This time of year the kitchen may be the busiest room in your house but with young children around it can also be the most dangerous. It’s important to take a few precautions to keep everyone safe while you’re doing your holiday cooking. Here are a few tips from our Safe Kids Maricopa County Program:

  1. Teach your children to stay a safe distance from hot stoves and appliances. When parents are cooking the stove might be hot, the oven might be opening and closing and knives may be within reach. Teach your children that the proper place to play is outside the kitchen and toys should not be brought near the cooking space.
  2. Avoid carrying or holding a child while cooking on the stove. Anyone who has tried to cook with a crying child in their arms knows how impossible that can be. When a child demands attention, take a moment to turn off the stove or step away from cooking to meet their needs.
  3. Use the back burner of your stove while cooking and turn pot hands away from the edge. This moves the hot pot or pan just a little further out of a curious child’s reach. It’s also a good idea to make sure appliance cords are coiled and out of a child’s reach as well.
  4. Use a timer. If you’ve got kids running around things often get busy and it’s easy to forget about food in the oven. Use a timer to remind yourself to check on food frequently.
  5. Take time to test your smoke alarms. It’s a good idea to do this regularly but especially before starting a busy cooking season.
  6. Teach your kids to cook safely. Cooking with your child can be a great bonding experience. If your child is old enough, allow them to help and participate in the preparation of their food. Not only will this help them learn to be cautious with cooking, but may encourage picky eaters to give new foods a try.

For more safety tips visit safekids.org.