It’s the time of year when kitchens everywhere are abuzz with activity. Preparing holiday dinners and entertaining relatives leaves little time for self-care, which can have a negative impact on our personal safety. This holiday season, make it a point to practice kitchen safety to protect you and your loved ones from a preventable eye injury.
1. Never Put Raw Steak on a Black Eye. There is a lingering myth that raw steak is a good remedy for a black eye. Putting a steak on a black eye does not help it heal. In fact, it’s a health hazard. The bacteria and organisms that live on raw meat pose a serious risk of infection to the eyes. Even a frozen bag of vegetables can be contaminated by bacteria present in the freezer. If you need a cold compress for a black eye, use an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a clean towel. If complications arise from a black eye, contact your eye doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.
2. Get Rid of Slipping/Tripping Hazards. Did you know that the number one cause of eye injuries in the U.S between 2002 and 2011 were falls? Those aged 60 and over are at an even higher risk of falling. To safeguard your kitchen for the holidays and minimize the risk of falls:
- Make sure that kitchen rugs are firmly secured to the floor or removed entirely
- Keep the floor around you tidy and free of clutter
- Clean up liquid spills right away
3. Handle Sharp Objects With Care. During the holidays, we can sometimes find ourselves scrambling to get things done, letting safety precautions we’d normally follow fall by the wayside. This includes being careful with sharp tools in the kitchen. The third most common cause of eye injury is sharp objects, such as knives, forks, scissors, and skewers. Always handle these carefully, and put them away safely when you’re done using them.
4. Wear Safety Goggles and/or Rubber Gloves. Some people may feel silly wearing goggles in the kitchen, but it’s worth it to prevent a trip to the emergency room. There are lots of substances that can cause pain, infection or even blindness if they come in direct contact with the eyes. Consider wearing goggles or rubber gloves when handling:
- Bleach, oven cleaners, and other chemical products
- Spicy ingredients (Jalapeno peppers, chili powder, etc.)
- Hot grease
- Cooking oil
If you get a cleaning product in your eye/s, flush immediately with water. You can also wash your eyelids and the area surrounding your eyes with baby shampoo.
5. Wash Your Hands Frequently. When you’re busy cooking, it’s easy to accidentally transfer ingredients from your hands to your eyes. Fortunately, this is easily prevented by remembering to give your hands a quick wash with hot, soapy water after preparing foods. It’s especially important to wash your hands after handling raw poultry and spicy ingredients, since these can cause infection, burning, and irritation.
If you or a loved one sustain an eye injury, seek medical attention immediately so as to minimize retinal damage. Contact your eye doctor or go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
Everett and Hurite is committed to providing the highest quality eye care throughout the tristate area. Our experienced care team is equipped to diagnose and treat all types of eye conditions. If you have a question about your eye health, call 412-288-0858 or Request an Appointment today.