How can I keep my child safe when we cook together?

Cooking together can be a wonderful way for you and your child to spend quality time together, but before you head into the kitchen together, it is important to discuss with your child the importance of kitchen safety. The most important thing to remember is to never leave your child unattended in the kitchen. It is also a good idea to wear close-toed shoes to protect your feet in case a pan falls on the floor. If your child wants to help you cut ingredients, try using a pair of kid’s craft scissors instead of a knife. When it comes to teaching your child about heat safety, it is a good idea to teach him/her to always assume the stovetop is hot and to never stand directly over a hot pot or pan on the stovetop. Remember to turn pot and pan handles to the back of the stove, and model safe handling of food by using oven mitts and keeping your elbows up when stirring.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.