People often say \u201cthe kitchen is the Heart of the Home\u201d and that is so true. It is where meals are created \u2500 nourishing bodies, minds and souls; where the family comes together to eat, sharing chatter and quality time; where activity is centered \u2500 whether it\u2019s preparing food, washing up or attending to groceries; and where mum usually spends most of her time.\r\n\r\nYour toddler knows this very well and will want to be in the thick of the action whenever you're in it. However, the kitchen has also been named as one of the top-most dangerous places in the home (after the bathroom and the stairs). But for a curious mobile child keen on climbing up everything he sees and putting everything he finds into his mouth \u2500 this is adventureland!\r\nKeep the Child Out of the Kitchen\r\n\r\n\r\nMost child experts will advice you to keep a toddler out of the kitchen altogether. Install a childgate so that he can watch you and you can watch him too without him being in the way. You just might trip over him while holding a boiling pot of soup.\r\nDon\u2019t Cook and Carry Child at Same Time\r\nAnd don\u2019t cook while having a child straddled at your hips. You can\u2019t pay attention to both at the same time.\u00a0 If you have a maid looking after your child \u2500 please advice her never to do such a thing. There is nothing to be gained from this sort of heroics but everything to lose, including lives.\r\n\r\nEven if you have the toddler in a sling \u2500 since baby wearing seems to be so popularly used for every activity these days \u2500 he could suddenly kick the wok as it is sizzling or lunge and grab its contents with his hands. By 12 months of age, your child will have newfound agility in his body. He will be wiggly, full of movement and find it impossible to stay still. Plus, he will be mighty curious.\r\n\r\nEven if he does nothing at all, hot oil might splatter out of the wok on to him. Or some piece of clothing might catch fire from the gas stove. Why take chances?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cAccidental\u00a0injuries\u00a0are most\u00a0common in children\u00a0over one year of\u00a0age.\u00a0Children\u00a0under five are\u00a0most at\u00a0risk from an injury\u00a0in\u00a0the home, with boys\u00a0more\u00a0likely to be injured than girls,\u201d says Your.MD. \u201cBurns and scalds are common injuries in young children,\u201d the website further says.\u00a0 And in Malaysia, \u201cstatistics have shown that a child dies every two weeks from fire and burn injuries, and 54% respondents in a survey have reported incidents of burns and scalds at home,\u201d says New Straits Times in a 2017 report.\r\n\r\nThe problem is \u2500 your child has no sense of danger. He will reach for that pot handle on the stove or your freshly-made hot cup noodles on the counter and you cannot expect him to heed your \u201cno\u201d or understand the concept of danger even if you explain it to him.\r\nFirst Aid for Burns and Scalds\r\n\r\n\r\nGet medical help straight away if the child is under five years age or if you are pregnant or if the person of any age has other injuries or is going into shock with signs that include cold, clammy skin, sweating, rapid, shallow breathing and weakness or dizziness.\r\n\r\nWhile waiting for hospital treatment, First Aid must be administered to treat burns or scalds as soon as possible. This will limit the amount of damage to the skin.\r\nTreating Burns and Scalds\r\nTo treat a burn, follow the First Aid advice below:\r\n\r\n \tImmediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning. If he or she is in flames, douse with water or smother flames with blanket. If it is an older child or adult in flames \u2500 stop, drop and roll.\r\n \tCool the burn with cool running water for 10-30 minutes. Do not use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances such as butter, cream, mayonnaise or even toothpaste. These are old wives tales. Greasy substances may cause more damage or increase the risk of infection to the burnt area.\r\n \tGently but quickly remove any clothing or jewellery that is near the burnt area of skin but do not move anything that is stuck to the skin. The burnt area will swell and blister. It is important to remove rings and other items before this happens.\r\n \tDo not burst any blisters.\r\n \tMake sure the person keeps warm \u2013 for example by using a blanket \u2013 but take care not to rub it against the burnt area.