Even the most skilled chefs fall prey to cuts and burns while working in the kitchen. With the increased meal prep and cooking that comes with the bustle of holiday entertaining, it’s a good idea to revisit safety precautions to avoid cooking-related accidents and injuries this holiday season.

Knife safety

Knives and other sharp objects should be stored with the blades pointing down. When washing dishes, food processor blades, knives, and scissors should never be submerged in dishwater, where they might be grabbed by accident. Each sharp object should be washed, dried, and put away individually.

Electric carving knives should never be used near a sink full of water or when hands are wet or greasy. Select a knife that has a safety switch for automatic shutoff, and hold the device a safe distance away, placing the free hand away from the moving blades.

One final tip for knife safety: make sure blades are sharp. It may seem counterintuitive, but sharp knives are safer than dull ones. They require fewer cuts and are less likely to slip.

Avoiding burns

Never wear loose-fitting clothing around lit flames or hot burners and keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.

Make sure pots and pans are positioned with the handles pointing at the back of the range instead of outward. Hot food and liquids can cause extreme burns if pans are accidentally bumped off of a burner.

Examine pots and pans periodically to make sure that handles are secured tightly and are not at risk of coming loose when they are picked up. Stovetop surfaces should be clean and free of crumbs and other clutter.

What to do if an accident occurs

In the event of an accident, try to remain calm. Next, apply pressure to the wound if it is bleeding, and try to keep the area elevated. Deep cuts may require stitches to help stop the bleeding and ensure proper healing. Burns and other wounds may require professional attention to prevent infection and control pain.

Accidents happen–even to the most careful of cooks. Luckily, CareWell is here to help. Urgent care from a team of medical professionals is available throughout the holidays, and walk-ins are always welcome.