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Kitchen Safety Tips and Injury Prevention for Holiday Meals

The kitchen is a space that brings families and friends together during the holidays. Planning, preparing, and cooking the meals is a tradition that’s passed down year after year. Kitchens are often more crowded during the holidays and unfortunately, that extra commotion leads to a big increase in the number of kitchen related injuries. There are some steps you can take to ensure everyone helping in the kitchen is not only having a good time but staying safe too! 

Common Injuries and Accidents During Holiday Meals

The possible injuries and accidents during holiday meals is endless, but there are some that are more common than others. 

  • Kitchen fires – never make the mistake of leaving your food unattended while it cooks. If you have something on the stove, you need to be in the kitchen keeping a close eye on it. If the turkey is in the oven, remain in the home the entire time it takes to cook and check on it frequently. You should also test your smoke detectors before you begin cooking to ensure that if a fire does start, you’ll know about it quickly. 
  • Cuts and abrasions – it can be fun to let the younger family members help with some of the kitchen prep, but this often leads to cuts and abrasions while they’re trying to cut something. Only let children help prepare items that can be sliced with a butter knife. When you’re cutting or carving, always turn the blade away from your body. 
  • Burns – you’ll likely be dealing with multiple hot items at once, so don’t forget to use oven mitts! Give yourself plenty of time to prepare the meal too. Rushed cooking often leads to gravy and other hot liquids being spilled, causing burns to the skin. 

Preventing a Holiday Injury or Accident

The key to preventing a holiday injury or accident is paying attention to everything that’s happening. Limit the number of people allowed in the kitchen at one time. Keep your cooking surfaces cleaned and do dishes as you go to avoid cluttered work spaces. Remember that this should be a joyous time – your guests would rather the meal come a little bit later than have you get injured trying to do it all too fast! 

How to Find Treatment When You Need it

If an injury or accident does occur, seek treatment right away. Doctor’s offices are typically closed around the holidays and emergency rooms will be crowded. Your best bet is to do a quick internet search for local urgent care centers and find the closest one to you. Urgent care centers are open with extended hours and offer the same treatment as an emergency room, at a much quicker speed!