Give little kitchen helpers the gift of safety

In this season of holiday cooking, our check list of necessities should include kitchen safety and supervision, especially if young children are in the house.

Dr. Pam Okada, a UT Southwestern Medical Center pediatric emergency specialist, says children should never be left unattended in the kitchen. Kids can spill hot foods or liquids on themselves by tugging on tablecloths or appliance cords, so monitor where and how dishes are set up for cooking and serving.

“Young children do not understand what injuries a hot stove or cooking appliance can cause,” Dr. Okada says. “It takes only a second for a child to be injured or scalded.”

Other safety tips from Dr. Okada include:

  • Don’t hold children while you cook;
  • Ensure that everyone in the kitchen wears attire that can’t catch on anything; and
  • Assign tasks that don’t involve heat, sharp utensils or electrical appliances to children who wish to help in the meal preparation.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.

Media Contact: Erin Prather Stafford

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