Knives all have one thing in common: if not handled correctly, they can cause a great harm to kids (and parents!). Here are 5 Simple Kitchen Safety Rules for Knives:
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Knife safety is really important. Everyone in the family should be familiar with a few basic safety procedures. The following tips will not only help prevent any potential injuries but will assist you to be a better cook as well. Here are 5 simple kitchen safety rules for knives.
#1. Keep Knives Sharp
As odd as this might sound (after all, what could be more dangerous than a sharp knife?) a dull knife will do more harm than a sharp one. The explanation for this is simple – in order to cut something with a dull knife, you have to apply more force and pressure, increasing the likelihood that the knife will slip and cause injuries.
The simplest way to keep yourself and the knife safe is by sharpening it every two to three months. To do this, you will need either a sturdy sharpening stone or a knife sharpener.
If you have been given or bought yourself a set of chef knives then it is recommended to use a sharpening still for slight touch-ups in between sharpening sessions. If you are thinking of buying a set of chef knives then the website Chef Knives Expert has reviews and buying guides.
We bought the Any Knife Knife Sharpener which is actually magnetic and it sticks to our cooker canopy which is handy. It’s available from Amazon, priced £8.75 at time of writing.
#2. Practice Knife Techniques
Of course, knowing how to use the knife will prevent as many injuries as keeping it sharp. Here are some knife cutting tips:
- Always hold the food you are cutting with one hand, while the other hand uses the knife. The holding hand should be shaped like a claw, with the fingers tucked under, so they keep out of the way of the knife.
- Always use a cutting board, and it’s good if the board is nice and large, so you don’t feel cramped while cutting.
- Keep the tip of the knife on the cutting board, and lower and lift the handle to do the cutting.
- If cutting round veg or fruit, I always cut them in half first then lay the flat side down on the cutting board before continuing to cut smaller rows and then swivel the item to cut across my first set of cuts.
- If the knife slips out of your hand, do not, under any circumstances, attempt to grab it mid-air. While your first instinct might be to try and catch it, you should always let it fall.
- If you are carrying a knife, make sure to point the tip towards the floor.
This handy tutorial from Jamie Oliver gets you chopping quickly and correctly with the right knives:
#3. Safe Knife Storage
With kids around, it’s really important to keep knives stored safely. If your kitchen knives didn’t come with a knife block, then consider buying one, or decide where is best in your kitchen to keep them out of small hands’ way.
We bought a magnetic knife strip that we screwed to the side of one of our kitchen cabinets near the cooker, it’s high up away from smallies.
If you need to keep them in a drawer, then make sure they are at the back of the drawer away from small hands reaching in.
Tip: Never leave a knife on the counter unattended. If you have to leave the counter, put the knife away. Better safe than sorry.
#4. Clean Knives Frequently
I never knew before researching this topic that leaving knives in soapy water actually results in dirt and food debris building up on the blade until it becomes dull.
Before cleaning your knives, make sure to read their instruction manuals to check whether they are dishwasher friendly, or if you need to do the cleaning manually, if so use a bit of soapy water, rinse then dry them with a clean cloth straightaway.
#5. Never Let Young Kids Use Knives Unattended
Introduce knives as carefully as possible to your child. Never let your child use one unattended. You’ll know when your child is old enough to start using bigger and sharper knives, or to be left cutting things while you do other kitchen tasks.
Letting kids cut certain types of food with a knife can help foster independence, and cooking skills are something good to teach your child, but make sure to tell them safety tips like never to cut towards themselves and never to grab a knife by the blade.
Let them use a butter knife to practice cutting something softer like a banana to practice.
You might also like to buy them a nylon kids knife set like this one from Onupgo available from Amazon that they can practice without you worrying about them cutting themselves.
You might also enjoy reading Useful Kids Cooking Skills Easily Mastered by Preschoolers
Over to you now. Any further tips to share about kitchen safety rules for knives? Tell us in the comments below.