The kitchen is one place in the house where you, our friend spend a lot of time. Infact, most of your time is spent in this center of the home, not for you but for your loved ones. In the morning, you are there to prepare breakfast, then you spend time to prepare a yummy lunch for your little munchkins who are soon to return from their playgroup/ school/ college/ university. Then come the time to make tea for the elders and your hubby when he returns from a hectic work day. And then comes the time for dinner.
It’s you who runs the whole show from the confines of this four walled (or three walled) space in your home. And this is where danger can strikes you the most. There are two potentially dangerous things in the kitchen that you have to beware of, knives and fire. A careless use of knife can result in a painful cut and sloppiness around the stove or with a match can give you a burn.
Take the following precautions to enjoy your time and to put your love and care in the delicious food you make for your family.
Make sure that your knives are sharp. A sharp knife requires little force to cut, hence little chance to slip and cause an injury. When storing knives, try to use a knife block, or store knives in separate, visible location. Don’t mix them up with spoons, as anyone rummaging around in the drawer can unintentionally get a cut.
Also don’t put dirty knives with dishes in the sink. Put then on the side, lain sideways, blade pointing away so that they are clearly visible. Use a cutting board to cut vegetables, fruit or meat. Always point the knife away from you when cutting and never towards you or your fingers.
Coming to the other potential danger, fire or heat, adopt the following precautionary measures to stay safe. Never leave oil to heat for long without attending to it. Overheated oil can burst into flames, smaller quantities quicker than bigger quantities. If, in the worst case, there is a fire due to oil, never try to put it out with water. Oil fires become hazardous with water. A better option is to cover the fire with a larger non-combustible pot, sand or using a fire extinguisher.
Water in heated oil is a big no. Even a drop of water in hot oil splutters and cause oil to explode in all directions, including in your direction.
Another cause of heat burn is steam. So when you have to remove cover from a pot of boiling water or any food that might contain boiling water, remove the cover far side first, allowing the steam to escape towards the far side.
After all these safety tips, if you get hurt there are cures in your kitchen as well. For minor cuts, wash with water and cover with a band aid. For a bleeding cut, press the cut firmly, raise it to reduce blood circulation in the cut area, apply some ointment for cuts and cover with a band aid. If bleeding does not stop or the cut Is deep, immediately seek medical attention.
If you get scalded, immediately put the burned part under cold water or use some ice on the affected area. The intention is remove the heat affect. Doing this will reduce the chance of blister formation. Applying a peeled potato slice also helps reduce the burning sensation. Baking soda is always available in most kitchens, apply a paste of baking soda with water on burns, it has a cooling effect.
Spills should be cleared up immediately, as they can cause you to slip in a hurried movement. Electric appliances should be kept away from heat i.e. the stove and water i.e. the sink, to reduce chances of igniting a fire or an electrocution.
Remember ladies (and gents), these tips are for minor injuries. If you find anything more than minor, rush to a doctor immediately.