PARENTS

Tip Of The Day: How To Keep Safe In The Kitchen With Children

11/11/2009 10:03 | Updated 22 May 2015

Recently, actress and cookbook author Fay Ripley was enthusing us with her passion for cooking with children. But we do sometimes have to be cautious when our kids are cooking, in order to prevent a kitchen nightmare.

One in ten children's accidents happen in the kitchen and nearly 800 children under 12 were admitted to hospital last year with burns or scalds from hot drinks, food, fats and cooking oils. The Child Accident Prevention Trust is currently running a home safety campaign, supported by Fay Ripley. This is its advice to keep your little chefs safe from harm:

• Keep young children away from hot appliances like ovens, toasters and kettles

• When you are cooking, always use the rings at the back of the cooker and turn pan handles towards the back. This way they can't be grabbed or knocked over by active children of any age

• Push your kettle to the back of the worktop and choose one with short or curled flex so that they can't be pulled off the top

• Keep knives and scissors in a high drawer which is out of reach

• Keep cleaning products high up and out of sight and reach and for low cupboards fit safety catches

• Use products which contain a bittering agent to stop children swallowing them

• Cut up finger food into small pieces as young children can easily choke on food which is difficult to chew or too big

• Make sure children sit down to eat as they can choke if they run around with food

• Use a five point harness in your child's high chair and be careful where you place it in case they can reach appliances or drawers

• Don't hold your child and a hot drink at the same time and don't pass hot things over children's heads

• When you are cooking it's safer to keep young children out of the kitchen if it's possible, for example by fitting a safety gate across the kitchen doorway

• Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and check it every week

For older children, from around the age of five:

• Teach children simple tasks like buttering and cutting bread with a round-ended knife

• They are not safe to handle sharper implements like bread knives until they are older so keep them out of reach

• Teach children how to use items like scissors but make sure you supervise them and keep the scissors out of reach at other times

From around the age seven:

• Teach children how to tackle simple tasks safely, like making a hot drink or simple meal but supervise them when they're doing this

• Never allow a child to use a chip pan, even under supervision. If you use a chip pan yourself don't leave it unattended or fill it more than one third full

• Once your child reaches seven you may want to start teaching them how to light matches safely under your supervision - this can make matches less fascinating

• Show children this age how to use knives and scissors safely under supervision, but don't let them use sharp knives

• Make sure children know not to run with sharp things in their hands

More practical hints here in our Tip of the Day section

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