9 Kitchen Safety Tips for the Holidays
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous – particularly in the kitchen. With all the home cooking going on for the holidays, accidents and injuries such as burns and cuts are more common. According to experts at Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH (MOR) in Chicago, every year 350,000 people visit U.S. emergency rooms for knife injuries alone, reports Medical Xpress.I don't know about you, but I do not want to end up in the emergency room this year!
If we are proactive, we can reduce the chance of ending up in the E.R. by following a few safety tips that you might have not considered before. The Medical Xpress report outlines these tips listed below.
- Keep your knives sharp. A sharp knife is a safer knife. I know this may seem like an oxymoron, but trying to cut with a dull knife increases the risk of knife slips and cuts due to having to apply more pressure to what you are cutting.
- Make sure surfaces have adequate lighting and are kept dry. Just as you do not want a slippery floor, you also do not want slippery surfaces where you are handling knives and prepping food. You also want to make sure there is adequate light so that you can see clearly what you are doing.
- Follow these cutting rules. Slice away from yourself and make sure that your fingers are not near the blade.
- Use a cutting board. Do not cut something while holding it in the palm of your hand.
- Know how to cut a round object. First, cut it in half, and then lay each half flat side down and chop away!
- Do not leave knives in the sink. I will admit when that I am guilty of this one. It is a good idea to clean knives right away and put them away. Leaving it in a sink, especially with soapy water, increases the risk of cuts when you reach in to grab the knife.
- Focus. This may seem obvious, but it is so easy to get distracted by guests, loud children, the television and other distractions during the holidays. Always focus on what you are doing so that you can avoid cutting or burning yourself.
- Do not put your fingers in the blender. If you must, make sure that the blender is not just off but also unplugged.
- Let it fall. When you drop a glass or dish, it’s as if everything is in slow motion. You feel your heart drop and then might reach to try to catch and save the dish. This is actually dangerous. Let it fall and break. Of course, use rubber gloves to pick up the glass and then sweep or vacuum the area thoroughly.
I highly recommend checking out this article from UCLA Health – 7 common holiday injuries and accidents (and how to avoid them).
Falls are more common this time of year due to putting up decorations as well as taking them down. Toy injuries are also something to be mindful of. UCLA reports that…”[I]n 2020, emergency department staff across the country treated almost 150,000 toy-related injuries among children age 14 and younger. Nonmotorized scooters accounted for 21% of those injuries.”
Also, watch out for falls, back and neck strains from heavy lifting, dangerous driving, food safety and hygiene and moderating your intake of alcohol if you drink.
Take a look at these previous pH Labs blogs:
If you do cut or burn yourself, please note that vitamin C may aid in wound recovery. I also want to encourage people to prioritize their mental health. The holidays can be particularly stressful or even depressing for those who may be dealing with loss or having difficulty with the colder weather, lack of sun and time change.
Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.
The pH professional healthcare team includes recognized experts from a variety of healthcare and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses, and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products, and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.