Holiday hazards are preventable

As the holiday cooking season approaches, Cherie Sage, director for Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents and caregivers to check their kitchens for preventable hazards and to supervise children at all times in the kitchen.

“The most important safety precaution in the kitchen is constant, close, attentive supervision,” Sage said.

Children in the kitchen should always be actively supervised — in sight and in reach at all times — whether they are helping an adult cook or simply watching.

“Burns from spills, steam, hot surfaces, and flame can be especially devastating,” Sage said. “Young children have thinner skin than adults, so they burn more severely and at lower temperatures.”

Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions against kitchen burns:

  • Never leave a hot stove unattended
  • Never hold a child while cooking or carrying hot items
  • Cook on back burners whenever possible, and turn all handles toward the back of the stove
  • Don’t allow loose-fitting clothing in the kitchen
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edges of counters and tables. Be especially careful around tablecloths, children can pull hot dishes down onto themselves.
  • Tie up the electrical cords of small appliances so toddlers cannot pull a toaster or microwave down from a countertop.

In addition to hot surfaces, hot liquids and sharp objects, the other major hazard in the kitchen is poison. People should store potentially hazardous goods, such as cleaning products and alcohol (including many baking extracts), in locked cabinets out of reach. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed to alert everyone to get out of the house in the event of a buildup of the odorless toxic gas given off by fuel-burning appliances.

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