10 Kitchen Safe10 Kitchen Safety Tips Every Kid Should Knowty Tips Every Kid Should Know - eat2explore

10 Kitchen Safe10 Kitchen Safety Tips Every Kid Should Knowty Tips Every Kid Should Know

Children are very curious by nature, and love to be involved in anything and everything their parents are doing. And spending time in the kitchen is no exception. However, the kitchen can be a very unsafe place for a child, unless you do your due diligence and go over the rules regarding kitchen safety for kids before allowing them to join you.

Once you do, amazing things will happen! Not only will you get a chance to spend more time with your kids, but you’ll also be able to teach them invaluable life lessons and skills, such as cooking, food prep and overall kitchen safety and maintenance. 

And once your little cooking assistants become comfortable enough with using various kitchen gadgets and tools, you can even start teaching them how to prepare some easy, kid-friendly recipes, such as those offered by eat2explore, entirely on their own.

But before you do that, let’s go over some of the most crucial kitchen safety tips for kids first.


The Most Common Kitchen Hazards to Keep in Mind

An image of a small child reaching for the hot stove with a pot of boiling water right next to their face.

Generally speaking, the kitchen is the place where a lot of things can go wrong quickly if you’re not being safe and mindful of your surroundings. With so many sharp objects, hot surfaces and substances, potential spilling or slipping hazards and electrical appliances (in the same room as water outlets), it’s easy to see how carelessness can easily lead to a plethora of safety risks.

The most common kitchen safety risks include:

  • Fire
  • Electrical issues
  • Burns
  • Slipping
  • Improper handling of kitchen equipment
  • Food poisoning
  • Improper food storage and mishandling

But simply highlighting these to your kids won’t be enough, either. Instead, you need to make sure you explain to them what to do to prevent these from happening and how to handle them properly if they do. 

So, let’s move on to discussing the most crucial kitchen safety rules for kids and how to teach your children to follow them.


Safety Kitchen Rules for Kids

As a rule of thumb, safety should always come first in areas such as the kitchen. Therefore, make sure you emphasize the importance of:

  1. Proper hand hygiene
  2. Wearing the correct kitchen attire
  3. Correct knife and utensils handling
  4. Proper oven and appliance handling
  5. Heat and fire safety
  6. Using hot pads and oven mitts
  7. Overall food safety
  1. a) Proper food storage
  2. b) Cross-contamination
  3. c) Washing fruits and vegetables
  4. d) Tasting uncooked ingredients and food
  1. Cleaning as you go and wiping spills as soon as possible
  2. Electrical safety
  3. Safety locks


1. Proper Hygiene

An image of a mother teaching her daughter how to wash her hands with soap and running water.

Teaching kids about good hygiene habits is very important, especially if they’ll be helping you prepare food. So, you need to teach them to wash their hands before and after touching food, as well as in between. 

Explain to them that there are many contaminants they come in contact with, which can compromise the food that’s being prepared. Hence, always make sure you check the cleanliness of their hands before you allow them to touch anything. 

What’s more, make sure that their hair is always neatly tied to prevent it from getting in the way or ending up in the food.

Important: Supervise your kids initially to ensure they are properly washing their hands and not just wetting them. For some reason, kids are not huge fans of clean hands, so they may end up trying to trick you.


2. Wearing the Correct Kitchen Attire

An image of happy kids in aprons and chef’s hats playing with flour while baking cookies in the kitchen

Aside from clean hands, proper kitchen attire should be the next point on your list. Tell your kids why it is important not to wear clothes that are too baggy – it can easily catch onto things and insist on them always wearing toe-covering footwear – to protect their feet from spills or falling utensils.  

Also, get them a cute kids apron and explain to them that this little piece of cloth will protect their clothes from spills. For a fun little twist, if you’re preparing food from the Japanese cooking kit, for instance, you can get them an apron with a Japanese flag or some Sakura blossoms, which will only further encourage them to wear it. 

Bonus tip: Watch some cooking shows with your kids and draw special attention to how the cooks are dressed. Get them a chef’s hat or a hair net to make them feel more special and in line with the role they’re portraying – a very special little sous chef.


3. Correct Knife and Utensils Handling

An image of a small child cutting cucumbers on a wooden cutting board while being supervised by his mother.

Kitchen knives and other utensils can potentially pose a really big safety risk if not handled correctly. So, make sure you teach your kids how to use them safely as early on as possible.

