Reduce Thanksgiving Kitchen Distractions to Avoid Accidents and Fires

house-fire2The Red Cross reports that Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for cooking fires and kitchen equipment accidents. There are costly fires, painful spills of hot liquids and serious gashes. If you reduce distractions, needless accidents are prevented (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/11/21/red-crosss-top-safety-tips-for-thanksgiving/).
Here are some tips to reduce Thanksgiving kitchen accidents:
Before the festivities: Plan ahead. For example, use a checklist to schedule when and how others can help. Also, it’s smart to create a “No Fly Zone,” so small children are protected from hot liquids on stoves, fryers, ovens and cutting utensils. Remember to take a short break to refresh and refocus.
During the festivities: Be vigilant about kitchen clutter. For example, clear paper around cooking surfaces, hang potholders on hooks, move pot handles toward the back of the stove and never leave cooking unattended. To avoid cuts and gashes, make sure the person carving is in a distraction-free area and protect him or her from adults and children milling around or bumping into the knife.
After the festivities: Make sure  all burners and candles are extinguished, food and oil spills are wiped from the floor and carving knives are pointed down in the dishwasher or sink.
Reduce kitchen distractions before, during and after Thanksgiving dinner and you’ll avoid needless visits to the emergency room. For a comprehensive list of tips, go to: http://www.redcrossillinois.org/thanksgiving-safety
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About Geraldine Markel, Ph.D.

Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. is principal of Managing Your Mind Coaching and Seminars and is author of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Increasing Productivity and Decreasing Stress. She is co author of Finding Your Focus: Practical Strategies for the Everyday Challenges Facing Adults with ADD and Helping Adolescents with ADD and/or Learning Disabilities. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Markel served as faculty in the School of Education. She coaches adults and adolescents with ADD and/or learning disabilities and specializes in working with independent professionals, writers, and graduate students.
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