Here are several tips for preventing injuries and accidents in the kitchen:
- Always keep young children out of the kitchen while cooking and preparing meals. Institute a rule, no playing or running in the kitchen. If kids want to help with food preparation, make sure they are carefully supervised.
- Don’t allow distractions while you are cooking. Don’t talk on the phone or go to another room while something is cooking. Keep your attention on what you are doing at all times. Don’t allow pots to boil over, baked dishes to burn and cause smoke or grease fires. If you have something cooking on very low heat for a long time, make sure to use a timer so you don’t forget when to return to cooking.
- Be aware of spills on the kitchen floor that could cause someone to slip and fall. Mop up any spills immediately.
- When cooking on the stove, always turn handles of pots and pans inward, so they don’t stick out. This is so that no one can accidentally knock a hot pan or pot off of the stovetop.
- Keep the stovetop clean and clear of debris, grease, paper, or any objects that could potentially catch on fire. Periodically clean your oven of grease that could cause a fire.
- Tie up loose hair, and roll up shirt sleeves so they don’t accidentally touch the stove or cooking pots.
When preparing foods, take caution against burning yourself by putting your safety first:
- Never taste by dipping your finger into food that is hot or cooking. Use a spoon, and let the food cool down first before tasting it.
- Use a potholder or an oven mitt when lifting the lid off of a steaming pot, and protect your hands, wrists and face from escaping steam.
- When removing something from the oven, always use oven mitts or potholders, and place the hot dish on a cooling rack. Allow adequate time for the dish to cool, before touching or serving it.
- The microwave can create “hot spots” and make plates very hot. Always use a potholder to remove the dish. People with arthritis or limited mobility in their hands can use Buckingham Coolhand to remove the dish.
- Hot liquids can cause severe burns. Use the Buckingham Mug Holder to carry hot mugs safely and prevent spills.
- Consider using an insulated travel mug for hot beverages.
- Always let hot foods and liquids cool down before touching or consuming them.
- When using hot water to wash dishes, watch the temperature. Hot water can scald.
- Be careful when opening the dishwasher right after the cycle has completed. The dishwasher can release hot steam, which can burn.
- Exercise extreme caution with candles. Never leave candles attended and keep them out of reach of children. Avoid open flames, use glass or metal candle holders.
- Keep knives well-sharpened, because dull knives will slip instead of cut, increasing the possibility that you will accidentally cut yourself.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen within easy reach, and know how to use it. Never use water to put out an electrical fire or grease fire!
- Keep a first-aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic ointment, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, aloe vera gel, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory. Use the kit to treat minor injuries. In the case of major injury, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
- If you suffer a minor burn, hold the affected area underneath cool running water for several minutes. Do not use ice. If the skin comes off, it may be an indicator that you have a major burn, so call your doctor or seek to emergency care immediately.
The most important thing you can do to prevent accidents is to pay attention to what you are doing at all times. Be mindful and present, don’t rush, and you will enjoy cooking, as well as your meal!