If you spend any time in the kitchen, you know it’s a place where things can go awry pretty quickly.
Whether you’re chopping vegetables or assembling a recipe, there are plenty of opportunities for mishaps to occur. It’s not uncommon to cut yourself while cooking—or end up with splinters if you don’t take the appropriate precautions beforehand.
Here are a few kitchen injuries and how you can care for them.
It’s not uncommon for a person to injure a wrist while chopping. The wrist is one of the most important joints in the body, and when it’s injured, you may experience pain, swelling, and even numbness.
If you suspect you’ve sprained your wrist, you should stop what you’re doing and apply ice to the injury until it’s no longer painful. Compression bandages can help support your wrist after an injury occurs.
The kitchen is often filled with knives, and cutting yourself while preparing food is easy. Always keep your hand far from the blade when using a knife. Keep your fingers extended and only touch the blade if necessary.
If you get a cut on your hand, wash it thoroughly with soap and water and apply antibiotic cream if needed. Use an antiseptic wipe to clean any open cuts on your hands after washing. You can also use tubular gauze to dress the cut finger.
3. Slips and Falls in the Kitchen
Slips and falls are frequent for those working in the kitchen, especially if the floor is wet or icy. If you’re prone to slips and falls, it’s important to wear slip-resistant shoes. It may also be helpful to use slip-proof mats on the floor. If you fall, apply a few ice packs to the hurt area until the pain reduces. Ensure you visit your doctor if the effects continue.
4. Splinters in Your Hands or Feet
Splinters are a common injury in the kitchen and can be extremely painful. If you have splinters in your hands or feet, make sure that you wear gloves or socks when handling knives and other sharp objects. Avoid wearing sandals or flip-flops when cooking so that splinters don’t get stuck between the straps of your shoes.
When washing dishes, ensure that you remove any splinters from yourself before rinsing off the dishes with warm water and dish soap; then, wash them thoroughly again with soap and water afterward (if needed).
5. Scalds from Hot Water
While hot water is a staple in the kitchen, it can also be dangerous when it spills. Use caution when reaching for the faucet if you are cooking or washing dishes in a kitchen with an electric water heater. Ensure your hands are far away from the hot water before turning on the faucet. Be careful not to reach into the hot water while running; this can cause scalding burns.
If you accidentally get scalded, run your hands immediately under cold water. You can then visit your doctor for further assessment. The doctor will then recommend an ointment depending on the extent of the scalding.
6. Fires and Burns
Cooking in the kitchen can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions to prevent fires. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Be especially cautious when cooking with gas and electricity, as they are hazardous to everyone with flammable objects around them.
Be mindful of small fires, such as those caused by burning plastic or paper, which can spread quickly and cause serious damage to your home and belongings. Don’t use water to put out a small fire or one that is lighted on purpose; instead, use a wet cloth to smother the flames. Take care not to use water or wet clothes on electrical cords; this can lead to electrical shock and cause fires. All this minimizes the extent of the burns.
You need to visit the hospital for immediate attention if you sustain burns.
7. Hot Pepper Burns
If you are the victim of a hot pepper burn, you should immediately seek medical attention. Hot peppers contain capsaicin which can cause severe burns to sensitive areas such as the mouth and eyes. People allergic to capsaicin can also suffer from severe skin rashes and itching in the kitchen.
Hot pepper burns are excruciating and uncomfortable; they occur when your skin comes into contact with hot peppers or other spicy foods. The pain is usually intense and lasts several hours after the initial contact. When suffering from a hot pepper burn, you should seek medical attention immediately. This is because exposure can cause permanent damage to the area if left untreated.
When you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you also increase your risk of cuts, burns, and other injuries. While some home cooking accidents may result from user error, others are unavoidable.
To reduce the likelihood of getting hurt while cooking, it helps to know what hazards lurk and how to avoid or counteract them.
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