Hidden danger of injury: Is your home safe?

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Everyone has heard of “baby-proofing” a home to ensure the safety of the very young, but do people do enough to ensure the safety of other occupants of a home, from youth to adults to the elderly? Clearly, the answer is no. Every year, approximately 18,000 Americans die from accidental injuries that take place in the home, the second most common place for injuries to occur. Only motor vehicle crash injuries are more common than injuries in the home. To protect your loved ones and yourself, improve the safety of your home. Here are some tips on the five greatest hazards in the home:


Falls are the most common cause of home injuries. Make sure your home has adequate lighting, strong handrails on stairs, and get rid of those decorative but slippery area rugs—or secure them to the floor. Don’t let water pool on the bathroom floor, especially not if it’s soapy.


Poisoning is the second leading cause of death in the home, more common among children under five. Know your poisons! Securely stow away potentially dangerous products, especially the most common causes of poisoning, according to webmd.com: cleaning and household products, personal care and beauty products, medicines, vitamins, and supplements (iron is especially dangerous), lead, and carbon monoxide. Make sure your houseplants are not toxic if accidentally consumed. Destroy expired medications, or take them to your local hazardous chemicals disposal service.


Choking and suffocation are the third leading cause of unintentional injury and death in very young children. Hazards include small toys and hard foods like nuts or candies that can block airways. Keep them out of reach of children.


Burns and fire hazards can be avoided, starting in the kitchen. Be careful when cooking, and don’t leave the stove untended. Don’t cook in long, loose sleeves, and don’t let children play near the stove. Have smoke alarms upstairs and downstairs, and make sure they work and that batteries are replaced twice a year. If you smoke, be very, very careful with cigarette butts and matches.


Knives and razor blade cuts are common home injuries. You may be surprised to learn that a sharper knife is safer to use than a blunt one, because it requires a lighter touch. Pushing down can cause a knife to slip. Dispose of razor blades by wrapping them to cover any sharp edges.


Stay safe, and keep your emergency phone numbers handy in case of accidents in the home.


Richard Manger, principal of Manger Law Firm, has extensive experience in litigation and settlements, with a focus on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We are proud of the strong relationships of loyalty and trust we develop with our clients. We go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact Richard Manger via email at ram@mangerlaw.com, or by calling (336) 882-2000.

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