11-11-2011 (Dayton, OH) -
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, express gratitude, and enjoy a holiday meal with family and friends. Especially around the holidays, families are most commonly found gathering in the kitchen with a football game in the background, tending to children, and serving hot food to hungry bellies. It’s also a time when the kitchen can turn into one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if families don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Distractions put those in the kitchen at high risk for minor burns. Cooking fires are also popular when cooking food is left unattended. In fact, cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires and injuries in the United States.
Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all of the trimmings call for a lot of preparation and cooking. However, when family, friends, and especially children gather in the kitchen, it’s very easy to get distracted and forget about what’s on the stove. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Each year, there are approximately 102,408 emergency room visits due to a fire/burn related injury for children ages 0-14. And, contact with a hot surface or flame is what causes the greatest number of burns in children.
Safe Kids Greater Dayton and The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton offer these safety tips to help you prevent a fire and keep the Thanksgiving holiday a memorable tradition.
Prevent Cooking Fires
- Never leave hot food or appliances unattended while cooking. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food stay in the kitchen. If you are baking, boiling, or simmering food, check food frequently.
- Always be alert when you are cooking. If you are under the influence of medication or alcohol, avoid using the stove or stovetop.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire at least three feet from the stove, toaster oven, or other heat source.
- Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
- Do not wear loose fitting clothes when you are cooking as they may catch fire from the stovetop.
Prevent burns and scalds
- To prevent hot food or liquid spills, use the stove’s back burner and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
- Keep appliance cords coiled, away from the counter edges and out of children’s reach, especially if the appliances contain hot foods or liquids.
- Use oven mitts or potholders when carrying hot food.
- Open hot containers from the microwave slowly and away from your face.
- Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.
Keep Your Kids Safe
- Create a 3-foot Kid Free Zone around the stove. Young children should be more than 3-feet from any place where there is hot food, drinks, pans or trays.
- Never hold a child while cooking, carrying or drinking hot foods or liquids.
- Hot foods and items should be kept from the edge of counters and tables.
- Do not use a tablecloth or placemat if very young children are in the home.
- When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely and always with help from an adult.
About Safe Kids Greater Dayton
Safe Kids Greater Dayton works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and younger. Safe Kids Greater Dayton is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Greater Dayton was founded in 1994 and is led by The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton.
For more information, contact:
Community relations manager
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