6 Common Home Accidents (and How to Prevent Them)

prevent home injuries

Your home is a sanctuary—at least, it should be. Alarmingly,over 18,000 people die each year in the U.S. from injuries in the home. Unintentional injuries tend to be stressful, sad and costly for everyone involved, often requiring a trip to urgent care or an emergency room. Furthermore, if a guest sustains an injury at your home, you could be liable for their medical bills and suffering! Reducing the possibility of such incidents is beneficial for everyone involved.

Be aware of these six common home accidents and learn more about how to prevent them.

Slip/Trip ‘n’ Falls

Most of us have taken a tumble at some point in our lives. But falling the wrong way—or down a flight of stairs, onto a sharp corner or against a hard surface—can have serious consequences. Children and elderly family members are especially vulnerable to this type of injury. Stanford Children’s Health names falls as the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in children. There are approximately 8,000 fall-related emergency room visits for children under the age of 19 daily.

The key to minimizing slipping and tripping risks in the home is to make sure walkways are clear. Something as simple as tucking away a cord can help, as can straightening up disorder. Avoid shadowy or dim lighting, and try to utilize non-slip surfaces around your house (especially when it comes to rugs and shower mats). Install handrails wherever needed for extra safety.

Dog Bites

Fluffy wouldn’t hurt a fly, right? A whopping 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the U.S., and almost one-fifth of those become infected. Furthermore, dog-related injuries account for over one-third of homeowner’s insurance liability claims paid out last year. As a result, insurance carriers often charge more to insure certain breeds or blacklist them altogether.

Let’s say a friend comes over for lunch and you both mistake your dog’s barking for an excited greeting. The next thing you know, your pooch has lunged at your friend and left a mark. This will likely be a major strain on the friendship, and your friend could sue you for the prices of a doctor visit, antibiotics and more. If you compared homeowner’s insurance quotes and enrolled in a policy before an accident like this, your policy will cover the damages. If you didn’t, be prepared to reach into your own pocket for liability-related expenses.

Burns

The keys to minimizing the chance of someone getting burned in your home are two-fold: practice active fire safety and stay vigilant while cooking. Whether you’re boiling a tea kettle or preparing a five-course meal, make sure you’re attentive when it comes to the range and oven. Have at least one working fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it. Brush up on your “stop, drop, roll and cool” reflexes at least once per year. And always keep everything flammable out of the reach of children.

Cuts

Paper cuts may be a part of life, but serious wounds shouldn’t be. No one ever starts chopping an onion assuming they’ll soon be holding their bleeding hand in a towel, but it happens in a flash. Therefore, it’s so important to stay alert while you’re chopping. To be on the safe side, always utilize sharp knives and store them safely, like in a designated knife block.

Drowning

Drowning can occur in pools, bathtubs and more. According to the National Safety Council, it’s theleading cause of death for children ages 1 to 2, and the second leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 6. Parents should close and lock toilets, fence in pools and monitor children closely. Certification in CPR can help save a life in home drowning incidents.

Poisoning

In cartoons, bottles of poison are usually labeled with a huge skull-and-crossbones motif. In real life, it’s not so simple. Poisoning can occur from mixing medications, accidently ingesting household products and more. Make sure bottles are clearly labeled and stored in a safe place. Post the Poison Control hotline number, 1-800-222-1222, prominently around your home.

That covers six common home accidents and how to prevent them. Keep your family, friends and house guests safe whenever they’re on your property.

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