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How is your kitchen?
Like a cross between the kitchens of Claridges and the place where NASA build the controls for spacecraft?
But who want so live in a laboratory anyway? Kitchens should be the beating heart of a home.
Where everyone, family, friends, neighbours, random visitors can all feel welcome. And a healthy bit of chaos and clutter adds to the atmosphere.
But as well as being the epicentre of the family, the kitchen is also the accident HQ. Of the 2 million household accidents every year that end up in a trip to A + E for children, 67,000 happen in the kitchen.
Put another way – if we assume a toddler’s waking day is twelve hours (you wish!) - then that’s four serious accidents in UK kitchens every minute of every day. Every fifteen seconds there’s a fall, or a burn, or a cut, or a choking or a poisoning.
And sad to say, it’s the fact that kitchens are so much at the centre of things that make them so dangerous for kids. RoSPA’s research shows that the kitchen is one of the most dangerous places because they are also the busiest places.
Keeping kids out of the kitchen when there’s cooking going on is a good idea. But that isn’t always possible and for toddlers it’s better to be supervised in the kitchen then roaming wild through the rest of the house.
So vigilance is the word. Most parents know the basics, use the back rings of cookers, handles turned in, watch trailing cables especially kettles and irons, lock household cleaners, detergents and other products in cupboards or place out of reach.
But watch out for less well known risks. Did we mention the chaos of kitchens before? Many children are injured opening cupboards overstuffed with tins or pans.
But above all look at the world through the eyes of a toddler – the world for them is full of adventure, discovery and fun. The kitchen is a rich territory full of interesting smells and sounds and sights.
Common sense, staying alert - all parents know how important it is to look after curious toddlers.