TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Safety is the secret ingredient in holiday traditions of 2020.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says that with the arrival of the holidays there are many traditions to follow and having the kids participating in those traditions is one of the best parts of the season. He said to keep everyone safe, he and Safe Kids Kansas are giving some tips for a safe and happy holiday season.
According to the KDHE, residents should limit their movements and the size of gatherings in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said it’s hard to be apart, but it’s more important to protect your loved ones.
“The kitchen can be a busy place with a lot of multitasking while on vacation, so it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers to avoid cuts, burns, poisoning and other injuries,” said Cherie Sage of Safe Kids Kansas.
The KDHE said that when it comes to holiday meals, lead should be excluded from the menu. According to the DCD, no safe blood lead level in children has been found. He said that even low blood lead levels are known to affect IQ, delay development, cause behavior problems and cause other serious health effects.
According to the KDHE, residents can reduce the risk of lead poisoning by buying locally and only buying locally produced spices. He said spices imported and not produced domestically could contain lead.
Depending on the Department, pottery and handmade dishes that have glazes or other painted decorations may also contain lead. He said that when food or drink is stored or prepared in such type of dishes, lead can seep into them and be ingested, causing lead poisoning.
The KDHE said raising awareness of possible lead exposure and protecting children from lead is key to preventing lead poisoning. He said for more information on lead poisoning to visit KDHE Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.
The KDHE also said that when the children are in the kitchen, supervision is also essential. He said whether the kids are helping prepare the food or just hanging out and watching the action, they should be where an adult can see them at all times. He said while residents will be busy with the preparations, have another adult or teenager watch the children and help them with age-appropriate chores.
According to the KDHE, some child-friendly cooking tasks are as follows:
- Tear up the lettuce
- Rinse fruits and vegetables under cold water
- Mix the ingredients in a bowl
- Using cookie cutters
- Measure the dry ingredients
- Use vegetable peelers or cut red fruits with a butter knife
“You know your own children. Don’t give them knives or let them handle anything hot until you know they have the maturity and coordination to do it safely, ”Sage said. “Some children grow up faster than others, so it’s up to parents to exercise judgment about each child’s abilities. “
The KDHE said the following are additional kitchen safety tips:
- Never hold a child while cooking or carrying hot items, especially liquids that may spill or splash.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from edges of counters and tables. Be especially careful around tablecloths – children may pull hot food on themselves.
- Keep poisons out of the sight and reach of children. This includes cleaning products, alcoholic beverages, and even some baking extracts and spices.
- Tie the electrical cords of small appliances. A toddler playing with a hanging cord can pull a toaster or microwave off a counter.
- Watch out for sharp objects and keep them out of reach of little hands.
For more information on injury prevention, click here.
For more information on preventing lead poisoning in children, click here.
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