How to Child-Proof Your Kitchen

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Make your kitchen safe for everyone with these easy tips
How to Child-Proof Your Kitchen
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How many of these hazards have you checked for in your own kitchen?

There are lots of good reasons to let your children spend more time in the kitchen. Studies suggest that cooking with kids can help them eat healthier; cooking is a great way to teach kids about math, science, and nutrition; and cooking is an important life skill. However, the kitchen poses some unique safety hazards. Instead of keeping kids out of the kitchen, make this room a safe place for them to be and use the kitchen as an opportunity to teach your children about safety.

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If your children are too young to help you cook, the odds are good that you need to keep an eye on them in the kitchen. If they’re young enough to be placed in a high chair, it can make it easy to multi-task during meal prep, but if they’re older (or don’t like being confined to a chair), it’s important to make sure that your kitchen is properly child-proofed. You’ll need to consider everything within their reach and everything that could be in their reach if they climb on a stool or chair.

If your children are older and ready to start helping in the kitchen, it’s still a good idea to child-proof. Cooking with your kids is a great way to spend time together and teach them a number of valuable life skills, but it’s important to make the environment as safe as possible.

Whether you’ve got a curious toddler on your hands or an older child who’s eager to lend a hand, it’s a good idea to consider all of the potential safety hazards in your kitchen.

Burns

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When you’re cooking, be sure to place pot and pans on the back burners where kids are less likely to reach them. Keep the cookware handles turned inward, making it even more difficult for children to reach. When you’re baking, cool baked goods on a wire cooling rack and put hot sheet pans back in the oven (with the oven turned off) until they’re completely cool.

Chemicals and Cleaners

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Many people store bottles of cleaning products — like bleach or drain cleaner — under their kitchen sinks. If you have bottles that you aren’t sure you’ll use, toss them and keep your supply to a minimum. Then, invest in an inexpensive child-proof lock for that cabinet or move the cleaning products out of your child’s reach.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

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