In just a few short days, homes all over the country will be filled with the wonderful sounds and scents of the Holidays! While some are looking forward to eating a slice of sweet potato pie, others are faced with the task of preparing a feast for family and friends. If you’ve taken on the challenge of cooking dinner this holiday season, be sure to know these 3 tips to prevent injuring yourself.
Kitchen Equipment and Appliances
We all saw what happened to the Pearson family on This is Us. Old or faulty appliances can destroy your home and cause injury. I know your mother and your mother’s mother always cooked the greens in that pot, but it may be time for a replacement.
To Prevent Injury from Kitchen Equipment and Appliances:
1. Replace Old or Faulty Equipment and Appliances
If you have to jiggle the lever for the can opener to work, it’s probably time to get a new one. Dull knives and old pots with broken handles can cause cuts and burns that land you in the emergency room. Replacing old appliances can help you work more efficiently and give you peace of mind.
2. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
You may have always filled the pressure cooker above the fill line without suffering any consequences. Well, don’t push your luck this holiday season. The manufacturer put that line there for a reason, follow the instructions!
3. Make Use of Kitchen Supplies
Oven mitts and potholders are for more than just decorating the kitchen with holiday cheer. Make use of these supplies to avoid burns and kitchen disasters.
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Cooking for everyone on your mom and dad’s side of the family is a lot different than cooking dinner for two. Preparing a meal for several people can involve a ton of heavy lifting.
From twenty-pound turkeys to massive pans of baked mac and cheese, holiday dishes can weigh a ton. Improper and repetitive lifting from the oven, to the table, and to the refrigerator can cause injury to your back.
To Prevent a Lifting Injury:
1. Assign Someone Else to Do the Heavy Lifting
You don’t have to cook and lift. Have someone else do the heavy lifting while you focus on the recipes.
2. Lift With Your Legs, Not Your Back
Instead of bending at the waist to lift, position your body into a squat and use your legs to bring you to a standing position. This may feel a little awkward to do with an open oven door in front of you. Sliding the oven racks towards you will bring the dish closer to you and help avoid back strain.
3. Avoid Twisting Motions
You have the pan of dressing in your hand and everyone in the living room is laughing. You turn quickly to the right to tune in to the fun then, “Ouch!” you just herniated a disc. Sudden twisting motions while holding heavy objects can cause injury to the spine and back muscles.
Slips and Falls
It can feel like running a marathon trying to cook a huge dinner and get it done before your guests arrive. With all that’s going on, your chance of a slip and fall in the kitchen greatly increases during the holiday season.
To Prevent a Slip and Fall:
1. Wear Slip Resistant Shoes
Kitchen floors can become slippery from the humidity in the kitchen or spills on the floor. You may think this is going overboard, but trust me, you’d much rather have these on your feet than a cast on your arm. Slip-resistant shoes are your friend.
2. Clean Up Spills
I know you’re pressed for time and cleaning up that little splash of gravy will just throw you off schedule. However, having to take a trip to the emergency room will be more costly. Make sure you clean up spills as soon as they happen.
3. Don’t Run!
I know it sounds like something to say to a kindergartner. You may feel the urge to sprint from the pantry to the sink. No matter how far behind you are in your cooking schedule, don’t run in your kitchen.
The holiday season is a time for food, fun, and family, not injury. Implement these tips and have an injury-free holiday season!