Kitchen safety to avoid a Christmas crisis

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 10:31 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Christmas rush can cause devastating injuries, in the kitchen.

Whether your family gathering will be large or small over the holidays, Dr. John Griswold, trauma surgeon and Texas Tech Physician, says two words could save a life or prevent a lifelong injury: slow down.

Dr. Griswold says the number one cause of residential fires in this country is cooking.

He gives this advice, “First of all, don’t leave the kitchen when something’s cooking on the stovetop, don’t leave the house when the turkey is in the oven and check on the turkey regularly. You know, some people probably think that that’s safe to do but it’s not and it generally only takes a second for a problem to happen.”

Even though Christmas is for kids, he says the kitchen is not, especially during a family gathering when there are likely more people in the kitchen with more going on. He says that’s one reason why so many holiday injuries come from the kitchen.

His reminders are important, “Making sure that knife handles don’t hang over the counter, making sure that the electrical cords to some electrical appliances involved with cooking don’t hang down where it can get tripped over and snagged and pulled down or a child can grab it. Pot handles are turned in so that somebody can’t knock into a pot of boiling water or what have you and burn themselves or those around them. Because our burned children numbers go way up during the holidays too which is really, really sad.”

It’s also dangerous to throw flour or water on a frying pan that has caught fire. Instead, Dr. Griswold says to keep a fire extinguisher handy. If the blaze is small, you can smother it with a really thick towel. Otherwise, leave the house and call 9-1-1.