The Most Common Home Accidents And How To Prevent Them

Protecting your family from common accidents around the home takes awareness and a few simple precautions.

It seems like it should be the safest place on earth but most accidents and injuries occur in and around the home. The unfortunate truth is that most accidents could have been prevented if a few precautions had been taken. You might be surprised to find out how many ways there are to become hurt by everyday items. Taking a good look around your home and yard and eliminating obvious risks for injuries can go a long way towards protecting your family from senseless tragedy.

One of the most common causes of injury and death around the home is drowning. A small child can drown in only a few inches of water. If you have small children you should install locks on your toilet bowl lids and eliminate any standing water around the home. Be sure to keep any buckets or containers free from water and never leave your child unattended in the bathtub. When you are filling a bathtub with water do not leave it unattended for any length of time. Swimming pools should have fences built around them with lockable gates or have removable ladders. Place water alarm devices in your swimming pools that will sound a piercing alarm when something enters the water. If you have a baby pool in the yard keep it empty when you are not using it. Never leave children unsupervised in a pool. Older children and adults should use the buddy system when swimming in a pool. Make sure your family is trained in CPR and take refresher courses from time to time.

Another common injury around the home is burns. Scalds from hot water top the list in burning injuries so be sure your water heater's thermostat is set below 120 degrees. Always keep hot liquids out of a child's reach and take care when walking with hot coffee or tea. Many children are scalded when an adult accidentally spills a hot beverage on them. When you are cooking on the stove keep all pot handles turned towards the back of the stove so that small children can't pull them on top of themselves. Always check the temperature of your child's bath water before letting them enter the tub. Keep items such as curling irons or clothes irons supervised at all times and place them in a high location after use.

Electrocution is a common household tragedy. Keep all electric outlets covered with safety plugs so that children can't insert metal items or fingers. Keep plugged in cords hidden from view so that children or pets will not be tempted to chew on them. Place objects in front of outlets that have plugs in them. In the bathroom keep all appliances unplugged when not in use and never keep an appliance near the bathtub. Exposed wires should be immediately discarded or taped with electrical tape.

Protecting your family from falls can prevent bruises, broken bones, or even death. Keep all top floor windows closed or protect them with bars if you have small children. Never keep furniture that can be climbed on in front of windows. Put safety gates at the top and bottom of every flight of stairs to prevent little ones from falling. Keep stairways uncluttered and especially keep the tops of stairways clear of anything that could be tripped over. Area rugs should have non-slip mats installed underneath them and loose carpeting should be tacked down immediately.

Poisoning is a dangerous household accident that is totally preventable. Keep dangerous substances such as household cleaners, paint thinners, anti-freeze, pesticides, medicines and anything that is dangerous to ingest locked up in a secure location. Common substances such as mouthwash, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are also very dangerous poisons that should be kept out of reach of children. Even laundry detergent and batteries are deadly poisons. Keep the phone number of the poison control center posted near your phone because time is of the essence when it comes to accidental ingestion. Never induce vomiting unless you are instructed to do so by the poison control center. Keep a bottle of Ipecac syrup in your medicine cabinet at all times.

Choking is a hazard that mostly affects children. Keep the floor clear of all small objects that could be swallowed. Keep items that could have small parts chewed off of them out of reach and never leave small children unsupervised. Tie up any cords from blinds and don't let your child play with ropes, ribbons or long pieces of string. Throw away any plastic bags immediately to prevent suffocation. Supervise small children while they eat and steer clear of food items such as peanuts and hot dogs. Be sure you and your family members know the Heimlich maneuver.

Stay aware and be vigilant when it comes to home safety. The most tragic accidents are the ones that could have been prevented. Adequate supervision is the key with children. It only takes a few seconds for an accident to occur.

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