According to Safe Kids USA, "Fires and burns are the third leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages...
According to Safe Kids USA, "Fires and burns are the third leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages 1-14 and children ages 5 and under are at a greater risk from home fire-related death and injury, with a fire death rate 1.5 times the national average." One of the most common places burns and fires occur in the home, are in the kitchen. Burn proof your kitchen (and little one) with the following ten tips.
- Ban that baby: It's hard to ban a baby or toddler from the kitchen entirely, so a safe way to go is with a baby enclosure like a playpen or a baby gate. Your baby can still see you, but he can't get in the way while you're cooking which can cause major accidents. I.e. he grabs you and you accidentally drop a hot pot.
- Have an extinguisher: A fire extinguisher is a kitchen essential. AND you have to learn how to use it. It's no good just sitting there.
- Never walk away while cooking: Yes, it's fine to leave a crock pot going, but when cooking in a pot or pan, turn it off if you need to step away to change a baby or do something else. Unattended pots and pans are a major cause of kitchen fires.
- Turn pot handles in: Always cook on the back burners as a first choice when you have kids. If that's impossible, turn pot handles inward, so they're not sticking out over the counter where small arms can grab them.
- Lock the oven: Get an oven safety latch and use it. A child, even a small one, can get an oven door open.
- Go for cover: Oven knob covers are essential if your oven knobs are within easy reach of your child's hands.
- Teach stop, drop, and roll: Start teaching this skill to your child when he's young. It's not an excuse not to always watch your child in the kitchen, but it could save his life if he catches on fire due to a gas oven or other fire. To teach stop, drop, and roll tell your child not to run, to stop, to drop to the ground, and to cover his face with his hands. Tell him to roll over and over to smother the flames. Practice this skill, but make sure your child knows it's not just a fun activity but an important safety matter.
- Know first aid: Keep a first aid kit in the kitchen and learn about how to treat kids burns and when to go to the emergency room.
- Explain that color means nothing: TRUE STORY - when I was six, my babysitter turned the stove-top off and it went from bright red to black rather quickly, which to me, meant, it's not hot anymore! I put my hand right on the burner. I was lucky because while I wasn't seriously hurt, I could have been.
- Don't use tablecloths: If you take food right from the kitchen to the table, a child can pull a tablecloth off and the hot food with it. Use place-mats or place the hot food on a mat.