In the 1987 movie, The Believers, we are shown just how critical electrocution accidents from common kitchen appliances can be. While there was an unknown pool of water seeping toward where the mother was standing in the kitchen at the time she touched the toaster, the horrifying scene reminds us of the many dangers that are found in our home on an average day. From electrical cords in the path of common traffic, to a folded up rug that becomes amiss when someone runs into the house, to dish-drying racks that are too close to coffee machines and microwaves, it’s not just the little people in our families who need protection these days. We need to take care of ourselves and the rest of the visitors in our homes.
Many injuries occur due to distraction and lack of attention, particularly as we are tied to all forms of technology with our laptops, iPads and smartphones. We tend to “forget” that there is food on the stove because we received a text from someone that has to be answered right away, or we figure that waiting for boiling water is the perfect chance to change the status on our Facebook page. We’re engaged more than ever with technology… but not engaged with the events taking place right in front of us, within our own environment at home.
The simple duties required to run a household are increasingly neglected, now more than ever. In an effort to bring the focus back home, one idea is to adopt a “no technology” rule in the kitchen. That means no texting at the dinner table or while food is cooking, not using kitchen outlets to charge computers and ipads, and not taking up computer space on the counter that is best used for eating and preparing meals. The kitchen is a family gathering place, where we communicate with each other about the day’s events. Communicating keeps us engaged on a personal level with the people who are important to us. Taking away technology forces us to go back to the “bare bones” of communicating – face to face. If, however, the “no technology” rule is a little too strict for your liking, consider some other ways to keep it safe, and stay connected. Here’s how:
- No texting at the dinner table or while cooking. We’ve repeated this; it’s an important one.
- Don’t leave anything on the stove unattended at any time.
- Wipe up spills immediately, whether on the floor or on the counter.
- Keep a working fire extinguisher handy.
- Set a loud timer so you know when you to take something out of the oven.
- Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen at all times while cooking.
These guidelines may seem very elementary, but distractions are all too common, and information flies at us from our kids, our spouses and the devices we use to communicate. Distractions and technology have become a barrier to “real” communication. Let’s stay connected the old-fashioned way, and let’s keep our families safe while we’re doing it.