Falls and slips can happen anywhere within your immediate environment, especially in the kitchen. Anything from a slippery surface to an out-of-reach item might cause a serious kitchen tumble. And these falls can become serious, resulting in bone fractures, brain injuries, internal bleeding, and increased healthcare need.
To prevent these injuries, it’s crucial to understand how to prevent falls in the kitchen.
In this article, you will learn different aspects of kitchen safety, including explaining more about the essential factors to consider. The article also offers practical tips on safeguarding the elderly and the disabled in the kitchen. Whether you are young or old, this piece will provide valuable tips on how to avoid or prevent falls in the kitchen.
How Common Are Falls in The Kitchen
According to the HSE report, slips, trips, and falls are the primary factor in injuries. The majority of falls occur on a slippery surface. Falls and injuries can occur due to a slippage between a shoe and the walking surface or a collision with a fixed/movable object. Most, if not all, of these incidents, are preventable.
Common Causes of Falls in The Kitchen
Are you concerned about your household safety and sometimes ask the question “what is the cause of falling in the kitchen?” It’s important to be aware of the different causes that can be responsible for a fall in your kitchen. They are as follows:
- Slippery Floors
Spills from oil or food are among the leading causes of slips and fall in the kitchen. Water overflowing from the sink can also make the floor to become slippery.
- Poor Lighting
Poor kitchen lighting may dim the area and make it challenging to work. It may also be difficult to examine cracks, spills, filth, and debris that might lead to falls in the kitchen.
- Cluttered Surfaces
When your kitchen cabinet is cluttered or unorganized, you may experience knife cuts because knives are everywhere in the kitchen.
- Uneven Surfaces
Uneven surfaces, especially on the kitchen floor, can be frustrating. Walking on uneven floors is unsafe because it can lead to accidents.
- Lack of Mobility Aids
Lack of assistive devices to support physical movement, especially for the elderly or the disabled, can cause falling in the kitchen.
Tips for Preventing Falls in The Kitchen
Safety in the kitchen is very crucial, and there are several ways to avoid falls and injuries some of which are discussed below:
- Ensure Proper Lighting
Proper lighting is a significant element in the kitchen. It is necessary because it creates a well-lit work environment that improves sight and safety while simplifying cooking. It might be tough to utilize your kitchen without sufficient illumination fully.
When trying to improve lighting in your kitchen, use a bright bulb to illuminate every area in the kitchen. Install task lighting to assist you in covering vulnerable regions such as the sink, stovetop, and countertops. Also, if the kitchen has two entries, there should be light switches at each.
- Keep Floors Clean and Dry
Kitchen floors may get slippery due to water spillage or other food materials. But always ensure that these are mopped up immediately. Dry the floor properly after doing some cleaning, for many slipping and falling accidents may be avoided by taking note of this.
Another way to prevent falls and slips in the kitchen is using slip-resistance mats. The mat increases safety in wet conditions, reduces foot fatigue, and prevents slip accidents.
- Remove Clutter from Surfaces
Please get in the habit of putting every item back to its sets the moment you use them. Because the more clutter you have in your kitchen, the more likely you are to trip, fall, and injure yourself. Thus, do everything possible to eliminate the clutter from every surface and organize your kitchen.
Determine which pieces of furniture are required in the kitchen and correctly organize the cabinet.
- Make Sure Surfaces Are Even
Every surface, especially the floor, is essential in the kitchen. Which is why taking care of them is crucial. Repair cracks and holes by using patch products or other products. And apply non-slip coating on every surface to prevent slips and falls.
- Use Mobility Aids
Installing grab bars is one of the most helpful instruments you should consider having in your kitchen. Because it offers security, supports movement, and reduces the risk of falling, especially for those who struggle with balance and mobility. Also, a well-balanced chair or stool can prevent slipping or falling.
What Are The 5 P’s of Fall Prevention?
Below are the five Ps for fall prevention:
- Pain: It’s advisable to constantly assess your pain level
- Placement: Ensure all items are placed within reach and clean the cluttered surfaces.
- Position: Position yourself properly to avoid burns and ensure support devices are in place and working
- Personal needs: Consider the need for personal care and how you can help.
- Prevent falls: Always offer person-centered help when needed.
Additional Precautions for Those at Higher Risk
Below are some additional precautions for the elderly and people who are disabled:
- Elderly Individuals
Elderly individuals should ideally wear non-ship shoes at all times in the kitchen. Doing that will also help protect them from slipping. Because those shoes have higher friction and deep tread grooves can resist slippery floors. Also, use assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc., to support their movement.
- Individuals with Disabilities
People who are disabled are advised to use adaptive equipment to prevent them from falling and help them do some daily tasks efficiently.
Your kitchen layout must be well-modified to make it more accessible and enable those in wheelchairs to perform tasks and get what they need with the same ease and speed as someone not in a wheelchair.
Kitchens are the most joyous rooms in every building. But if care is not taken, it can be the most disastrous. So it is essential to pay special attention to avoid falls and accidents. To ensure safety for you and the elderly, it is advisable to implement the tips discussed in this article. All these tips can go a long way toward ensuring you remain safe and independent because fall prevention means injury prevention.