There’s nothing like the smell of fresh holiday treats baking in the oven. Maybe you have little hands helping you make cookies or roll out dough. The kitchen is a gathering place for younger and older cooks alike. When you have holiday helpers in the kitchen, it is important to be extra cautious about kitchen safety. What are some things you need to look out for when making holiday magic? Here are some areas to think about.
When you are cooking in the kitchen alone, you have an idea of where the appliance cords are. You can make sure that you don’t snag a cord as you are walking by, but younger cooks might not be paying attention while they are excited about helping in the kitchen. A stirring spoon or arm can hook into an appliance cord and cause injury or damage which will sour the festivities. Make sure that all appliance cords are out of the way, longer cords tied up (if extra-long), and unused appliances put away before the extra help arrives. If an appliance is plugged in but not used, make sure it is far away from little hands who might turn it on to see what it does.
When things are cooking on the stove, it is important to keep an eye on them. Water boiling in a pot can boil over and burn little helpers if no one is watching the pot. Bacon has a tendency to spit as it cooks, which can also burn as it lands. Make sure little ones are far away while it cooks or change things up and cook the bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet. Have a discussion about how hot things get in the kitchen and some things are only handled by grownups.
There are many years where someone fries a turkey and things get out of hand. It is important before cooking begins that everyone knows how to combat different types of fire. Some fire can be extinguished by covering a pot, some by baking soda, some by water, and most by using a fire extinguisher. It is important that kitchen safety be discussed and reviewed so everyone knows what to do should a mishap occur. Everyone should know how to use the extinguisher and know the different types of extinguishers that are available in the house.
Another issue in the kitchen is the misplaced towel or oven mitt that gets too close to the gas stove. Discuss where items need to be placed when not in use to ensure a safe and joyous holiday cooking experience in the kitchen.