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At what age should a child be able to be alone safely in the kitchen?

My oldest wasn't allowed to use the microwave for a long time. We were still "learning" the ropes when we let her use a microwave at 5 years old. Put pizza in the microwave for 20 seconds... turned out to be pizza CRUST and she had it in there for 2 minutes before we started seeing was on for 20 minutes if we didn't stop it. My 4 year old...we tried again with the microwave...we talked him through a cup of soup and apparently he didn't listen very well. He forgot to add the water to his soup when he put it in for 3 minutes...again NOT fun! So, no microwave...safely till they are 8 years old at least. No stoves...too nervous to test that one. Toaster is fine for our 4 year old...if he can serve himself cereal and clean up his mess...its a go, but no appliances lol

What would you consider a safe age for kitchen appliances? What age would you let them serve themselves simple stuff like cereal or a drink?

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Asked by Imortlmommy at 12:09 AM on Feb. 16, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 19 (7,592 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Hmmm, not sure here. I do know that my nephew is 9 is is not allowed to use anything in the kitchen unless supervised or someone is aware of it and I think 9-10ish is a good age. I would wait until they are old enough to actually know the dangers of household appliances and to be able to understand the dangers.

    Answer by jessxcowgirl at 12:15 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • My kids have always been allowed in the kitchen alone. I taught the older 2 to use the toaster and microwave when they were about 4 1/2-5 years old. middle and youngest dd learned to use the toaster at 4 and 3 years old respectively but didn't learn to use the microwave because we moved and it was up way too high for them to reach. They are 8 and almost 5 now and we've moved again and they can now reach the microwave so I've showed them how to use it to heat up their leftovers.
    In the 6 years my kids have been using the microwave we've only had one incident. My son set the microwave on fire when he set the time wrong and then didn't come tell me right away which made it worse. He was 7 at the time and lost his privilege to use the microwave for a couple months. He's 9 now and learning to use the stove. Him and my 10yo also know how to use the Foreman grill to make sandwiches.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 1:38 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • my 4 yr old son started making his own PB&J sandwiches when he was 2-2 1/2 years old....he grabbed the jelly the peanut butter,then he got a chair and put it up to the counter so he could reach the bread....he also used a spoon to spread the PB&J onto the bread....he was so proud of himself....i walked in on him doing this but i didnt say anything till he was done....but i will not let him use any type of kitchen appliance by himself unles im in there with him and talking him thru it.....he loves toast but i wont let him make it on his own unles im in the kitchen with him....same with the microwave......i know i probably sound over protective but its will get hurt all the time but my job is to protect him,comfort him,love and care for him,etc.....more power to ya if you trust a 4 year old to be alone in the kitchen using appliances knowing they could possibly burn your house down or hurt themselves badly.......

    Answer by SMALLfry05 at 1:04 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • My 4yo started making sandwiches right around the time she turned 3. Her older siblings left the peanut butter and jelly on the table and I walked in to find her making a sandwich. It was messy but she was so proud of herself.
    And I do trust them to use the microwave. At 4 they had to have adult supervision. At 5 they had to ask first before touching it and after that I trusted them use it at their own discretion. They know to only use the 1 minute or 30 second setting (which is also the start button on our model so the 4yo just has to put her stuff in and press start). We don't have a toaster any more but I had no problems with them using it at 4 (only a couple singed fingers over the years). My son started using sharp knives at 5, too with supervision and now at 9 cuts his own stuff with steak knives.
    Kids are so much more competent than most people think...especially if they are given the chance.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 4:11 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

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