For some added security – and peace of mind – you can start off slow with kid-safe cooking tools you can find in all of our boxes, and gradually move onto the real deal once you feel like your kids are ready. Aside from knives, other cooking utensils like forks, graters and mandolines should always be used under your supervision to prevent any mishaps.

Important: No matter how safe you all are, accidents may still happen. Therefore, make sure you teach your kids how to act in case they do end up cutting or stabbing themselves with anything. Also, make sure you always have a well-stocked first aid kit in your kitchen so that you can act quickly in case anything goes wrong.


4. Proper Oven and Appliance Handling

An image of a toddler girl and her older brother impatiently waiting in front of the oven for their food to be prepared.

Ovens, stove tops, microwaves and other kitchen appliances can also prove dangerous if not handled correctly. If your children are too small to use these appliances on their own, make sure you’re always there to lend them a helping hand. And even if they seem big and confident enough to handle these appliances on their own, make sure you’re still keeping an eye on them.

Moreover, explain to your children the importance of turning off all appliances immediately after use, and encourage them to check – and double-check – that they have followed this rule.

Bonus tip: If your kids already feel like grown-ups, they may find your supervision to be quite annoying. So, to avoid discouraging them from becoming independent, avoid acting as a helicopter parent. Offer advice, but also make sure you’re not in their way.


5. Heat and Fire Safety

An old, covered, charred, blackened pot burning on a burner on an electric stove.

No matter how careful you are, kitchen fires can still happen and they’re actually more common than you think, even when adults are the ones doing the cooking. That’s why it’s crucial to teach your kids how to act in this situation.

If a small fire breaks out in a pot or a pan, teach them never to throw water on it or use a dishrag in an attempt to put it out. Instead, they should douse it with baking soda and immediately cover the container with a lid. Or, better yet, they should immediately ask you or your partner for help.

Boiling water, sauce, hot oil or any other type of hot liquid can also pose a real threat, so insist on your kids being super safe when handling those. 

Super important: In case of a kitchen fire that’s getting out of hand, call emergency services immediately and remove your entire family from the home. The kitchen can be remodeled easily, so it’s not worth risking anyone’s life trying to put the fire out. 


6. Using Hot Pads and Oven Mitts

An image of an excited mom and daughter taking a sheet of freshly baked cookies out of the oven.

Make sure your child understands that the stove top or oven is not the only thing that gets hot – cooking and baking dishes do as well. That’s why it’s super essential to use proper tools – like oven mitts – to protect their hands when removing the dishes from the heat source.

What’s more, you should also let them know what can happen if they end up putting a hot pot directly on the table or counter and why it is important that they always prepare a hot pad to place the dish on before removing it from the stove.

Bonus tip: If possible, try to get your hands on a set of matching aprons and oven mitts for all of your kids, so each of them has their own, which will make them feel even more inclined to use it. 


7. Overall Food Safety

A closeup image of colorful square beads with black letters forming the words “food safety.”

When it comes to food safety, there are many things to highlight and teach your children, so let’s start with the most obvious ones.

a) Proper Food Storage

Learning how to properly store food before, during and after cooking is very important. So, teach your kids which ingredients and food types need to be stored in the fridge and which can safely be stored in the pantry to prevent them from going bad.

Similarly, encourage the use of glass and BPA-free [1] containers to avoid exposing your family to any toxic chemicals.

b) Cross-Contamination

If you or any of your family members are suffering from any food allergies or intolerances, then it is crucial to teach your kids about cross-contamination and how to prevent it.

To this end, ensure all of the ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction are being stored, prepared and cooked individually; and also make sure that your child washes their hands in between interacting with the said ingredients.

c) Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Of course, you would never dare to prepare any fruits or vegetables before washing them thoroughly, so make sure your kids are not doing so, either. Teach your kids about some of the most common dangers of consuming unwashed produce and show them how to wash it properly to avoid compromising any dishes or even falling victim to food poisoning.

d) Tasting Uncooked Ingredients and Food

While on the topic of food poisoning, it’s also highly necessary that you explain to your children why they should never taste any foods or ingredients that are not meant to be consumed raw. Uncooked eggs, flour and meat pose some of the best-known health hazards that can lead to serious food poisoning, but they are certainly not the only ones.


8. Cleaning as You Go and Wiping Spills as Soon as Possible

Woman's hands in yellow gloves washing a black kitchen stove top with a cleaning agent and a sponge.

