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Conducting Risk Assessments for Cooking Activities

Did you know?

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the largest number of accidents involving children happen in the living/dining room. However, the most serious accidents happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. Every year more than 67,000 children experience an accident in the kitchen - 43,000 of these are aged between 0-4 years.

If you haven’t already, read That Nursery Life’s article on How To Risk Assess Activities in Your Setting.

Possible risks:

  • Hot surfaces (hobs, pans, oven trays, kettles) – risk of burns or scalds
  • Sharp objects (knives, scissors) – risk of cuts
  • Food allergies (gluten, nuts, eggs, milk) – risk of allergic reaction
  • Cleaning agents (disinfectant, soap) – risk of skin irritation, eye irritation or poisoning if consumed
  • Electricity (electrical devices, plug sockets, broken wires) – risk of electrocution
  • Glass items (bowls, drinking glasses) – risk of being dropped and smashing, resulting in cuts
  • Machinery (mixers) – risk of trapped hair or fingers
  • Spills (food, liquid) – risk of tripping or slipping
  • Raw food (eggs) – risk of food poisoning if consumed
Photo by Sandra Wei on Unsplash

As well as carrying out your own risk assessment:

  1. Identifying hazards
  2. Deciding who is at risk
  3. Evaluating risks and deciding on precautions
  4. Recording and implementing your findings

It may be helpful for both you and your early years to go through a risk assessment together, making children aware of the risks and how to avoid injuries or accidents when carrying out the activity. Take a look at TNL’s article, How To: Involve Children in Risk Assessments, for a guide on how to do this.

Taking these precautionary steps will ensure you are in the best position to provide a fun, educational and, most importantly, safe cooking activity for the children in your setting.

Here at TNL we’re committed to providing the most useful content to Early Years practitioners. Feel free to get in touch on our socials if you found this article useful!