By Adrian Sparrow
Home is where many people feel the safest, but 78% of all preventable injury-related deaths happened at home in 2020. While babies and older adults are most at risk, be aware of possible household accidents and take steps to make your home safer.
Falls are the most common household hazards that result in injury. 1 in 5 adult falls incur serious injuries, including head trauma or broken bones. Protect elders with a medical alert system that enables them to call for help in the event of a fall.
-Make sure all staircases have sturdy handrails. Install grab bars in showers and bathtubs. Use non-slip mats in the tub and floor to minimize slipping on wet surfaces.
-Small toys can be a tripping hazard: give kids an easy way to clean up and store their toys. Secure bikes, skateboards, skates, and other mobile toys out of the way so people won’t trip over them.
-Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and on every level, and replace it when damaged.
-Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace batteries yearly.
-Monitor candles and keep them out of reach of children and pets. Keep candles away from drapes and other flammable materials.
-Never leave the stove or oven unattended. Use the back burners and turn the pot handles toward the wall, so they don’t hang over the edge.
-Keep flammable objects away from the stove and fireplace.
-Keep electrical appliances in good working order and make sure there’s no frayed wires.
-Many household items are poisonous when ingested. Cleaning chemicals, painting supplies, pesticides, and personal care products can pose a risk to curious kids. Always keep these substances out of a child’s reach, and lock them away when you’re not using them.
-Make sure that kids don’t mistake colorful detergents or medicines for candy. Keep medicines and supplements covered with childproof caps and out of children’s reach.
-Install safety latches on windows and cabinets, knob covers on doors, and safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Enclose your pool with a fence and a childproof gate.
-Put plastic safety covers over electrical outlets.
-Make sure all sharp objects are put away and out of reach, including scissors, knives, and cosmetic tools. Put padding on furniture with sharp edges and corners.
-Keep window cords wrapped, trimmed, or remove them entirely so babies (and pets) can’t get tangled up.
-Don’t leave children unattended in the bathroom or pool. It only takes a few inches of water for a young child to drown.