What to Do If You Burn Yourself While Cooking during the Holidays

December 10, 2023

Holiday Kitchen Safety: What to Do If You Burn Yourself While Cooking

The holidays bring a lot of travellers through Athens this time of year, whether to visit family or to venture out to the nearby Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s a busy time for everyone finishing up holiday shopping at shops like Greeks Bearing Gifts in downtown Athens or grabbing a quick bite to eat at local favorites like Jenkins Restaurant and Deli. No matter what this busy season brings, you will likely slow down at some point to prepare a homecooked holiday meal or two with loved ones.

If you are looking forward to holiday cooking this season, remember to practice kitchen safety while preparing your favorite treats. Accidents happen in the kitchen all the time and injuries tend to increase around the holidays. If you find yourself with a burn while baking cookies or preparing Christmas dinner, it’s crucial to know how to treat the burn effectively.

Here are 6 essential tips to help you prevent or treat kitchen burns:

1. Act Quickly: Time is of the essence when dealing with a burn. If you accidentally touch a hot surface, immediately remove the affected area from the source of heat and run it under cool running water for at least 10 minutes. This helps cool the burn and reduce pain. Avoid very cold water or ice as this could further damage the skin.

2. Assess the Severity: Burns are categorized into three degrees:

  • First-degree: These are superficial burns causing redness and mild pain. Most first-degree burns can be treated at home.
  • Second-degree: These are more severe burns causing blisters and intense pain.
  • Third-degree: These are the most severe burns requiring immediate medical attention.

Even first-degree burns can be quite painful and require appropriate care to properly heal. More severe burns will require medical attention. If you are unsure about the severity of your burn, always err on the side of caution and consult with a medical provider.

3. Clean and Protect the Burn:

After cooling the burn, gently cleanse the area with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing, as this can further damage the skin. Gently pat the burn dry and apply a sterile, non-stick dressing to protect it against infection. Try not to pop blisters, as they act as a natural barrier against infection. If you develop blisters and they do pop, apply an antibacterial ointment and a clean bandage to the injury.

4. Pain Relief and Healing Timeline

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation caused by the burn. Follow the recommended dosage instructions and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or pre-existing medical conditions. You will know the burn is healing when the pain subsides, redness fades, and the skin starts to regenerate. If the wound does not improve after two weeks or you notice increased redness or swelling, these could be signs of infection and should not be ignored.

5. Seek Medical Attention

If your burn shows signs of one of the following, it might be time to visit urgent care or another medical provider:

  • The burn appears severe or covers a large area of the body
  • Signs of infection appear such as increased pain, redness, pus, or foul odors
  • The burn does not heal or show any signs of healing after 2 weeks

6. Preventing Future Burns:

There are easy ways to prevent burns from happening in the kitchen. Implement these best practices while you’re cooking this season:

  • Use oven mitts when handling hot pots, pans, baking trays, or other kitchen tools and utensils.
  • Keep flammable objects like kitchen towels or paper products away from open flames or hot surfaces.
  • Be very cautious when working with hot oil or boiling liquids. Keep a safe distance and protect your skin with long sleeves to avoid splattering liquid.
  • Keep young children and pets away from the cooking area to minimize the risk of accidents.

Stay Safe in the Kitchen this Christmas

By following these six key tips on preventing and managing burns in the kitchen, you will be sure to enjoy all your holiday meals with loved ones this year. Minor burns are easy to treat in the comfort of your home with the proper care, but don’t hesitate to seek further medical attention if your burn shows signs of infection or appears severe. The walk-in clinic at Athens AFC Urgent Care is here to answer your kitchen burn questions and provide quality care this Christmas season.

For further information on holiday safety and urgent care services visit AFC Urgent Care Athens today.

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