The kitchen is widely regarded as the family meeting place and common ground, and is easily one of the most high traffic rooms in the house. Our blog has previously touched on Common Holiday Cooking Injuries; kitchen injuries are more likely than any other in-home injury, and its important to not only know what to do in the case of a kitchen emergency, but to have to proper treatment supplies on hand.
According to Dr. Michael Lanigan, 95% of the injuries that occur in the kitchen can be sorted into two categories: cuts and burns. There are other injuries of course, such as slipping and falling, skin and eye irritation, etc. – while these are less common, depending on severity, they could still lead to a visit to the emergency room. In 2011, a reported 330,000 people paid a visit to the hospital due to in-home knife accidents, making it the most common in home injury. Learning and using proper and safe cutting techniques can reduce the injury, but when an accident happens, knowing how to clean and treat an injury is very important.
Even more important than covering the wound is cleaning the wound. Cleaning the wound area lightly, and removing any residual contaminants such as food or fluids. Depending on what you are cutting, the fluids or juices from the food may burn the cut. It is best to run the cut under a light stream of water. However, if the wound is deep enough to expose flesh under the skin, it is best to visit a hospital immediately after controlling the bleeding with applied pressure and hand elevation. In this severe event, you could also temporarily use butterfly closures to hold the cut closed.
For additional cleaning, apply an antibacterial ointment or solution to the wound area. Any of these disinfectants can work, but rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide may be better for larger wounds because liquid solutions penetrate into the wound more easily. These will reinforce the initial cleaning, and also destroy any remaining bacteria that may be in the cut.
Being aware and using knives properly in the kitchen can mean the difference between a quiet night in and a trip to the hospital.
** We recommend stocking one of our Kitchen First Aid Kits in order to be prepared for any common kitchen injury. You can also build your own custom first aid kit to cater to your specific Kitchens needs.