Did you know that home accidents occur more frequently than automobile accidents? This is because a lot of people spend most time at home interacting with their home environment than anywhere else. Such interaction increases the chances of accidents. Accidents happen, even in the most organized homes. But there’s something you can do about it. In no particular order, here is a list of the ten most common accidents in the home and how to prevent them.
Trips and Falls
Falls are the most common home accidents. Very young children and old people are more likely to fall than other people. These age groups are more likely to fall on the stairs, trip on items placed on the floor, or trip on floors with smooth slippery surfaces. Falls can cause head injuries, broken bones and even deaths. To prevent falls in the home, do these:
- Use handrails on staircases to provide stability and support for young children and the elderly.
- Install safety gates at the bottom and top of stairways. Ideally, hardware-mounted gates are used at the top of the stairs while pressure-mounted gates are used at the bottom of stairs.
- Use pads for rugs to prevent slips and trips.
- Install lights at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Keep floors and stairways clear from toys, books and other objects.
Falling objects is a common home accident for toddlers and very young children. Shelves, kitchen utensils, electric appliances, are just a few of the objects that may fall on unsuspecting toddlers. To avoid this home accident do these:
- Store heavy equipment on low shelves close to the ground.
- Turn pot handles inwards when cooking.
- Keep cables and table cloth edges away from the reach of toddlers.
Burns and Scalds
Majority of home accidents occur in the kitchen. But its not just the stove you should be worried about. Do these to prevent any fire related home accident:
- Check all electrical wiring regularly for faults and repair them as soon as possible.
- Install a smoke alarm and easy to reach fire extinguishers in your home, particularly the kitchen.
- Never leave hot stoves unattended to.
- Be mindful of children around hot objects.
- Do not smoke in the house.
Most cuts commonly occur in the kitchen, no thanks to knives. Do these to prevent the chances of you having a cut:
- Keep knives out of reach of children. Do this by storing them in a knife block.
- To prevent accidental knife falls, place knives on a flat surface free from clutter.
- Don’t leave dirty knives in the sink. Wash and store knives immediately after use.
- Keep knives sharp. Blunt knives require more force and this can cause knife cuts.
Poisonings are common home accidents. Younger children are more prone to accidental ingestion of drugs and other chemicals. Adults are prone to poisoning from accidental exposure to harmful gases like carbon monoxide. To prevent the likelihood of poisonings, do this:
- Install safety locks on cupboards with medicines and cleaning fluids.
- Always remember to move medicines (from counters, bags, wallets and purses) back to their storage spots after use.
- Also return cleaning products to their appropriate storage places after use.
- Label medicines appropriately and check them for expiration dates.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors and check them frequently.
Drowning causes about 30% of home accidents among toddlers. Do these to prevent drownings at home:
- Fence in your pool and remember to keep the gates locked. Self-latching gates are commonly used. Pool fences should be at least 4 feet tall.
- A pool cover can also be used with a pool fence but never as a substitute for a pool fence.
- A pool alarm can also come in handy to let you know when someone is in the pool.
- Use handrails at strategic positions in a swimming pool.
- Actively supervise children when they are in the pool.
Glass injuries are common in modern homes with sleek glass fixtures and furniture. Do these to prevent glass related injuries:
- Use safety glass for doors and windows.
- Use glass furniture that is safety approved.
- You can make existing glass safe by applying a shatter-resistant film.
- Dispose broken glass safely by wrapping it in newspaper before throwing it in the bin.
- Do not let a toddler walk around holding anything sharp or made of glass.
Choking accidents are common among the elderly and very young children. Toddlers can choke on just about anything; food, small toys, beads, coins, just about any small object they can put in their mouths. To prevent choking accidents from occurring do these:
- Encourage toddlers to sit while eating.
- Give toddlers small pieces of food at a time.
- Cook, grate or mash hard foods and avoid nuts.
- Keep small objects out of reach.
- Avoid toys with small breakable parts, loose stuffing, buttons and broken parts.
- Store toys for small children and older siblings in separate boxes.
Electrical Related Injuries
Electrical related injuries are common home accidents. Do these to prevent them:
- Don’t overload sockets. Don’t plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once. It’s also not safe to use extension cords to plug multiple appliances into one outlet.
- Cover unused sockets with a socket plug.
- Have your electrical wiring checked by an electrician.
- Hire the services of an electrician to fix all electrical faults immediately.
- Don’t use appliances with frayed power cords.
Bites and Stings
Bites and stings are common outdoor accidents in the home. Do these to prevent bites and stings:
- Keep your environment free from garbage, waste, clutter, weeds, grass, puddles and stagnant water. Damp, dark and cluttered places are good breeding sites for insects, snakes and even stray animals.
- Do not provoke snakes, dogs or stinging insects by trying to attack them. Slowly and carefully back away whenever you come in contact with any of these creatures.
- Be sure to supervise your children’s activities outside.
- Use insect repellents when staying outdoors for long.
What do you think of our list of ten most common accidents in the home? Do you think there are more home accidents we didn’t mention? Feel free to mention them in the comments action below!