55 people die each day from home related accidents and more than 58,000 people have accidents that result in the need for medical attention. The five most common causes of injury or death in the home are falls, poisonings, fires and burns, choking/suffocation, and drowning. These simple steps, suggested by the Home Safety Council can be taken in order to prevent these accidents and make your home a safer place.
- Install a grab bar in tub and showers
- Ensure that stairways, steps, and landings are adequately illuminated
- When feasible, have handrails installed on both sides of stairways and steps
- Use ladders instead of furniture and stools to reach objects out of reach
- Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairways if toddlers are in your home or visit
- Secure chemicals and medications in a cabinet that is out of reach of children with childproof locks.
- Cleaning products should be kept in the original container with labels intact and never mixed with other cleaning products.
- Follow dosage directions on medications and be sure to use child resistant lids on all medications.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms.
- In the event of a poisoning or suspected poisoning call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222
Fires and burns
- Install working smoke detectors and perform drills to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire. If you are building a new home, install fire sprinklers.
- Stay near stove when cooking, especially if you are frying food.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from all walls, furniture, or anything that can burn. Be sure to turn the space heater off when you leave the home or go to sleep.
- Smokers should smoke outside of the home and never in bed. Pour water in ashtrays before you dispose of the contents to ensure that all embers are extinguished.
- Blow candles out when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Keep hot water tank set below 120°F to prevent burns.
Choking and Suffocation
- Items that can fit into a toilet paper roll can cause toddlers to choke. Keep coins, latex balloons, hard round foods like candy and peanuts out of the reach of children.
- Small children should be placed on their backs in bed. Things like pillows, comforters, and toys should be kept out of cribs.
- Shorten window cords to prevent children from reaching them.
- Read all information regarding new toys and inspect them thoroughly to ensure that there are no small parts.
- Instruct children to sit and eat meals and to take small bites.
- Stay within an arms length of children in and around water including bathtubs, toilets, pools, and spas.
- Install a high fence with a lockable gate around pool and spa
- Buckets and wading pools should be emptied after use.
- Children should never be allowed to swim alone.