\r\n \tCover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over the burn to prevent infection. Watch the video to see how the cling film should be wrapped \u2500 not tightly around the arm but lengthwise. If you don\u2019t have clingfilm, you can use a clean plastic bag.\r\n \tUse painkillers, such as\u00a0paracetamol\u00a0or\u00a0ibuprofen, to treat any pain.\r\n\r\nDemonstrations by St John\u2019s Ambulance on How to Treat a Burn\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=EaJmzB8YgS0\r\n\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=rqLbwfEZwQc\r\nThe Best Treatment for Burns is to Prevent it\r\n\u201cPrevention is Better than Cure\u201d as they say and the best way to prevent a kitchen accident is to cordon the room off from the toddler by using a childgate. However if you find that you cannot install a childgate due to the configuration of your home or you don\u2019t want to install one, make sure the child is strapped into a high chair or placed in a playpen whenever he is allowed into the kitchen with you. Don\u2019t forget to give him his toys.\r\n\r\nAlso remember that dangers in the kitchen are not limited to burning and scalding only. Hazards include poisoning, tripping or falling down, choking on foreign objects or food, or getting crushed by kitchen appliances such as the fridge when pulled down.\r\n\r\nHere are Precautions you Should Take to Minimise Risks in the Kitchen\r\n\r\n \tIf you are using a gas stove as most Malaysian homes are, before turning on the fire, tie up long hair, roll up long sleeves and ensure that any flowy, loose fabric such as headscarves do not get in the way or catch on something.\r\n \tAlways turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so your child can\u2019t reach up and grab them.\r\n \tWipe up spills as soon as they happen. Wet or greasy spots can be slippery.\r\n \tIf your toddler is allowed to explore the kitchen on his own, ensure that the floor, corners, ledges and back of stoves, cabinets and the washing machine are at all times, spotless. This is because a crawling child will put anything he finds on the floor into his mouth \u2500 including cicak (lizard) and rat droppings. The latter is especially dangerous, and let\u2019s face it \u2500 the back lanes of homes, drains of restaurants and dumpster sites of apartment blocks \u2500 are infested with the rodents. They like to come into houses and make the kitchen their home as that is where they can find food. Rats can spread 35 diseases to humans through their feces, urine, saliva and their bites. In Malaysia, the rat urine disease called Leptospirosis remains a big concern as it can be fatal.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \tEnsure you do not put down cockroach and rat poison in the kitchen for obvious reasons.\r\n \tStore all chemicals, cleaners, and other dangerous products in a high cabinet or get a lock to lock the cabinet if you have to place them in the cabinet under the sink. Be careful about mothballs. They are round and candy coloured. Your toddler will think they are sweets and put them in his mouth.\r\n \tMake sure pet food such as kibbles are not within reach of the toddler. Even though they are edible, they are usually very hard and can become choking hazards for the child.\r\n \tRemove other child-inedible food items such as raw potatoes, raw sweet potatoes, onions, shallots and garlic if you store them in baskets at toddler-reachable levels in the kitchen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \tKeep knives, forks, scissors, icepicks and other sharp instruments in a latched drawer.\r\n \tUnplug appliances when they are not in use so your child cannot turn them on.\r\n \tDon\u2019t allow electrical cords to dangle where your child can reach and tug on them, possibly pulling a heavy appliance like an iron or a toaster or food processor down on himself.\r\n \tWhenever you have to walk with hot liquid\u2014 a bowl of soup or fish curry \u2014be sure you know where your child is so you don\u2019t trip over him.\r\n \tDon\u2019t\u00a0warm baby bottles\u00a0in a microwave oven. The liquid heats unevenly, so there may be pockets of milk hot enough to scald your baby\u2019s mouth when he drinks. Also, some overheated baby bottles have exploded when they were removed from the microwave.\r\n\r\nFor more stories on child safety and babycare, visit\u00a0Motherhood.com.my.