Simply put, it’s always easier to clean up any kitchen mess as soon as it happens than allow it to get super crusty or grimey. So, instruct your kids to always clean as they go instead of allowing the mess to get out of hand.

And, if any spills happen, it is best to clean those as soon as possible as well to prevent involuntary slipping or similar accidents.

Important: No matter what type of cleanup is called for, make sure you use kitchen-safe cleaning products to avoid contaminating the food that’s being prepared with chemicals. And if you feel like those cleaning agents are not good enough, you can always come back with a harsher solution and give your kitchen a thorough scrub later on.


9. Electrical Safety

An image of dirty bakeware dishes in a stainless steel bowl.

Aside from fire hazards, electrical kitchen hazards are the next scariest thing that can happen to anyone in the kitchen and also pose one of the most important safety kitchen rules for kids. 

That’s why you need to explain to your kids why they should never mix any electrical appliances with water unless they’re safely plugged out. Additionally, ensure that extension cords are never used without supervision and that they’re always far out of reach of water. Moreover, when cleaning mixer beaters and similar pieces of kitchen appliances, detach them from the main appliance and ensure that they are unplugged.

Bonus tip: If you don’t yet feel comfortable enough with having your children plug in and out or assemble and disassemble appliances on their own, you can always take care of this part for them.


10. Safety Locks

An image of a small child trying to open a cabinet that’s been properly secured by a safety lock.

Sometimes, the kitchen may pose a real safety threat even if your kids are not actively involved in cooking or food prep. Namely, under-sink kitchen cabinets are usually where most of us store all of the cleaning agents and equipment.

And we don’t even need to emphasize the dangers that can ensue if your little ones get their hands on these. That’s why you need to ensure that all of the kitchen drawers and cabinets that contain anything that can be potentially dangerous – such as cleaning supplies, utensils, small appliances and even some cooking ingredients are properly secured and locked, so that curious little fingers can’t get into them easily.

Super important: If you notice that any safety locks are not working properly, try to replace them as soon as possible. Also, insist that your older children follow the same safety guidelines by having them check if the safety locks are properly secured after undoing them for any reason.


Build Confidence and Skills

An image of a boy in a chef's outfit feeling confident in the kitchen.

Now, considering everything that we’ve mentioned previously, teaching your little ones the basics of kitchen and cooking safety for kids may seem like real police work, but it really doesn’t need to be.

Instead of overwhelming them with talk and barking instructions on overall kitchen safety, you should do your best to try and make the entire process as fun and as seamless as it can possibly be. Start off small and only task your children with one project at a time and gradually increase their responsibilities as they become more comfortable with the previous one.

Furthermore, try to mix cooking and kitchen safety tips with some other learning experiences. For instance, you can order a French food box and not only teach your kids how to prepare delicious food safely but also tell them more about French culture and why their cuisine is unique and loved all across the globe.


Make Learning Fun With eat2explore

An image of the eat2explore logo.

Here at eat2explore, we strongly believe in learning by doing, which is why we’ve assembled creative cooking bundles you can try out with your kids and learn more about cultures and countries all around the globe through some of their best dishes.

So, make sure you check out our cooking kits and see which country’s food you and your children can try to prepare together. 



In the end, teaching your children the basics of kitchen safety for kids and what’s the right way to use utensils and appliances won’t only improve their overall safety and well-being. It will also help them grasp the concept of food safety and meal prep basics, which will help them gain more confidence in the kitchen.

Furthermore, by offering them guidance while allowing them to make some mistakes, you’ll be passively teaching them how to successfully overcome obstacles and deal with unplanned scenarios, which can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What are 5 safety considerations in a kitchen?

Although there are many important kitchen safety considerations, the five most important ones are:

  • Proper hygiene
  • Safe knives and utensils handling
  • Practicing the right food safety measures
  • Knowing how to deal with kitchen fires and similar emergencies
  • Wearing the right kitchen attire

How do you teach kitchen safety?

Kids learn best through example, so make sure you always practice what you preach and explain to them why it is important to follow the kitchen safety guidelines. Otherwise, you run the risk of your kids forgetting your words and mimicking your behavior, which – if not appropriate – can lead to serious accidents.

What is the safe behavior in the kitchen?

The most important safety tips to keep in mind involve always remembering to turn off any appliances as soon as you stop using them, making sure your hands and kitchen tools are clean before starting to prepare food, and avoiding wearing baggy clothes or not wearing any shoes to prevent getting hurt.



  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-bpa#basics
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