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Kitchen Appliance Safety for Kids

Mar 26, 2008
March break is rapidly approaching and you'll have your kids home with you again. While this may seem like something rowdy and difficult, you can use this week to help your kids understand how to use your kitchen appliances.

Baking is a great way to keep your kids occupied during the March break. Not only will they be busy mixing and stirring and cutting out cookies or kneading bread, they will really enjoy the results. Plus, the ability to bake their own food is a skill that shouldn't be underestimated. Starting them young is a great way to ensure they can take care of themselves once they reach adulthood, but don't waste this valuable opportunity to teach your children yet another important skill . . . correct use of kitchen appliances.

This is the ideal time to show your children how to stay safe in the kitchen, whether they are baking in the oven, heating something on the stove or in the microwave, or using the garbage disposal. These are skills that will stay with them for years to come and keep them safe as they prepare their own food.

Hot Appliances

Microwaves and stoves are particularly dangerous for kids who may not realize the grave danger they pose. Right from the start, teach your children not to touch anything on the stove without supervision. If you are going to show them how to cook something in a pot, make it a rule that the handle be turned it to prevent the possibility of a smaller child grabbing at it and pulling hot food down on themselves, a very common cause of burns in small children.

Kids should also be taught to use the proper utensils with kitchen appliances that heat food. Oven mitts and pot holders are a vital part of keeping the heating containers and pans from burning tender skin and it's also important to note that utensils made of plastic should never be left in the pot, as they will melt.

For microwaves, teach them to use shorter times and add more time if necessary. This is important to avoid over heating food, which can cause a fire. Also, it's a good idea to have a discussion this March break about what containers can safely be put into the microwave. As you bake, you will likely be heating milk and melting butter, so this is the ideal time to talk about choosing the right items to enter the microwave without causing damage.

Cold Appliances

Fridges and freezers are actually a major hazard for children, particularly smaller ones who may get inside the appliance and close the door. While it isn't necessary to frighten them, let you kids know that cold can be just as dangerous as heat over longer periods of time. Teach them to never lean into the freezer, if they need help reaching something, it's a good idea to call an adult.

Other Kitchen Appliances

Using other kitchen appliances such as the garbage disposal or dishwasher can also be dangerous to kids who may not realize what they are doing. Teach them how to measure the dish soap into the dishwasher, the right way to stack the dishes so they won't break during the wash cycle and how to ensure that no hard objects are being dumped into the garbage disposal, since these could fly up and hurt someone.

Kitchen appliances are useful and your kids need to learn how to use them, but safely teaching them by having fun is a great way to go. And what could be more fun than baking up a storm for March break?
About the Author
Cooking with your children can be a great way to spend time with them and bond. For safety reasons, it's important to be careful when using kitchen appliances.
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