Dear Readers: If you have small children at home or ones who visit, you know the KITCHEN can be the heart of the home, but it also holds a lot of hazards for little ones. It is a fun place to play and be with the rest of the family. Here are a few hints to keep your little ones safe while still letting them have fun!
* Trash can: What else can you say but "yuck"? To keep your children away from the trash, invest in a can with a lockable lid (or one they can't open), or place the trash can in a cabinet out of their reach.
* Refrigerator: Once a child learns how to open the refrigerator, you'd better watch out! If you allow children access, put ONLY SAFE items on the lowest shelf. Replace glass containers with plastic, or place them on the highest shelf, in the back. If you don't want your child to have access, invest in a fridge lock, which probably is a good idea anyway.
* Cabinets: Children always are curious, and they love to open and close things. Let your child have a lower cabinet all his or her own. Put safe things in there, like plastic bowls, lids, wooden spoons, etc. Use childproof locks on all other cabinets!!
Hope these hints help keep your little ones safe! Just remember, no matter where they are, supervision is key! -- Heloise
P.S.: Most importantly, you must move all cleaning supplies from under the sink or use a childproof lock. This also is a potential lifesaving hint as a reminder to grandparents: Get childproof locks for that under-sink cabinet!
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
Dear Heloise: Bringing the full, big bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion when I travel takes up too much room. I save and wash my empty large and small plastic spice bottles, and fill these with shampoo, conditioner, etc. I also store cotton swabs and cotton balls in the containers. -- Eilene W. in Illinois
Cooking and cleaning
Dear Heloise: When cooking, I try to minimize the amount of dishes and utensils used. The less I use, the less I have to clean later. If using a measuring cup to measure water, just dry it and put it back in the cabinet; if it only has water in it, it doesn't have to be washed. If measuring more than two wet ingredients, try to use the same measuring cup. Use the same spoon to add ingredients, not a different spoon for each. This may seem silly, but you don't know how many times I have walked into a kitchen and seen a sink of dishes that didn't need to be there. -- A Reader in Tennessee
Phone call scam
Dear Heloise: Whenever I get a cellphone call that is a scam, I save the phone number on my phone under "Scam" or something similar. If they call again, I know not to answer. -- Jerry in Texas