How do I teach my child microwave safety?

Children often prepare their own meals or snacks, often in a popular kitchen appliance -- the microwave. Because burns and spills are a common hazard related to microwave oven use, make sure children know how to use the microwave safely.
  • Put the microwave oven on a sturdy stand -- one that's low enough for kids. If children need to reach too high, they may pull a hot dish down on themselves.
  • Teach children to read the controls on the microwave oven -- the time, the power level and the "start" and "stop" controls. If kids can't read them, they're too young to operate a microwave alone.
  • Teach children what materials are microwave-safe and keep these utensils and containers within your their reach.
  • Always have your child use a potholder to remove hot food from the microwave. Keep potholders handy for kids.
  • Teach children to stir heated food before tasting. That distributes the heat and avoids hot spots that can cause burns.
  • Show them how to open containers such as popcorn so steam escapes away from their face.
Until you're sure your child has mastered safe use of the microwave, provide supervision.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.