Cooking Safety for Older Adults

After Children, Seniors are the group that suffer the most scald injuries and Emergency Room visits resultant thereof. For Burn Awareness Week, we'd like to share some Kitchen Tips for avoiding these painful and dangerous burns:Cooking

DO:

  • Use oven mitts, not towels, to handle hot pots and pans
  • Use caution when cooking with grease – keep burner on a low to medium setting and keep a pan lid in reach
  • Make sure smoke alarms are in place on each level of your home and replace batteries every 6 months
  • Have an escape plan if fire breaks out in the home – “two ways out” should always be available
  • Have Burn First Aid Supplies, or a Burn First Aid Kit in the Kitchen

 

DON'T:

  • Wear clothing with loose or large sleeves while cooking
  • Leave food cooking on the stove unattended
  • Pour water on a grease fire – use a lid to smother the flames
  • Cook when you are sleepy or have taken medications that make you drowsy
  • Ever heat your home using the warmth from a kitchen oven or stove

The fact is that Older Adults are at higher risk of suffering an injury from burns. Adults ages 65+ are twice as likely to die in home fires, and Adults 85+ years are four times more likely to die from a burn injury.

If a burn injury does happen...

  1. Cool the burn with COOL (not cold, and never ice) water to stop the burning process
  2. Remove all clothing and jewelry from the injured area
  3. Apply an FDA approved burn remedy if available, but never a greasy or oily ointment, nor any "home remedies" like butter which can seal in the heat, and create more damage
  4. Cover the area with clean dry sheet or bandages
  5. Seek medical attention
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