Because burns are a common hazard related to microwave oven use, make sure children know how to use a microwave oven safely.
- Make sure the microwave oven is on a sturdy stand — one that's low enough for kids. If children need to reach too high, they may pull a hot dish down on themselves.
- Teach children to read the controls on the microwave oven-the time, the power level, and the "start" and "stop" controls. If kids can't read them, they're too young to operate a microwave oven alone.
- Always have a child use potholders to remove heated food from the microwave oven — whether the food is hot or not. In that way it becomes a habit. Keep potholders handy for kids.
- Teach children to stir heated food before tasting. That distributes the heat and avoids hot spots that can cause burns.
- Show them how to open containers so that steam escapes away from their face. That includes packages of popped microwave popcorn.