Thursday, May 24, 2007
Posted by gilly
Last time we looked at many of the potential hazards that loom in one's kitchen. We discussed how a few simple precautions can often prevent injuries from occurring.
Although we can take many actions in making our kitchen's safe, we cannot foresee all accidents that may possibly occur. For this reason, this article will discuss some simple first aid concepts that may prove useful when the unforeseeable happens.
First Aid Kits
As mentioned previously, it is wise to keep a first aid kit in your kitchen. It should be in an easily accessible place, known to all family members. First Aid Kits can be readily purchased, or you may put together your own - including (but not limited to):
Assorted bandages and dressings (sealed and sterile)
Safety gloves - latex or vinyl
First aid guide
Pain relievers (non-prescription)
Other First Aid Necessities
Food allergies are becoming increasingly common, as well as severe. As most food preparation takes place in the kitchen, it pays to be diligent about ingredients that may affect members of your household, as well as knowledgeable on what to do in the case of an emergency. If you or others have severe allergies, you may be instructed to wear a medical bracelet outlining your condition, or be required carry medicine to be administered in the event of accidental ingestion. It is extremely important for other members of your household to understand your condition, and know how to treat it.
For example, I have a fairly severe allergy to shellfish, so I am required to carry an Epi-pen with me at all times. The Epi-pen is an injectable shot of epinephrine designed to treat anaphylactic shock. There are specifics regarding how it is administered that my husband, close family members, and co-workers must be made aware of in order to buy me time to get to a hospital - and therefore save my life if I was to accidentally ingest a shellfish product.
Administering First Aid
Firstly, it should be stated that many serious accidents require medical help. The goal of first aid is to provide temporary (though often life-saving) help until qualified medical personnel arrive.
Two of the most common accidents in the kitchen are cuts and burns, so let's look at some simple first aid measures that can be taken in the event of an accident.
Serious cuts can occur from numerous sharp objects in the kitchen. It is important to seek medical help if you are unsure of the seriousness of the cut, or it's origins (IE. a rusty can lid, a knife, broken glass, etc.)
When a serious cut occurs:
There are two forms of burns that occur commonly in the kitchen. A dry burn is one that occurs from a direct source of dry heat, such as touching a burner or other hot object. A moist burn is one occurring from steam.
Burns are indicated in various degrees:
A first degree burn refers to burning of the top layer of skin. It is associated with swelling and reddening of the skin. The casualty may complain of mild to serious pain.
A second degree burn refers to burning the top layer of skin, along with the second sub-layer. It is associated with raw, moist skin - coloured white or very red, and often weeping fluids. The casualty may complain of extreme pain.
A third degree burn refers to burning the top two layers of skin, as well as underlying muscle, nerve or fatty tissues. These are extremely serious, and are associated with waxy white or charred skin, dry or leathery appearance, and complaints of little to no pain in the deepest burned areas.
When a serious burn occurs:
First Aid Training
These are just a few suggestions for caring for an individual until help arrives. However, it is advisable for members of your household to be trained by certified first aid trainers. There are many agencies specializing in first aid training, and taking a course could save a life! Please consult your local agencies for more information on how you and loved ones can receive first aid training.
Also be sure to keep your training up to date - which reminds me, it's time for me to retake my first aid course again! If you know of an agency in your region that offers training in first aid and live saving measures, please leave information in the comments section - it may prove useful to others!
I hope that you found this article useful, and I wish you health, happiness, and safety!
Canadian Red Cross
St. John Ambulance (Canada)
First Aid: First on the Scene: 6th Edition © 2003 by St. John Ambulance
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This Post was written by Gilly from Humble Pie