Featured Infographics Injury Prevention

How to keep older adults safe from burns

February 5-11 is Burn Awareness Week. Did you know that older adults are at a much higher risk of suffering from a burn injury? Keep these tips in mind to help keep them safe:

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Keep older adults safe from burns

Is there an older adult living with you? They are at higher risk for burn injuries. Keep them safe with these tips:

Wear short sleeves or tight-fitting clothes when cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire. Don’t cook or be close to flames when feeling ill.

Don’t smoke or have open flames near medical oxygen. Keep all candles, lighters, cigarettes etc. away from medical oxygen.

Test the water before bathing or showering. Older adults’ skin becomes thinner with aging, making them at higher risk for burn injuries. Install anti-scald devices in the bathroom.

Make accommodations for disabilities. Install smoke alarms and alert devices (strobe lights or bed/pillow shakers) for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Ensure anyone with a disability is included in your fire escape planning.

Remember, older adults are at a higher risk for burn injuries for many reasons, including slower reaction times and reduced mobility, balance, vision and hearing.

Learn more at ameriburn.org or health.sunnybrook.ca

About the author

Sybil Millar

Sybil Millar

Sybil Millar is the Communications Advisor for the Ross Tilley Burn Centre, Critical Care and Infectious Diseases programs at Sunnybrook.

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