We like to consider our homes to be places of rest and comfort, but over 18,000 Americans die every year in preventable accidents that take place in the home. Less severe injuries result in an additional 21 million visits to doctors and hospitals every year at an estimated $220 billion in medical costs. Here are some common types of accidents and injuries and tips on avoiding them.
Everyone knows to keep cleaning supplies secured and out of the reach of children, but did you know 70,000 American children are poisoned every year by accidental overdoses on prescription and over-the-counter medications? Unintentional medicine overdoses in adults have also increased drastically in the last two decades. Before administering any medication, do what medical professionals do—ask yourself the three “Rs”:
“Am I giving the right medication to the right person at the right time?”
Kitchen safety is paramount. Knife accidents alone lead to 300,000 hospital visits each year. Use caution when cutting. Never hold food in your hand when cutting (think bagels and avocados) and definitely do not cut towards yourself. Keep your knives sharp to avoid needing to apply more pressure.
Burn injuries come from many different sources—ovens, electrical outlets, hot water, and accidental fires. Here are some prevention tips:
- Install a smoke detector in every room, especially bedrooms, and check the batteries twice a year.
- Keep one fire extinguisher near the kitchen but not so close you won’t be able to access it if there is a fire.
- Never smoke in bed or when you are likely to fall asleep.
- Always use an oven mitt when removing a dish from the oven. A towel or hot pad is likely to slip.
- Keep electrical outlets covered when not in use.
- Ensure the hot water heater is not turned up too high. Always check the water temperature before allowing a child to get in the bath.
According to the National Safety Council, about 2.5 million nonfatal falls are treated in emergency rooms each year. In addition, 33,000 Americans are killed every year in falls, with the majority being adults aged 65 years and older. The good news is that most falls are preventable. By wearing proper footwear such as fitted house shoes with rubber bottoms, keeping clutter and trip hazards cleared, and maintaining sufficient lighting, you can decrease the likelihood of a fall injury in your home.
Costs and expenses for injuries to you, your family, and guests in your home will add up quickly. Contact your Mountaineer Insurance Services Expert to explore options to best protect yourself at 304-338-2902 or email us at Info@MountaineerINS.com.