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Safety in the kitchen

Very often you’ll find that your child becomes incredibly clingy and demanding of your attention around the time that you’re preparing dinner. He’s hungry, tired and in need of some hugs and kisses after a long day of adventure and discovery.

I often found myself standing in front of the stove, holding onto a panhandle with one hand and a spatula in the other hand, while my crying baby pulled himself up on my legs and then proceeded to put his arms in the air, begging to be picked up.

I would inevitably end up throwing my hands up in the air (while cursing my husband for being stuck in the afternoon rush-hour traffic), turning off the stove and phoning for take-aways. It was just so much easier that way!

The kitchen is full of some very obvious dangers – and the biggest danger can actually be you, the Mum.

  • The most important tip for safety in the kitchen is to always be aware of where your baby is. You should also always be alert and focused when you’re in the kitchen, as accidents happen when you’re not concentrating.
  • It’s best to keep your baby out of the kitchen when you’re cooking, but if you can’t, put a play mat in a safe area of your kitchen, find some tupperware, wooden spoons and toys and give him something entertaining to do while you cook.
  • Make sure that pots, pans, kettles and other containers with hot contents are kept out of reach. The handle should always face towards the back of the stove.
  • Make sure your baby can’t reach the tablecloth when he pulls himself up. If he can reach it, it’s very possible that he can pull table contents onto himself.
  • Cords should be kept out of baby’s reach.
  • Sharp knives, forks, corkscrews and other such instruments should be kept out of reach
  • Lock detergents and poisons away
  • Lock your kitchen cupboards. If they don’t have built-in locks, most baby stores have child-resistant locks.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach
  • Keep plastic bags out of reach
  • Don’t leave hot mugs of coffee or tea lying around
  • Install a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and make sure its replaced regularly
  • Install smoke alarms in your kitchen
  • Make sure that your child can’t access the rubbish bin
  • Keep hot irons out of reach
  • Turn the washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher off at the wall when it’s not being used (I’ve found my 2 year old son sitting in my tumble dryer, looking very proud of his accomplishment!)
  • Mop up spills immediately

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