Regardless of hypervigilant supervision and countless reminders to keep little fingers away from knives and hot stoves, there’s no way around it: Accidents can happen when you’re cooking with kids. But it shouldn’t stop you from bringing your child into the kitchen! Being prepared with first-aid necessities will transform that scary slip-up into a teachable moment that will make your kid a stronger, more confident cook.
While store-bought kits are an easy option, they can be overloaded with things you might not need in the kitchen. We’ve cherry-picked a few of our favorite items, just in case your Little Sous needs a little TLC.
Waterproof Band-Aids, finger cots, and knuckle bandages
The moisture, oil, and movement involved in cooking means regular bandages can slip off, but waterproof bandages like these will stay put over small cuts and scrapes. Knuckle bandages are great for when a finger gets a little too close to the cheese grater, and if your kid wants to feel like the chefs on reality cooking shows, finger cots are a practical way to keep nicks and scrapes contained.
Latex gloves and saline eye solution
Spicy peppers can give dinner a welcome kick, but getting residue in your eyes can really ruin a fun kitchen moment. We love kid-sized latex gloves for working with spicy foods—just roll ‘em off and toss them in the trash when prep is over! Saline solution is another handy thing to have on hand—if pepper oils or other unpleasant liquids do get in someone’s eyes, rinse immediately.
Scissors and burn-friendly bandages
When minor burns happen, fast action makes a huge difference. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends running cool (not cold) water over the burned area for at least five minutes to stop any further damage, then covering the burn with a large, clean bandage that won’t stick. Sterile gauze or hydrocolloid bandages work well. (The same treatment works for boiling water or steam scalds, too.)
Kitchen tweezers aren’t just for artfully arranging modernist food! A pair of clean tweezers can remove small shards of broken glass, splinters, or dirt from a cut before cleaning and bandaging.
Antihistamine Tablets and/or EpiPens
When cooking new foods with kids, you may come across a previously unknown allergy or experience cross-contamination with a food your child is allergic to. Keep an over-the-counter antihistamine on hand to relieve minor allergies, and obviously, check with your pediatrician if you’re unsure about the severity. If your child requires an EpiPen, keeping one in your kitchen kit is a smart move. (Epinephrine doesn’t take well to heat, so be sure to keep your pen away from stovetop ranges and ovens.)
Keep calm and carry your kit
Your kitchen first-aid kit should be accessible to adults, easy to lift and carry, and simple to open. Small, plastic, art-and-craft material containers or fishing tackle boxes have convenient handles and compartments for sorting your supplies.
Spread the word
Make sure to tell any babysitters or visiting guests where your kitchen first-aid kit is if they’ll be cooking with your kids. It’s also a good idea to bring it along when you’re camping or staying in a home rental with a kitchen—you’ll be glad to have the familiar box when you need a quick fix.
Remember: Call 911 or head to the ER for any major injuries like bleeding that can’t be stopped, deep puncture wounds, serious burns, or a serious allergy strike. When in doubt, call your child’s pediatrician about any moderate injuries.
Did you know? Little Sous offers a monthly themed kids cooking kit that will help your family connect in the kitchen. Check out our subscription options!