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The Kitchen: A Danger Zone?

The News & Observer recently ran a story about common kitchen blunders and how to avoid injury.  Having seen and treated her fair share of burns, cuts and falls, WakeMed emergency physician Dr. PJ Hamilton shared tips on how to ensure safety remains a key ingredient in the kitchen. 

Below are a few takeaways from the story.  Read the full article here, and don’t let your kitchen become a recipe for disaster. 

  • If the kitchen is dangerous, the ‘kitchen triangle’ – the area between stove, sink and refrigerator – is ground zero when it comes to potential accidents.  “That’s where people are cutting, carrying and pouring things,” says Dr. Hamilton. “No one who is not needed, especially children, should be hanging out there, because there’s a much higher risk of injury.”
  • Dull knives are more likely to slip and cause cuts.  Keep kitchen knives sharp, and make sure to store them separately and safely in their own drawer or wooden block.  Keep fingers out of harm’s way, and use the correct size knife for each task.
  • Sweep up broken glass immediately with a broom and dustpan.  A damp paper towel can catch tiny pieces of glass.  Be careful when washing crystal or other delicate glassware by hand. “These items often break and end up cutting your hand,” explains Dr. Hamilton.
  • Never cook with a child in your arms or a baby carried in a sling. Give children age-appropriate tasks.  “Children often want to help, but they should have adult supervision,” adds Hamilton.