As parents we’re all very concerned about burns and scalds, and we’re always looking for the best ways to treat them. Only the other day there was a feature on ITV’s This Morning show detailing how burns and scalds are one of the most common causes of injury for children today. This should not be something we should put up with, and surely the best way to treat these injuries would be to prevent them from happening in the first place.
The kitchen is by far the most dangerous place in the house for your children and every precaution should be taken to keep it a safe if you’re going to allow access for babies. Sometimes you can’t help allowing toddlers access to your kitchen simply due to its position in the home, and if this is the case then you need to take even more care. A kitchen that connects other rooms is an accident waiting to happen and requires some special attention to avoid scalding and burning accidents.
Scalding and burning are the main causes of injury in the kitchen primarily from the cooker and the kettle. However, kettles can always be tidied away neatly with their cords kept a safe distance from the edge of the work surface; sadly the same cannot be said of the cooker top. Often cookers are at a comfortable working height for adults, and too often this means that small children can reach up, unable to see properly, and subsequently burn themselves with dramatic and painful effect.
Sometimes children don’t even have to reach in order to burn themselves. Some ovens are at the perfect height for children and incredibly dangerous. A child that can reach the knobs on the oven or touch the door whilst the oven is on causing injury to their delicate skin. Stoves present serious danger of burning and you must act to prevent an accident happening.
Preventing child scalds and burns
There are some very basic safety tips you can use to prevent scalding accidents:
- Try not to leave the kitchen unattended for too long. Although it doesn’t always seem practical, you can always try your best to stay with your cooking; not only will it be safer, you’ll also lessen the risk of burning dinner!
- If there are two adults in the house, make sure one of them is responsible for the children whilst the other one cooks. Properly supervised babies are usually safe babies.
- Whenever possible try to cook on the back rings of the cooker top. This will prevent having pans and open flames where your children can reach them. For hot oven doors you will need a Transparent-Oven-Door-Guard
- Make sure you know where your children are and what they are doing before you start cooking. If necessary give them a task to do like colouring or drawing (something that will capture their attention and hold it) somewhere that is away from the kitchen whilst you begin cooking.
Having said all this, there are of course those occasions that accidents still happen. According to Dr Dawn Harper from ITV’s This Morning show, there are a number of products that can dramatically reduce the chance of these accidents happening; especially in the kitchen.
There are relatively inexpensive products on the market such as those from the BabySecurity range of protectors. The Emmay Hob Guard or Prince-Lionheart-Cooker-Hob-Guard-Adjustable are vital safety precaution to buy for the kitchen and when you consider the price of them compared with the potential damage that can be caused by burning or scalding there really is no contest. They are basically a heat resistant poly-carbonite plastic shield that easily attaches to the front of the hob/stove (or any work surface), preventing a child being able to reach up and touch anything at all. The beauty Stove Guards is that they do not interfere with cooking in any way.
Another safety device featured on ITV’s This Morning show were the Emmay Stove and Oven Knob Covers. These clever little devices are simply slot over the knobs and prevent your children being able to turn them on. This way you can easily prevent gas leaks and potential burning accidents.
The kitchen can be a very dangerous place for your children, but if you follow the advice above then you should be in a better position to keep them safe from harm. If you can prevent scalds and burns then you won’t need to treat them.