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Whether you’re new to cooking or baking or find yourself spending extra time in the kitchen during COVID-19, it may be helpful to brush up on some kitchen safety basics. Read on for more from our hand and upper extremity experts at The Hand & Upper Extremity Center of Georgia to help you avoid injury risks. 

For those new to frequent cooking or baking, as well as those who find themselves with more “helpers” in the kitchen, follow the safety guidelines below to avoid common pitfalls and mishaps. 

Avoid trips and falls: 

  • Remove any throw rugs in the kitchen and make sure any anti-fatigue mats are nonslip. Replace any mats that have upturned sides or corners. 
  • Store food, dishes, and cooking equipment at an easy-to-reach, waist-high level, and clean up anything dropped or spilled immediately.
  • To reach upper cabinets, use a proper step stool and do not climb on boxes or counters.
  • Slow down—rushing around in the kitchen can lead to a number of injuries and mishaps.

Avoid cuts:

  • Never cut toward yourself or put your hand under a blade. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are cutting toward. 
  • Keep your knife handles and cutting area dry to avoid slips. Good lighting around the cutting area is also important.
  • Use proper cutting utensils for each job, such as kitchen shears for cutting bones or peeling tools for peeling potatoes, and keep them sharp. Dull tools are more likely to cause slips and are still sharp enough to cause an injury.

Avoid burns and other hazards:

  • Children should be supervised at all times while in the kitchen as hot, sharp, and heavy items as well as electrical appliances are all potentially dangerous.
  • Turn the oven off and unplug all appliances before leaving the kitchen. 
  • Keep electrical appliances away from water to avoid shocks, and stay away from electrical sockets if your hands are wet.
  • Always have oven mitts or pot holders at the ready when working with an oven or hot dishes to avoid burns, and keep an easily accessible and up-to-date fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of a fire.

If you’re in need of a consultation for any bone, joint, or muscle injury, schedule an appointment with one of our hand and upper extremity experts by calling (404) 255-0226 or request an appointment online.