Dangers (Toddlers) Underfoot In The Kitchen

Care should be taken with toddlers underfoot to keep them safe in the kitchen when handling hot foods, heavy pots and pans or when slicing and dicing foods.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | March 11, 2015

What can do you do when a toddler is constantly underfoot in the kitchen?

With two-year-old Chelsey, before I came to Parents Anonymous, I really had no idea what I should do. When I was using a razor to slice frozen meats for Chinese dishes, I was concerned that she would reach for the blade since she was so curious. I knew parents used gates so I built a sturdy one out of pine and drilled plenty of holes so she could see me. Chelsey did not care, though, and she would scream and throw things over the top of the gate. She eventually outgrew her clinginess over time, thank goodness.

My last child had no sense of personal space and was glued to me all – day – long. It could be annoying but I knew Katie would outgrow that stage so I tried to be patient. Some days, though, when I was trying to get supper on the table, I would almost trip or stumble over her – sometimes carrying hot foods or heavy pots. It could get dangerous for both of us, something I wanted to avoid.

Appealing to her creative nature, I put Katie in a chair at the table. I took a square of aluminum foil and made five cuts as you will see in the image. The spaces would be crumple shaped into a head, two arms, two legs and a body.

Take a sheet of aluminum foil and make five cuts with scissors as shown here.

Show toddlers how to gently crumple the sheet of foil to create a Tin Man or Tin Person with the results looking similar to the figure here.

After showing Katie once, she was eager to create a Tin Man whenever she saw the familiar square of foil. That simple craft would give me time to get supper on the table safely and let her explore her creativity. The foil was not expensive and it was not discarded until it was recycled. Here are a couple reuses for Tin Men that have served their purpose:

• Scrub kitchen pots or the burned on drips from the bottom of the oven.

• Scrub the outdoor grill clean before cooking.

• Rub rust spots off of garden tools, metal car bumpers or shower-curtain rods.

We all come up with things that work to keep our sanity and keep our kids safe. What are some of your solutions?

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cheryl Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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10 Responses to Dangers (Toddlers) Underfoot In The Kitchen

  1. Gronda Morin says:

    This was a helpful blog. Toddlers love to help. Giving them something to do will keep them occupied while you try to do anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you! I try to be helpful and share things that helped me. And yes, sometimes you only need ten minutes to drain pasta or to check and see if something is done in the oven. 🙂 My daughters still remember the “Tin Men.”


  2. kcg1974 says:

    Little ones want to do anything to be helpful, feel ‘important’ and be special to us. Great idea and post!


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      You are so right, Kim, kids love to help. There were times when my girls helped and there were times when I relied on the Tin Man. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kcg1974 says:

        Love that little ‘Tin Man.’ Going to remember him when my toddler grand-children are here helping me in the kitchen, thanks to you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        I can’t tell you how many times I reached for the tin foil rather than starting yelling. I sent the image to the girls and asked them if they remembered the Tin Man and both said how much fun it was. I had no idea they would remember and they had no idea WHY I gave them the foil. 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This was my now 23 year old when he was 3 and 4 years old. Always in the kitchen knocking on the bottom cupboards and talking to his pretend friends who would answer the door.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Children can spend all day imagining all kinds of adventures and scenarios. My girls were both underfoot around that age, too, and I occasionally tripped over them. Looking back, what a precious time it was! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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