Kitchen Safety Tips

Chef cooking in the restaurant kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but unfortunately, it’s also where a lot of injuries occur. This makes sense, because working in the kitchen means using heat, knives, and other dangerous objects. How can you enjoy your kitchen without ending up at the urgent care clinic? Follow these kitchen safety tips to keep the heart of your home happy and safe.

  • Use caution with knives. A major part of knife safety is treating blades with respect. Keep your knives sharp so that they’ll slice easily, and you won’t have to use the kind of force that can cause accidents. Store them with the blades protected and never leave them in the sink where they can be hidden from view and accidentally cut you. Never leave knives dangling off of work surfaces or walk with them pointing out, and take the time to learn how to safely use your knives. Cut on a stable surface, never cutting towards yourself, and use the right knife for each job. Don’t forget that other things in the kitchen are sharp, too, like can openers, can lids, blenders, and, of course, mandolines. Be careful with broken dishes, too, because those sharp edges can also cause serious injuries.
  • If you do cut yourself, take a moment to carefully assess the injury. Where is it located, and how deep is it? If it’s not very deep and it’s not somewhere sensitive like the knuckles or fingertips, washing it with an antibacterial cleanser followed by soap and water should be sufficient. Once it’s clean, put antibacterial ointment on a bandage and carefully place it over the cut. If the cut seems deep or is bleeding profusely, apply pressure and head to urgent care.
  • Use great caution any time you’re working with heat. Don’t leave food unattended on the stovetop, especially if you’re heating oil or sugar. If something has to cook for a long time at a low temperature, keep it on a back burner and set a timer to remind you to check it often. Know your equipment so that you’ll know which handles get hot, and always turn pot handles so that they’re not jutting out away from the stove, where they could be jostled by someone passing by or pulled over by a child. When you open a pot lid, direct it away from you to prevent steam burns, and never use a wet kitchen towel or potholder to lift anything hot. The water will conduct the heat so that it burns you and could cause you to drop the pot or pan. Clean up spills in the oven promptly so you don’t risk starting a fire.
  • Know when burns are serious enough to warrant medical attention. If you sustain a burn, run cool tap water over it for at least 15 seconds. Never use ice or butter as a burn treatment because these measures can actually damage skin tissue. If you notice open blisters or wounds, or your burn is from a sticky substance or hot oil, seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
  • Protect your eyes in the kitchen. The kitchen is full of eye irritants, from the oils in chili powder to cooking vapors and steam. If something irritates your eye, flush it with cool water. If it’s still bothering you, see a doctor.

The goal of Total Point Urgent Care is to be a convenient healthcare resource for our community. Providing immediate medical care at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room, each neighborhood urgent care clinic in our network offers warm, efficient, personalized care. At our locations in Texas and Arizona, our on-site technology and services include urgent care walk ins, primary care, specialty care, routine check-ups, flu shots and other vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, and onsite lab and x rays. Soon, we’ll even offer virtual visits so that our patients can choose telecare instead of risking a trip to the clinic. For convenient medical care, visit one of our locations or contact us through our website.

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