It happens so quickly. You’re innocently chopping up vegetables for dinner when you find yourself on the receiving end of a cut — ouch! “Cuts are very common,” says Steven Rittenberg, M.D., who specializes in Internal Medicine at the Swedish Issaquah Primary Care Clinic. “However, there are some practical ways to prevent them, and some specific steps for treating them that can save you a trip to the doctor.”
Avoiding The “Ouch!”
Preventing cuts in the home is largely common sense, but life gets busy and we get careless, so here are a few reminders:
- Keep knives sharp. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, a sharp knife slides more easily through an item avoiding a slip that may cut something you didn’t intend to cut, like your finger.
- Pay attention. Resist the temptation to become distracted while using a knife.
- Cut away from, not toward, yourself.
- Don’t hold food that you are cutting; use a cutting board.
- Don’t leave knives in dangerous places — loose in a drawer, in the sink, on the counter or facing up in the dishwasher — especially if you have children.
- When handing someone a knife or sharp scissors, hold the flat part of the knife blade or closed blades of the scissors so they can grasp the handle.
- Don’t pick up broken glass; sweep or vacuum it up thoroughly.
Treating It Right
When a cut does occur, the proper treatment will help to avoid infection or other complications: