There are many small and easy things you can do to protect your family from injuries in the home, some of which are listed below. Home accidents kill one person every 16 minutes and injure one person every four seconds in the U.S. Make sure emergency telephone numbers are next to all phones to make it as easy as possible to get help if someone gets hurt.
What can you do?
- Read warning labels and follow storage directions on household products.
- Poisonous products can include medicines, cleaning supplies, hair spray, and home repair materials.
- Keep poisonous products out of children?s sight and reach on high shelves. Install child-proof latches on cabinets that do not have locks.
- Store food and non-food products separately to prevent confusion and protect your family from container contamination and toxic spills.
- Always choose non-toxic alternatives when possible and use products with child-resistant caps.
- Never mix cleaning products together; they may produce dangerous fumes (ammonia and bleach should never be mixed).
- Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors in your home.
- Flush expired medicines down the toilet rather than throwing them in the garbage.
- If it is necessary to use harsh chemicals, use them when children are not at home, or at least are in a different room. Always wear gloves when handling products that could be toxic and follow all manufacturers? instructions.
About Fires and Burns
- Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home near every bedroom. Test detectors every month and change their batteries every year. Never disable smoke detectors.
- Develop a family escape plan.
- Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of children?s reach. Never smoke in bed. It is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from fireplaces, heaters, and radiators. Replace frayed electrical wires.
- Take care to avoid kitchen fires and burns. - Stay in the kitchen while cooking. - Turn pot handles toward the inside of the stove so children cannot grab them. - Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Set water-heater thermostats below 120? F (50? C). Always test the water before bathing yourself or your child.
About Drowning, Choking, Suffocation, and Strangulation
- Never leave children alone near water, including bathtubs, buckets, swimming pools, rivers, and the ocean. Learn and practice First Aid and CPR.
- Use child-proof fencing around all swimming pools and hot-tubs.
- Avoid toys for children under 3 years of age that are smaller than 2 inches long and 1 inche wide. Toys for young children should never have small or removable parts that could be choked on.
- Avoid window blinds with looped cords, which may cause strangulation if not stored out of children?s reach.Keep plastic bags and drawstring cords away from children.
About Falls and Other Injuries
- Keep your floors free of anything that may cause tripping, such as toys, shoes, or magazines.
- Use stools, ladders and stepladders carefully.
- Make sure that your home is well lit.Use guards on windows and safety gates near stairs to keep children from falling
- Follow manufacturers? instructions for storing and using lawn equipment or chemicals.
- Wear protective gear on eyes and ears when using power tools.
- Keep sharp or electronic kitchen and bathroom items out of children?s reach. Keep electric appliances away from water.
- Always keep firearms well secured. Firearms should always be locked, unloaded, and stored out of reach. Store ammunition in a separate, locked location.