Skip to main content

Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

Preventing burns from cooking and hot food

The heat produced by cooking appliances and by what is being cooked can be a source of danger to your child.

Never cook while holding your baby or child.

Fire dangers in your home

Cookers, stove tops and hobs

Keep your child away from cookers when in use. Teach them why this is important. Children do not understand danger. You will need to supervise them at all times.

Be mindful of children if you are moving things from the cooker to another surface.


Always cook on back rings first, with the handle of the saucepan or frying pan turned in. This will help prevent children from reaching up and grabbing a pot or pan.

If using the front rings, keep handles of saucepans turned towards the back so they are not so easy to reach. Switch the rings off after use.

To prevent fire, make sure gas cooker burners are in good working order.

Keep items away from cooker rings that could catch fire.

These include:

  • curtains
  • towels
  • oven gloves

Use a cooker or stove guard

Use cooker guards for protection. This creates a physical barrier or guard at the front of the hob. It helps to stop your child touching hot areas.

Block off an area around the cooker

Think about marking an area around the cooker where your child is not allowed to go. Use coloured tape to make a rectangle on the floor in front of the cooker. Tell children they are not allowed to enter that area.


Check the outside of your oven when it’s at roasting temperature. Make sure it's only warm to the touch, not hot. If it does become too hot, install a safety gate at the kitchen when you are cooking.

Be careful opening the door of a hot oven. Hot air will escape and this can burn.

Always turn off the oven when cooking is finished.

Other cooking appliances

Keep microwaves, slow cookers, air fryers and all other appliances out of children’s reach.

Chip pans

Avoid using chip pans – they are a fire risk. Instead, buy chips that you can cook in an oven.


Keep children well away from barbecues (BBQs). Your child could get burned. Barbecues are also a fire hazard.

Fire dangers in your home

Hot food

Always allow hot food to cool down before giving it to your child. Stir the food carefully. Be aware that some parts may be hotter than others.

Test the temperature of the food in your own mouth before giving it to your child.

Page last reviewed: 23 January 2023
Next review due: 23 January 2026