For many, the kitchen is the heart of your home. A good great thing for family bonding, but it also means that it’s a compelling place for your little ones to want to be involved. Adults moving around, pulling items from the fridge and cupboards, things going on countertops and stoves—all things that they want to see and participate in. Here, five tips to make your kitchen a safe space so kids can help you cook and clean (or remain out of harm's way while you do).
1. Give Your Floors a Double-Take
It’s hard to keep track of anything when you have toddlers running around, but those very toddlers spend a lot of time playing on the floor. Considering the fact that the kitchen is a prime location for harmful bacteria to grow, regularly sweep and mop the area. If a piece of food drops, try to immediately pick it up before your child gobbles it up. Also, consider non-slip rugs over linoleum or tile as they’re helpful in preventing any slips and falls.
2. Invest in Safe Household Products
While child-proof locks on every single cabinet door is one way to go about it, we suggest a more long-term solution: Buying safer products in the first place. This is especially important for products that are used on floors, cabinets and places toddlers tend to touch often, like Raid® Ant and Roach with Essential Oils. Made with plant-based active ingredients like lemongrass extract and geraniol synthesized from pine trees*, this formula is safe for use around kids and pets (when used as directed). Not to mention, it’s the fastest plant-based roach killer on the market.
*Ingredients found in lemongrass oil and geraniol may cause allergies for consumers with sensitive skin.
3. Designate Areas Where Kids Can Step Up (Literally)
For elementary-aged children, a smart kitchen safety rule is to always have a sturdy stool or stepladder available. Insist that kids hoist themselves up onto this stool so they stand securely at counter height before embarking on any cooking task or reaching into a cabinet. If you’re cooking together, a step stool helps to give your child a good view so they'll feel more in control and involved.
4. Pay Attention to Your Stovetop
This one may seem obvious, but it’s a good reminder: Always turn pot handles in and away from the edge of the stove to keep hot stuff from spilling over. Cook boiling liquids on the back burners, away from curious hands. And let your kids know about the essential need for potholders and oven mitts. Even better if you provide them with ones that fit their little hands properly.
5. Narrate What You’re Doing
It’s never too early to teach your children about safety. Even if you feel as though they can’t understand the concept just yet, it’ll be good practice for you to use every moment around your child as a learning opportunity. Start explaining everything you’re doing while making food or cleaning up your kitchen. They’ll be exposed to the specific words you use and eventually, it’ll come as second nature to you to constantly narrate what you’re doing.