the least because it is where most meals take place. There’s just one problem. Due to all the medicines, vitamins, detergents, cutting utensils, blenders, and sharp objects in the kitchen, it’s also a room where your kids are more likely to get themselves hurt, especially if they are young.  
How can this be avoided? How can we keep our kids safe? Here are a few tips for parents to keep in mind:
-Breed familiarity. 
If your child is familiar with the kitchen – not just with the room itself, but with the activities that occur within – he is more likely to conduct himself in a safe and responsible manner. Perhaps the best way to teach such familiarity is by having your kids help out while you cook. 
When they are young, give them tasks along the lines of peeling, stirring, and assembling food. As they get older, they can gradually move up to cutting and chopping, and, in the process, gain an appreciation and comfort level with such kitchen tools. From a mom’s perspective, it also can’t hurt to have some company (and some help) while preparing for dinner.
-Organize smartly.  
A parent with young children will often have to put safety ahead of convenience, and this can certainly be the case when the kitchen is concerned. Harmful items and substances – be they medications, knives, or appliances– should be kept in higher-up cabinets as much as possible. You might have to reach a bit more while making meals, but it’s ultimately always better to be safe than sorry.
-Set ground rules. 
Finally, you can help ensure your children’s safety in the kitchen by setting explicit ground rules. While many parents establish such rules in other areas of the house, such as the basement, the laundry room, or the backyard, few have guidelines specifically for the kitchen. Tell your children what kitchen items they are allowed to use on their own and which are the most dangerous. Just a simple talk can go a long way.

These are a few of the main tips to keep in mind when looking to insure your children’s safety in the kitchen. Although kids across the country eat millions of meals in the kitchen every day without incident, it is always best to execute caution and be prepared, especially when dealing with potentially-dangerous objects and substances.

Bio: Stacy Hunt is a blogger, nutritionist, and full-time mom who writes about parenting and raises awareness of Actos linked to bladder cancer. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
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