Recipe for risk-free cooking

12th December 1997 at 00:00
* KNIVES: Kitchen knives need to be very sharp, so never let children younger than seven use them; they could use blunt ones to cut pastry or marzipan instead. Older children should be slowly introduced to the techniques of cutting foodstuffs. But cutting must be a solitary task: one child at a surface. Always cut away from the body.

* HEAT: Pan handles should never overhang the edge of the hob. Children stirring pans over flames must be closely supervised. If taking turns, which is fine, the order must be decreed by an adult - you don't want pushing. Use oven gloves when removing from oven and touching hot metal.

* HYGIENE:Always wash hands before handling foodstuffs and when returning from the toilet. People with running noses should not cook. And nor should people who have cuts on their hands.

* FIRSTAID: For burns and scalds: immediately place under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. If on an arm, drape cloth over the arm and place under cold running water. For cuts: apply pressure to reduce bleeding. Clean wound under cold running water then bandage. If bleeding in spurts, raise the affected part and apply pressure. No tourniquets. If it seems serious, go to hospital.

* CLOTHES: Don't wear jewellery or anything precious.

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