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Safety & Prevention

Kitchen Safety: 10 Tips for Families With Young Children

Kitchen Safety Kitchen Safety

​The kitchen is often the center of activity in many homes, but it has a lot of hidden dangers. Here are 10 safety tips you can use to help keep your kids safe in the kitchen.

10 ways to protect your child from the most serious kitchen dangers:

  1. Store strong cleaners, lye, furniture polish, dishwasher soap, and other dangerous products in a high cabinet, locked and out of sight. Detergent packets or pods pose a special risk for young children, who may mistake them for candy or gummy treats; buy powdered or liquid detergent if at all possible. If you must store some items under the sink, use an automatically fastening child safety lock (most hardware, baby supply and department stores have them). Never transfer dangerous substances into containers that look as if they might hold food as this may tempt a child to taste them.

  2. Keep knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp instruments separate from "safe" kitchen utensils. Store sharp cutting appliances such as food processors out of reach and/or in a locked cupboard. Consider keeping a toy box or drawer with safe play items in the kitchen for your child to amuse them.

  3. Unplug appliances when not in use. Don't allow electrical cords to dangle where your child can reach and tug on them, possibly pulling a heavy appliance down on themselves.

  4. Always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so your child can't reach up and grab them. Whenever you have to walk with hot liquid—coffee, soup, a pot of boiling water—be sure you know where your child is, so you don't trip over them. Do not try to carry your child at the same time.

  5. When shopping for an oven, choose one that is well-insulated to protect your child from the heat if they touch the oven door. Never leave the oven door open.

  6. If you have a gas stove, turn the dials firmly to the off position. If they're easy to remove, do so when you aren't cooking so that your child can't turn the stove on. If they cannot be removed easily, use child-resistant knob covers and block access to the stove as much as possible.

  7. Keep matches out of reach and out of sight. If using them to light birthday candles, for example, put them right back away.

  8. If the microwave is within your child's reach, stay nearby when it is onand never allow your child to open the microwave or remove and never allow your child to open the microwave or remove food or liquids that have finished heating. Also, don't warm baby bottles in a microwave oven. The liquid heats unevenly, and there may be pockets of milk hot enough to scald your baby. Overheated baby bottles have also exploded when they were removed from the microwave.

  9. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and on every floor of your home, in a place you will remember.)

  10. Do not use small refrigerator magnets that your baby could choke on or swallow.

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Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention (Copyright © 2023)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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