Jan 14, 2018

Kitchen Safety Tips for Families

A kitchen is a fun place where families and their children can bond. From whipping up simple recipes to preparing lunch boxes, it’s usually associated with happy memories.


The kitchen, however, is also the one area in the house where you can have easy access to sharp objects (like knives and ice pick) and fire (gas range and stove top). All things considered, your kitchen is possibly one of the most dangerous areas in your home.

In 2002, Jacksonville Jaguar kicker Jaret Holmes, punter Chris Hanson and his wife Kasey suffered severe burns while cooking at Hanson’s home after a fondue pot overturned and ended up scalding them. Holmes and Hanson received minor burns which, lucky for them, healed quickly. Kasey, however, sustained more severe injuries which were so bad she needed skin grafts.

Heed these basic warnings and safety tips. Common causes of accidents, injuries, and diseases in the kitchen include:
  • A slippery floor. Especially with the children around, there’s likely a little spillage here and there.
  • Defective appliances. This often happens with items you use way too often or those old appliances you refused to change such as the microwave oven, blender or toaster.
  • Sharp objects in easy-to-reach cabinets. Kids like to open stuff because it’s part of their exploration. Therefore, putting your knives in sliding cabinets without lock or on the countertop is just an accident waiting to happen.
  • Stove left on. This is relatively common especially for those who are always in a hurry.
  • Short circuit and overload. Having only one power source with multiple appliances connected to it can pose a serious hazard.
  • Lack of sanitation and proper hygiene. According to the World Health Organization, over 200 diseases can result from unsafe or contaminated food.

What can You do to Ensure Safety in the Kitchen?

Here are a few tips for you to spot hazards and potential problems. Keeping this area safe for you and your family will not require much of your time.


  • Keep dangerous things out of reach. Your kids shouldn’t be exposed to toxic household products. Items like all-purpose cleaners, dishwashing detergents, and disinfectants should be safely locked in your cabinets.

  • Store sharp and hazardous objects in a safe place. Never display your knives in full view of the kids especially toddlers because they will likely grab whatever piques their curiosity.

  • Wash all utensils and equipment thoroughly and observe proper hygiene. This is to prevent acquiring food-borne illnesses.

  • Wipe spillages immediately because there’s a chance you will forget if you do it later. Food and drinks spilled onto the kitchen floor can be a huge slipping and tripping hazard.

  • Cook foods through properly. Some food-borne illnesses can be life-threatening and the symptoms can range from simple nausea and vomiting to diarrhea and severe dehydration.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit nearby. When an accident happens, it’s best to stay calm so you can clearly think what to do next. A kitchen fire can happen anytime and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst.

  • Keep the kids away from the kitchen while you’re cooking or at least three feet from the stovetop or oven. Oil or any hot liquid might slosh out which can cause burns.

  • For toddlers and small children, have them handle only plastic bowls since they might break the glass ones and therefore cause injury.

  • Don’t rush. You probably have so many things to do - puree the vegetables, chop the ingredients, and start preparing the table. The problem with breezing through them is you can get into all kinds of trouble when you’re in a hurry. Do one thing at a time.

First Aid Tips for Kitchen Mishaps

Cuts

  1. Immediately wash with soap and water. Use a clean cloth to apply pressure to the wound. Dab with antibacterial ointment before securing the bandage.
  2. Severe bleeding requires immediate medical attention.

Burns

  1. For minor burns, hold the affected area under cool, running water for 5-10 minutes to help relieve the pain. Apply aloe vera gel if there’s no open wound.
  2. If clothes are stuck in the burned area, do not attempt to remove them.
  3. A third-degree burn is considered a medical emergency.

One 2013 study found out that 36% of all knife-related accidents were associated with kitchen or cooking knives. It doesn’t end there though. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 47% of home fires and fire injuries were caused by cooking equipment and often happens on Thanksgiving Day.

Observing the safety tips in this article can help make your kitchen a fun and safe area for the whole family.

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

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