According to World Health Organization (WHO), falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injuries and death globally. And, the kitchen, after the bathroom, records the highest number of domestic falls, which calls for urgent attention. So the question is now, “how to prevent falls in the kitchen.”
Preventing falls in the kitchen is not an impossible task; it is highly possible with kids in the house. But before into how to prevent falls in the kitchen, it is pertinent for you first to understand what causes falls in the kitchen.
What are the causes of falls in the Kitchen?
The following are the causes of falls in the kitchen that should be avoided; even if they can’t be avoided, they should be effectively managed.
- Debris or trash on the floor.
- Greasy or wet floors
- The bright light that causes glare on the floor makes it difficult to walk at night, especially when you are using bright coloured tiles floor.
- Fading or poor lighting makes it difficult to see obstacles at night.
- Dry floors with wood dust or powder
- Unequal walking surfaces
- Painted or newly waxed floors
- Runaway cords are found along the walkways.
- Open cabinet drawers.
- Quick Transitions from one type of floor surface to another; for example, rug to tiles. In here, you have to understand that little things can make you slip over on a tiled surface, unlike a rugged surface.
- Loose flooring,(for those using carpets, rugs or mat)
- Missing or broken floor tiles and bricks
- Sloped walking surfaces
- Wearing wet, greasy or mud footwear in the kitchen.
- Loose electrical cables or cords.
- Faulty/Damaged ladder steps
- Natural induced hazards/Weather hazards, such as sleet, ice, frost, snow, rain and hail,
How to Prevent Falls in the Kitchen?
The following are the different ways in which you can prevent falls in your kitchen.
Create Effective House Management Practices
Effective house management practices are essential to ensure safety in the kitchen. You should note that safety and house management both work together. Suppose your home is managed correctly and appliances are kept where they should be. Also, cabinets are not left open, and wires are not left running on the kitchen walkways; it will increase the safety of the kitchen. The higher the security of your kitchen, the fewer falls that will be experienced.
Proper house management is a routine. It is an ongoing process in which everybody in the house is to be committed to it. Both the parents and children are involved in making it a success.
However, there are three steps to consider while managing the home. They are:
- Plan Before — As the chief home manager or Employer, plan on how to manage the home,. You know how the kitchen is, how big is it, the areas that need attention and the areas that need replacement. All these should be taken note of, before you go into the second step, which is to assign responsibilities.
- Assign responsibilities — To be more effective, assign each person their responsibility to the kitchen. They should be well educated on what they are supposed to do.
- Create a schedule — establish a house management schedule making cleaning and other essential duties a daily activity. Other major kitchen duties like checking the cabinets, the electric implements can be done on weekly basis.
Avoid Greasy, Wet or Slippery Kitchen Surfaces
Greasy, wet, or slippery surfaces have accounted for the primary cause of falls in the kitchen.
Some kitchen surface is more prone to be wet or greasy than others. For example, tiled surfaces are more prone to be greasy, slippery, and moist than other types of kitchen floors.
A small pill of water on a tiled floor can cause that surface to be slippery. Even after mopping the areas, nobody should be allowed to walk on it till after some minutes. Also, a tiled floor can easily get greased when oil spills on it. It is harder to clean an oil spill off a tiled surface because even if you use warm water and dish soap, it may clean but still be slippery.
So it is advisable that homeowners with a lot of kids should avoid the tiled surface. Big restaurants can use it, but the employees should apply caution while working in the kitchen. Moreover, there are particular tiles meant for the kitchen; however, they aren’t 100% safe.
Also, extra caution should be observed during the spring and wintertime, as rain or snow may spill into the kitchen through the windows and cause the surface to be wet.
To ensure a dry, non-greasy, and non-slippery surface, observe the following:
- Clean up spills immediately. Create an action strategy that ensures that every food or drink spill is being cleaned immediately.
- It is advisable to use rugs or mats in areas that are centred as the food preparation spots.
- Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint to harden the surface, if necessary.
- Implement indoor control measures against slips and falls:
- At the entrance of the kitchen, use moisture-absorbent mats to ensure and ensure that everyone uses them before entering the kitchen.
- Use marked signs to indicate areas that are wet so that nobody goes there.
- For troublesome areas, make use of anti-skid adhesive tape.
Keep items you always use at easy reach
Keeping things you often use at easy reach is necessary to prevent falls in the kitchen; the kitchen should be arranged so that it takes just a stretch of hand to get what you want.
For example, items like dishes and cooking utensils can be placed in cabinets and drawers. And ensure these drawers and cabinets are good and their doors open and close effectively. This is necessary because a faulty cabinet or drawers’ door can cause a fall in the kitchen.
Avoid shiny floors
Avoid shiny kitchen at all costs. Although they look beautiful and attractive, they have a high slippery tendency. Avoid using floor wax or high gloss polish your kitchen surfaces, especially on the areas you regularly walk on.
If you must polish your floors, stay away from them for a few days until it has dried properly.
Avoid standing as best as possible, especially if you are aged.
It is advisable as an aged individual to sit in a sturdy chair instead of standing while chopping up the vegetables or preparing the food ingredients while cooking to help prevent you from tiring or losing your balance, which may cause you to fall.
Avoid Flimsy footwear
Choose your footwear carefully while going to the kitchen. Avoid walking around with bare feet or in flimsy footwear. If you do, you are simply asking for trouble. It can be hazardous, especially on tile, linoleum, or wood surface. It is recommended that you go for foot wares with skid-free soles and good support that covers up your soles very well.
Make use of good rugs
If you must use rugs in the kitchen which is very safe. Ensure that the rugs have non-skid backing and no fringes that could hold onto your feet and pull you down.
Ensure proper lightening in the kitchen
Make sure the light bulbs in the kitchen are all working to prevent accidents in the kitchen at night. It is advisable never to cook in darkness as you can easily spill fluids on the ground surface that can cause you to fall.
Arrange the kitchen furniture properly
The kitchen furniture like the drawers, cabinets, table, and chairs should be appropriately arranged to allow for easy movement in the kitchen. And if any of the furniture gets faulty, ensure you fix them immediately to avoid any injury of any sort.
Never leave wires hanging around the kitchen
Throw away cables or wires that can cause one to fall if not seen. This shouldn’t be so. In wiring, your kitchen uses an excellent technician to prevent wires and cables from hanging around the kitchen.
It is essential to keep our kitchen safe, for in doing so, we are saving the lives of people. For more information on your best kitchen advice, do follow us up.