Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kitchen Safety

Kitchen Safety
Moms spend a lot of time in the kitchen; so naturally, their children are interested in what goes on there. Most children learn by watching their parents, and they develop and interest in doing anything they see an adult do. This is how they learn about the world around them. Even before your children can talk, they are learning about the world by watching mom, dad, and other adults as they go about their day. This is the perfect time to teach them about kitchen safety. You may have childproof locks, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to know what is behind the lock.
Probably the most dangerous item in your kitchen is your stove. Children often don’t understand what things feel like unless they touch them. This is true of hot and cold as well as fuzzy or sleek. You can tell them ‘hot’ as much as you like, but they won’t get it until they feel it. As a preventative measure, the first lesson in kitchen safety is what hot feels like. Naturally, you don’t want to put your child’s hand on something that will harm them to teach them this, so you have to think of another way.
When it came time for me to teach my daughter this lesson in kitchen safety, I used my oven. I turned it on and waited for it to warm up. I did not let it get hot, but when it was warm but not dangerous, I allowed her to feel it. I explained that if she felt that sensation, she was in danger and should move away. The next kitchen safety lesson I taught was also about heat, but it was more about the pans on the top of the stove. I keep the handles turned in, but I had to remind her repeatedly that she couldn’t touch them.
When it comes to kitchen safety, you also have to worry about knives. Because knives are shiny and off limits, they are one of the first things your children will want to touch. You have to make sure you keep these up and completely out of reach, but you also have to demonstrate what they can do. You have to teach them to use them safely as they grow, and make sure your repeat your kitchen safety lessons over and over until you are sure they understand the dangers they face when they go in there alone.