The last Fire Prevention Week safety tip is: “Prevent Scalds and Burns.” There are always hazards that accompany the use of heated appliances. Even when fires don’t start, it is too easy to skim a hot pan too close and burn yourself, or for popping, greasy pan to hit a passing child with its contents.
Here are the NFPA’s tips for preventing injuries while cooking:
- Turn all pot and pan handles away from the stove’s edge, rather let them sit over the counter where they cannot be bumped in passing.
- Keep hot pans, foods, or liquids at the center of the table or toward the back of the counter.
- Keep your face clear of the oven when opening it so the steam does not burn you.
- Open microwaves with the same caution, leaving space for the steam to escape before reaching in to remove the food.
- Eat all hot food, especially microwaved food, with caution. Microwaving can cause hot spots that can easily burn your tongue.
- Keep appliance cords (toaster ovens, microwave ovens, slow cookers, etc) coiled and away from the edge of the counter.
In the event that someone is hurt or burned and it could be serious, call 9-1-1 immediately. It is also a good idea to create a mini first aid kit specifically for your kitchen with the following items, should minor burns occur:
- Neosporin band-aids (found at most drug stores or online) are a great solution for burned fingers. Once the area is clean and has been rinsed with cool water, apply the band-aids. Use for a few days for optimal healing and minimal scarring.
- Regular Neosporin, along with waterproof band aids, are also good to keep on hand. The waterproof band aids mean you can keep washing your hands without replacing bandages every time.
- Solarcaine is also a long trusted spray-on product that can provide instant relief for minor burns or cuts.
- For a natural product, Colloidal Silver gel is reported to provide amazing relief and healing for minor burns.
- Though you can’t store this in a first aid kit, keeping mustard on hand in the fridge is a handy help for a burned tongue. Just put the mustard directly on the burn and leave there as long as possible. It will help take some of the pain away (after the initial sting) and also help your tongue heal faster.
- Keeping cool packs in the freezer is also a good idea. If someone knocks something off the counter or stove and there were no major burns, there will likely be bruising. Apply a cold compress to the injured area to minimize it.
Though the above is not meant to act as medical advice, it can offer a little relief and assistance in the event of an accidental scald or burn. As always, if you are unsure of the severity of the injury, call 9-1-1 or visit your local Urgent Care.
We hope you found these tips useful for keeping yourself and family safer when cooking in the kitchen!