Page 10 - Alaska Parent Winter 2020 Digital
P. 10

health & wellness
Health news for the whole family
  Considering how often we find ourselves rushing, taking shortcuts, or checking e-mail instead of keeping an eye on the stove (what’s that smell?), it’s easy to see how at-home accidents can happen. In fact, 21 million Americans seek medical attention due to home injuries each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The holidays can be especially treacherous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 12,000 of us are treated in hospital emergency departments nationwide due to holiday-related decorating incidents.
Fortunately, turning your home into a safety zone around the holidays and the rest of the year is just a matter of making a few precautionary tweaks around the house. Here are small risks you may be taking without realizing it that can lead to big problems, and our top tips for avoiding them.
In the Kitchen
Slip-up: Walking away from the stove. Cooking fires are the leading cause of the 386,500 home fires that occur in the U.S. each year. The
biggest boo-boo: Putting something on the stove then leaving the room. “Frying is especially dangerous because a pan fire from oil that ignites can get big fast and catch things around it on fire,” says Meri-K Appy, the president of Safe Kids USA.
Safety fix: Watch your pots. Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking on the stovetop. And keep burner temperatures low. If you have to exit the kitchen for some reason (the doorbell rings, your child wants you), turn off the burner or take an oven mitt with you as a reminder to return to the kitchen. And no matter what, don’t put the pan on low, then leave to pick up your kids from school or run to the store. Even if you plan to be right back, you just might get distracted and forget about it.
Slip-up: Rushing with food and liquids fresh from the microwave. This move is especially dicey if your microwave is above your head. When you’re changing levels, going from up to down, hot liquids can more easily slosh onto your face and skin, causing serious burns.
Safety fix: Use gloved oven mitts (not open-face pot holders) with rub- ber treads so you can get a great grip on whatever you’re carrying. Also, slow down. “Every time you reach into your microwave to take something hot down, think danger, danger, danger,” Meri-K says. And take a look around to make sure your pets or your kids aren’t underfoot.
10 alaska parent winter 2020/21
By Sandra Gordon

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