in the home is extremely common, accounting for approximately
one-third of all injuries.  * The home is the second most common
location of unintentional fatal injuries in the United States, with
motor vehicles traveling on the road being the first. The home is
the site of approximately 20% of all injury death. The top five
leading causes of unintentional home injury death are falls,
poisoning, fire/burn, choking/suffocation, and drowning; together
these causes account for 90% of all unintentional home injury
deaths. Yet the majority of unintentional home injuries do not
result in death. For every home injury death there are approximately
650 nonfatal injuries. Children under age 5 and adults over age 70
are the highest risk groups for home injury, both fatal and nonfatal
(Home Safety Council).
Preventing Slips and Falls in the Home
In 1998, falls in the home and community caused or led to 15,900
deaths. All age groups are vulnerable, but older adults are
most at risk. In fact, 80% of those receiving fatal injury are over
the age of 65. Falls continue to be the major reason for
injury-related death, injury and hospital admission for older
Follow these tips to prevent slips and falls in your home:
Keep the floor clear. Reduce clutter and safely
tuck telephone and electrical cords out of walkways.
Keep the floor clean. Clean up grease, water and
other liquids immediately. Don't wax floors.
Use non-skid throw rugs to reduce your chance of
slipping on linoleum.
Install handrails in stairways. Have grab bars
in the bathroom (by toilets and in tub/shower.)
Make sure living areas are well lit. We can all
trip and fall in the dark.
Be aware that climbing and reaching high places
will increase your chance of a fall. Use a sturdy step stool
with hand rails when these tasks are necessary.
Follow medication dosages closely. Using
medication incorrectly may lead to dizziness, weakness and other
side effects. These can all lead to a dangerous fall.
(National Safety Council,
Use this checklist as a guide to
find and fix hazards in your home. This checklist is not all
inclusive; please visit the Home Safety Council's Safety Guide to
learn more about ways to protect your home and family (www.homesafetycouncil.org).
Have first-aid kit stocked
with emergency items.
Practice a home fire escape
plan twice a year so everyone knows at least two exits out of
every room and where to meet outside in case of an emergency
Test your smoke alarms once a
month and replace batteries yearly
Stay in the kitchen when food
is cooking on the stove
Use nightlights to help light
hall ways and bathrooms during night-time hours
Use a sturdy step stool and
not a chair when climbing
Post the National Poison
Control Hotline number (800-222-1222) along with other emergency
numbers next to every phone
Medications should be kept in
their original containers with original labels
Never us a barbecue grill or
generator in your garage
Always pull the car out of
the garage after starting it.
Keep a colorless, water
resistant phone in the pool area with emergency numbers posted
Poolside rescue equipment
should be closed to the pool area
DPR instructions should be
posted near pool area
Consider taking First Aid and
For comprehensive information on
maintaining safety on a regular basis visit anyone of these sites:
National Safety Council
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)- Itís not
just work safety
Recalls occur on a daily basis on
all types of products ranging from produce to vehicle parts. Large
scale recalls get reported through various media sources; however,
daily recalls that may affect you may not be reported at all.
Periodically checking the consumer recall site will help keep you
informed and protected.
The recall sites report what items are in recall and how to go about
resolving the situation if you are affected.
Recalls.gov is a comprehensive recall site for various types of
recalls. It links to the main recall sites for consumer, motor
vehicles, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics and environmental