So, we get it. You received the new Martha Stewart cookbook and you’re itching to start crafting recipes in the kitchen. But your toddler – ever so curious with the world – has taken it upon themselves to start a journey of self-discovery with every appliance in the room. Oh, the calamity. There is water to be boiled! Potatoes to fry! Gnocchi to be rolled! Onions to be chopped! These tools Martha’s bequeathed you with not only incite hope and awe in adult cookers, but they also spur the same bright-eyed wonder in young children.
But no need to fret! Even though most serious accidents related to children occur in the kitchen, there are numerous ways to prevent mishaps. Here we’ve gathered just the right ingredients to create the perfect, child-friendly cooking space.
Give your child a safe, distracting task. One of the easiest, hands-on way to deter any wandering toddler is to give them a safe chore to do in the kitchen. Give them bowls of lukewarm water to play with. Preoccupy them with leftover dough. This allows you to cook while keeping your child close.
Keep dangerous items out of reach. Be sure sharp objects like knives, graters, or blades are not easily accessible to children. When using the stove, take extra precaution and use back burners. If this isn’t feasible, be sure to turn pot handles away from the edge so toddlers cannot get to them. Most kitchen accidents consist of scalds and burns, so this is a good way to hinder those from happening.
Remove any cloth from tables, or flammable items from stovetop. Curious children often think that dangling objects are beholden to them, deserving of a good tug or pull. Do not place a cloth on kitchen tables to prevent pulling and spilling. This also applies to objects near a stovetop. Toddlers may tug on things that could catch fire.
Install safety latches. Oh, those little explorers! Secure cabinets and doors from toddlers by putting safety latches on them. To go that extra mile, put a child-proof appliance latch on any dishwashers or refrigerators.
Cover knobs. Placing childproof covers on stove and oven switches is a way to prevent a multitude of accidents.
Cushion sharp edges. The pointy ends of counters will not win today. Pillow them with protective guards to keep children from banging their heads or eyes against them.
Unplug any items not in use. Appliances like toasters, coffee makers, blenders, or mixers could be potential hazards to young ones. When unnecessary, keep them stored away and out of reach.
Keep them out of the kitchen entirely. If push comes to shove, create a way to blockade the kitchen entrance. Frustrating as it is for the toddler, this allows the parent to at least have peace of mind and little to no distraction whilst in Martha mode.
While kitchen safety remains a top priority, it is reassuring to know that with the right precautions, cooking alongside your child can be fun and engaging. Teach them how to roll dough. How to fling al dente pasta against a wall. How to lick frosting. For as much fear a kitchen instills among parents with wandering toddlers, it is also a place inspiring even more fun and creativity. We understand that accidents may happen, and with the McGruff Safe kit, we can help you prevent those by equipping your child with some basic safely principles to follow – that way, the fun parts are left up to you.