Each year in the United States, over a million people suffer burn injuries that require medical attention. 50,000 of those require hospitalization, 20,000 have major burns over at least 25% of their body; 4,500 of those people succumb to their injuries.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, we’ve seen a surge in the number of people being admitted to the hospital for burns and other injuries. You may ask yourself why this is happening. The answer isn’t as shocking as one might believe: because restaurants and other public areas have placed restrictions upon their establishments limiting the number of patrons, more and more people are spending time at home. And that means more time in the kitchen. Now, whether you’re a master chef or a beginner, accidents do happen. There are several things you do to protect yourself and your loved ones while you’re at home.
Kitchen safety is extremely important and practicing good habits while in the kitchen can prevent you or a loved one from being injured.
• If you’re going to be cooking, it’s best to avoid wearing loose clothing. If you have long hair, tie it back.
• Remove any and all loose jewelry that may become tangled around pot handles.
• Always keep your oven gloves or mittens near you and use them! Never try to pick up a hot pot or pan without wearing some kind of protection.
• Never leave your pot or pan handles facing out. Young children can grab them, resulting in a dangerous spill.
Being safe in the kitchen isn’t only limited to avoiding burn injuries. Food poisoning is another potentially disastrous scenario. There are ways to protect yourself.
• Check your bread for any signs of discoloration or mold. If you find some, throw them away.
• Don’t leave temperature-sensitive foods out in the kitchen: raw meat, fish, and various dairy products like yogurt or milk can spoil fast. It’s best to put them in the refrigerator or the freezer right away.
• Clean up spills immediately. A wet floor can lead to slips and falls.
• If you’re handling raw meats or fish, always remember to wash your hands afterwards.
Do what you can to avoid distractions.
• It’s okay if you use your cell phone to listen to music while you’re cooking. It’s best to create a playlist that you enjoy, so you don’t feel the need to change the song every few minutes. Taking your eyes away from the stove or the oven for an extended period of time could be catastrophic, not only because of potential injuries, but you may end up burning your food!
• Try to limit the amount of people hot surfaces. If you have too many people moving around the kitchen, especially around hot surfaces, someone could get burned.
Keep any sharp objects like knives or skewers away from children.
As insurance professionals, we understand the risks of being in the kitchen. Managing risks is what we do. We’re here for you!