Accidents happen, and happen anywhere. While the first image that’s most likely to come to mind is that of a car turned turtle on the road, accidents can and do pan out in spaces you would otherwise deem safe (read your home).
We’ve all had them – the falls, the cuts, and deep bruises that take a long time to heal. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, at-home accidents are common among kids and the elderly.
Arguably the most common among children and seniors, falls can result in broken bones, injuries and concussions that can sometimes be life-threatening. Experts believe the best way to avoid falls is to exercise caution at all times. Install assistance objects like railings around the staircase in households with children and senior citizens. Also, the elderly would do well with grab bars in their showers.
Besides, you can also use non-skid mats in washrooms and kitchens, and remove all potential hazards like toys and shoes from the floors.
With a minor cut, you’d not have to do much. Apply an antiseptic solution to the affected area and use a clean cloth to keep it covered. It should eventually stop bleeding. A good idea is to have a first-aid kit handy to take care of minor cuts. For immediate relief, apply a cold pack on the area.
However, a deeper wound or gash will need medical intervention.
Likewise, a sprained ligament (most common in knees, wrists, and ankles) should heal if you use an ice pack and keep the affected area at rest.
Your kitchen is the most obvious spot where you’re likely to sustain a burn-related injury. That being said, while the modest stove is the usual suspect, it isn’t the only one. You have to be careful with the water heater as well. Make sure that the temperature is never set beyond the 140 degree Fahrenheit-mark. Otherwise, you could easily sustain a burn or scald.
Also, keep an eye out for children who could be playing too close to the source of an open fire, or devices like irons and hair straighteners.
Regularly-tested and functional smoke alarms are only prerequisites. Make sure that there is a fire extinguisher tucked away at an accessible spot, and have a ready escape route that every family member is familiar with.
Burns should be treated, depending on how severe they are. In the case of first and second-degree burns, you should:
You can also apply aloe vera gel on the burn area. Studies corroborate the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera that help to better circulation and stop bacterial growth.
For starters, remember that most first and second-degree burns can be treated with home remedies explained above. However, it is the third and fourth-degree burns that warrant immediate medical care. While not set in stone, the following pointers can serve as general guidelines to when you should seek medical intervention:
Never try to treat a third (damage to the layers of the skin) or fourth-degree burn (involving the bones and joints) at home, for it involves the risk of complications, including blood loss, shock, and subsequent infections. These are medical emergencies.
Children are the most vulnerable to these types of accidents. Usually, poisoning incidents involve the ingestion of medicines, cleaning supplies, or other toxic products like cosmetics that may be within reach of children. Please ensure that you have tucked away these substances well outside their reach.
That being said, it would be naivety to count out the adults. Exposure to hazardous chemicals and gases – carbon monoxide, for instance – can be lethal. Even ingesting something as modest as a dish-cleansing solution can lead to poisoning.
A way to prevent accidents like these is to make sure all the cabinets and supplies’ storage spaces are fitted with child locks to keep their contents from the reach of children.
Children are particularly at the risk of putting foreign objects into their mouths, which makes them vulnerable to choking. Besides, food items like sunflower and watermelon seeds, nuts, peas, celery, raw carrots, cherries, hard candies, and popcorn can block the child’s windpipe. It is advisable not to give your toddler these items to eat.
Drowning is another common type of accident that’s prevalent among children. The worrying bit is that most fatalities happen due to drowning in one’s house in the swimming pool. If you have a water feature or a garden bath on your property premise, make sure that it is entirely fenced. Install a gate that you can lock.
Hundreds of thousands of accidents unfold at workplaces every year. Some of them are severe and may bring employers and their employees under duress. Despite taking the most stringent precautions, one cannot be guarded completely.
The best way to prevent these is first to acclimate your employees (and yourself) to the general safety risks present in the work environment and then prepare an action plan to address (prevent) the issues.
No matter where you work – be it at a shop, office, or a factory – you are likely to come across that odd slippery surface. And when you do, chances are, you’d slip. According to stats, as much as 25% of the injuries sustained across workplaces result from slips, falls, and trips.
Another risk factor is that of falling while working at a great height. These include falls from ladders, roofs, or scaffolding.
These are some of the more common injuries in the workplace. People lifting heavy weights regularly are particularly predisposed to lower back and neck strains, conditions that can become debilitating if not attended to on time.
That being said, safe lifting techniques can prevent these injuries. If your job demands heavy lifting, make sure that you bend at the knees (and not with your back) to pick up the weight. That way, you’d be transferring the weight of your body to the knees, guarding your back against the unnecessary strain during the process, and steering clear of debilitating conditions like a slipped disc.
Impact injuries and accidents that result from crashes are also common. Irrespective of whether the accidents involve cars, lorries, or smaller vehicles such as a forklift truck, the consequences can be nasty. Employers must ensure that seatbelts and other safety precautions are in place and strictly adhered to at all times.
Improper and careless handling of office and factory equipment can leave you nursing a deep wound. No matter you are operating an electric saw or only a paper trimmer, you can sustain a laceration should you let your mind drift off the work. The typical causes include getting inadequate training, following poor safety practices, and not wearing proper protection.
Bosses can help prevent such accidents by providing adequate safety equipment and putting the right procedures (including training) in place.
If your job requires you to work with chemicals and gases regularly, make sure you are wearing the prescribed protective gear like masks, safety goggles, and gloves. Besides eye and skin irritation, inhaling gases regularly at work can lead to a raft of conditions that may be potentially severe.
Be it at home or work; injuries cannot be anticipated. However, you can protect yourself and prevent such accidents by being mindful of your immediate environment, and following the necessary safety recommendations.
Also, a comprehensive personal accident policy can offer extensive coverage from a slew of financial damages arising from an accident.