We all want to protect our family from harm. Nowhere is that more essential than in our own home, but recent statistics reveal that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. Did you know that approximately 3.4 million children experience an unintentional household injury every year and that 2,300 children under the age of 15 die from these unintentional injuries? The leading cause all injuries in the home are falls, toxins, and suffocation by an ingested object or smoke inhalation.
Although the kitchen and bathroom are the most likely spots you can suffer an injury or fatality, anything can happen in any room. The question is, what measures are you taking to prevent or reduce the chance of this happening in your home? Safety in your home should always be a priority.
Here are some of the most common hazards around the home and some ways to minimize the risk to your family.
One of the most common hazards. In fact, 20% of older adults who fall incur a broken bone or a head injury of some degree. Most falls are the result of wet floors, slippery stairs or items left out which are tripped over
To help prevent falls make sure every staircase has solid handrails, rooms have adequate lighting and debris or other items are kept clear of steps (including snow and ice outside). Bathroom rugs should be secure to avoid slipping and the use of non-slip stickers in the shower is beneficial. Installation of safety rails for additional support is also recommended in the bathroom.
Range from mild smoke damage to total loss of the home, including life in some instances.
For your safety install smoke detectors on all levels of your home and test them regularly, replacing batteries as needed one to two times per year. Use of candles should always be monitored, avoid using for hydro outages by replacing with battery operated flashlights instead. Electrical fires result when we overload outlets or continue the use of appliances not in good working order or with frayed wires. Purchase fire extinguishers for your home and make sure everyone knows how to use them, keep them in good working order and up to date.
CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
Although low exposure may typically cause dizziness or headaches, any high exposure levels can result in vomiting, impaired vision, and even death.
It is always a good idea to install a CO Detector in your home to alert the family of CO levels which become dangerous. Home maintenance may reduce your chance of risk by ensuring that your water heater, furnace or other appliances that use gas, oil or coal are serviced by a professional every year. We recommend these items are inspected prior to purchasing a new home.
Small items in the home are a hazard for younger children, but any child or adult can easily choke as the result of something as simple as dinner food.
You should always inspect toys for loose or small parts which could easily become a hazard for children. It is also recommended to keep foods which could result in choking out of reach, including hard foods like nuts or candies. Recent attention has been given to the swallowing of whole grapes, cut all softer foods such as this in slices before ingesting.
Not only a risk outdoors in the summer but a concern in the home. Deaths from drowning in bathtubs have increased drastically over the past decade.
Avoid the use of buckets which are accessible near water sources and take safety measures to prevent sliding in a bathtub. Surveillance of small children is the most important element of safety, never leave any child unattended in the bath.
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance Manager – Sales, Marketing & Business Development
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