Prevent Burns!

Even the AnswerLine staff is not immune to accidents in the kitchen. I thought that I was being careful while draining a pan of sweet potatoes. I was using two silicone pot holders and thought I was gripping the pan well while draining off the cooking water. Unfortunately, I had cut the potatoes into Burnsmall pieces and I was trying to make the opening between the pan and the lid a little narrower to avoid losing some of the potatoes in the sink. In a split second, the boiling water came streaming over my hand, scalding the back of it. I immediately ran the burn under cold water and iced the spot for a while. The burn was not a terribly deep or painful one, but it has been a great reminder to follow safe practices to avoid another burn in the future.

Here are some tips for avoiding burns from the US Fire Administration and FEMA:

    • Prevent spills by using the back burner when possible. Always turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
    • All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges.
    • Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders as they can cause scald burns.
    • Replace old or worn oven mitts.
    • Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
    • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
    • When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely. Supervise them closely.

I do try to follow these tips when I’m cooking; because I have grandchildren that are often at my home. Taking a few minutes to review safety procedures is smart.  It only took a split second of carelessness on my part to get a painful burn.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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