top of page

Basic Kitchen Safety for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Young Chefs

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

KidsHealth claims that introducing cooking abilities from infancy is incredibly important. That's because such activities allow kids to develop essential life skills, build language skills, and practice basic maths concepts. However, we recommend that parents follow certain kitchen safety guidelines for children, to keep them safe while they enter the exciting and fulfilling world of cooking.

Settling in Stage

Kids cook meals in a kitchen

Children grow very fast. Frequently, parents don't even notice how and when their kids begin to perform complex cooking operations independently. How can it be that yesterday your little one could hardly use a spoon, yet today they can prepare oatmeal?

Many hazards, however, lurk for children in the kitchen. Even the simple process of making a sandwich can be fraught with hazards that could potentially cause quite serious injuries. That's largely due to the presence of numerous complicated tools in modern kitchens, and it’s why the supervision of young chefs by parents or guardians, as well as the adherence to guidelines on preparing kitchen safety for children, are so important.

It's also worth noting that the presence of potential kitchen dangers shouldn't be a reason to avoid teaching kids to cook. That's because children learn a lot when making meals. This includes developing bilateral and motor skills as well as foresting logical thinking through following cooking recipes.

Preparing for Kitchen Adventures

Children listen carefully to the rules of behavior during cooking

There are a number of tips that can help with this preparation stage:

  • Teach kids to keep the cooking room, as well as cooking equipment and tools, clean. Adherence to such kitchen hygiene rules helps to minimize the risk of food poisoning or other food safety issues.

  • Get your kids used to washing their hands before starting to cook. You may introduce it as a fun ritual. For example, you could ask your little ones to sing their favourite song when washing their hands.

  • Long hair should always be tied back. Moreover, don't allow kids to wear excessively loose or ill-fitting clothing, as well as dresses with bulging or hanging parts. That’s because loose hair and protruding clothes could be dragged into kitchen equipment and cause serious injury.

The early childhood kitchen safety guidelines above help to instill the right cooking culture in young chefs' minds.

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

Kitchen tools lay on a wooden table

The most common cooking appliances are:

  • Stoves, ovens, and microwaves.

  • Blenders, meat grinders, as well as food processors.

  • Electric waffle makers together with toasters.

We don't recommend parents to allow their children to use such equipment alone.

Additionally, as kids will inevitably use scissors, knives, and mechanical shredders during kitchen work, we recommend 10 ways to keep the kitchen safe for children:

  • Only grab sharp tools by their handles.

  • Don't try to lift objects that are too heavy.

  • Pass knives and scissors with the sharp end facing towards you.

  • Never grip objects by their sharp sides.

  • Choose tools that feel comfortable exactly to you.

  • Always try to select utensils that are the correct size for you.

  • Place sharp tools on a table after use.

  • Don't walk through a kitchen holding sharp objects.

  • Keep focused while using sharp instruments.

  • Where possible, use peelers in preference to knives when peeling fruits and vegetables.

Parents should regularly reinforce these 10 ways to ensure kitchen safety so that kids don’t forget them when they’re caught up in the excitement of cooking.

Handling Heat

Three burners are lit on the gas hob

Children can get burned if they aren't careful with hot liquids and surfaces. To avoid such injuries, follow these childhood kitchen safety guidelines:

  • Use oven mitts as well as pot holders for removing hot objects from the oven as well as holding and lifting them. Make sure that these mitts or pot holders cover kids' hands entirely.

  • Cover pots and pans containing boiling/frying meals with lids.

  • Don't leave your children unattended and unsupervised when they use stoves and ovens.

These heat-related tips for kitchen safety should be followed particularly strictly when your kids work with several hot surfaces simultaneously.

Preventing Slips and Falls

A leg in a brown shoe steps on a banana skin

To avoid slips and falls accidents, adhere to the following kitchen safety at home tips:

  • Immediately wipe up any liquids spilled on the floor

  • Make sure little ones wear non-slip shoes

  • Don't let kids run throughout the kitchen

Lastly, use non-slip mats or rugs where possible. Just place them in the area where your young chefs are currently working.

Food Safety

Berries, fruits, vegetables, and nuts lay on a brown surface

Children have developing bodies and immature immune systems. That's why providing kids with a diet based on healthy food is critical. Wholesome dishes, in turn, can be made using the correct procedures and quality ingredients. But what are the 4 food safety rules?

  • Always wash meat, fruits, and vegetables carefully. Check the expiration date of packaged products.

  • Don't slice cooked and raw products with the same knife and on the same cutting board.

  • Cover cut ingredients with food wrap before putting them into a fridge.

  • Don't keep uncovered ready-made and raw products in the same place.

Furthermore, food safety tips always imply avoiding storing foods on the floor.

Fire Safety

A fire is burning on the stove

Gas stoves represent a key fire safety hazard. Additional dangers may also appear if you pour oil into a heated skillet or lay easily flammable materials on hot surfaces. In the case of an out-of-control fire, you can put it out by pouring water on it or covering it with a thick natural fabric.

But the best option is to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You should, however, teach children how to use extinguishers properly. Make them aware of the following:

  • Pointing the nozzle of the extinguisher at yourself is dangerous.

  • Before employing, a pin should be pulled out.

  • Use a fire extinguisher at least 1.5 metres away from the flames.

We advise choosing an extinguisher with a maximum weight of 2 kg to ensure that your child is able to lift it.

Emergency Procedures

Medicines and a toy nurse on a light brown floor

If your child gets a burn, you should help them to cool the site of the harmed skin as soon as possible. Teach them to use cold tap water for such purposes. Also, show your kids where they can find special sprays at home to treat the harmed skin site.

Moreover, young chefs cut themselves quite frequently. Consequently, shows where they can find antiseptics to treat such injuries. Additionally, remind them to always call you if the harm can't stop bleeding or is too large.

Sometimes, children's eyes are also injured during cooking activities. According to food prep safety rules, in such cases, little ones should wash their eyes carefully with tap water. You should explain to kids that they should only use tepid water suits for such purposes. Otherwise, kids may end up with eye inflammation.

Lastly, smoke can be produced in kitchens, especially if there is a fire. It's especially dangerous for any children who have airway conditions like asthma. However, your kids can easily solve the problem by turning on the kitchen hood extractor at full power, opening the window, and leaving the cooking room for up to 15-20 minutes.

The Bottom Line

If parents want their children to avoid injuries and gain a purely positive experience from cooking with them, they should follow these basic guidelines:

  • Teach little ones to use kitchen equipment and tools properly.

  • Prepare all the necessary things to avoid slipping and the risk of fire.

  • Learn how to provide emergency care for injuries.

Don't be afraid of starting to cook with kids, as meal-making develops a lot of useful life proficiencies, such as kitchen tool skills, creativity, and many more. Just look after your children carefully when they prepare food. After all, only diligent supervision ensures health & safety in the kitchen for kids.

If you have no time to carefully look after your children while they are in the kitchen, enrol them in kids' cooking classes. We offer plenty of exciting recipes plus ensure a completely secure kitchen environment. Furthermore, we provide your kids with all the necessary equipment and tools for comfortable and successful meal preparation. Finally, we strictly abide by the rules of kitchen safety for kids. That's why little ones may safely eat the dishes they prepare. So, enrol your children in our cooking camp right now!


Recent Posts

bottom of page