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Your Home; your castle, your family fortress. Had a really bad day? Go home and escape to the quiet safety of your own world. But that little world can be a very dangerous place. Consider the stats: Four of five fire deaths in the U.S. happen at home; about 90 percent of accidental poisonings take place there. Carbon monoxide poisoning from household appliances will kill about 80 people every year. Actually, the reason so much tragedy happens at home is because we spend lots of time there. That is why it is crucial to learn about household dangers and how to safeguard your residence. Falls are another main bathroom hazard. More than 75% of the injuries among those 75 years of age and older are from falls in bathrooms and elsewhere in the home. Babies and elderly people fall from toilets and in slick tubs and showers. That is why safety experts recommend grab bars and slip-resistant surfaces installed in bathrooms to help everyone get a grip.
Stairs and Ladders: Staying Straight Falls from steps and ladders are scary for everyone, but for older people, a bad fall can spell the end of independence. If you make your house safe for seniors, you make the house safe for everyone. Fatal falls happen most often from stairs, according to the Consumer Product Safety Council (falls from beds rate second, and from ladders, third). The lessons are: Keep stairs completely clear of any obstacles; get baskets to carry things up and down the flight and use them. Don't climb a ladder without assistance. Get help stabilizing it first. Put emergency numbers where they are easily accessible for getting help if you fall.
The Kitchen: A Natural Hot Spot
The kitchen is the heart and soul of your home. Unfortunately, it's also ground zero for major trouble. Cooking is the # 1 cause of household fires, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (CPSC) Never, ever leave the kitchen when cooking, CPSC advises. The most devastating accidents - a pot of scalding water or a pan of sizzling oil spilled onto a child - happen innocently, in a blink of an eye, when the kids are too close to the action. Fires are not 100 percent preventable, but it is always a tragedy when the smoke alarm is disconnected or it needed a battery which would have alerted the homeowner of the fire.
The Bathroom: Wet Water Hazards
It is no joke; children can drown in just a couple of inches of water. Never leave young children alone in a tub or near any amount of water including pans or buckets. Keep infants within an arm's reach in a bathtub. Never leave to answer the phone, answer the door, get a towel or for any other reason. If you must leave, take the infant along with you. Also it can be a fatal mistake to leave another child in charge. Use clips to keep toilet seats down or at least keep the lid closed so infants cannot get in.
Pools and Hot Tubs: An Attractive Problem AreaEach year, about 250 children under 5 drown in pools and more than 100 drown in bathtubs, spas or buckets of water. Don't leave even a tiny bit of liquid lying around. Store buckets upside down and out of reach. If you have a pool, learn CPR and be ready to use it - if necessary. Backyard swimming pools are what insurance experts call "an attractive problem area." Not only must you watch your own children carefully, you also have to figure out how to keep neighborhood kids from taking a dangerous, uninvited plunge. It is a tremendous responsibility, being a parent or guardian and keeping a safe, comfortable home for your family. Once you have done the prevention and educated everyone around you, you can relax a little more, knowing that you have made your house a safer place for loved ones.
Poisonings account for most of the household injuries and deaths yearly says theNational Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) who is a branch of the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Poison is the leading cause of home injury. The majority of poisoning are not fatal though. Every seven minutes, a child arrives at an emergency room with a suspected poisoning, yet it is preventable. The remedies in medicine cabinets and the arsenal of toilet cleaners, cleansers and drain chemicals in bathroom cupboards are a magnet to curious children. Additionally, baby oil and mouthwash containing ethanol are potentially poisonous. Experts tell parents to lock medicine cabinets and cupboards and use childproof containers for medicines. But careful parents have already done that: Some 30 children die yearly from ingesting household products -- far fewer than the roughly 450 who died each year in the 1960s. Yet, there's one source of poison that escapes many vigilant parents: Visitors with medications in non-childproof containers. The visiting grandparents with their medications who are the # 1 source of an accidental poisonings, emergency room physicians say. Bedrooms: No Rest for Parents Parents must be diligent when it comes to monitoring small children. Even playtime has many dangers. Check new toys for sharp edges and choking potential. Train older kids to keep their toys -- the tiny snap-on blocks and itty-bitty doll accessories -- away from toddlers. Little balls, balloons and pieces of popped balloons can block a child's airway. Choking is the most common cause of death from toys. Extend the protective circle of love for your kids beyond their bedrooms, by installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide warning systems in a hallway. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, poisonous gas from burning natural gas, propane, oil, kerosene, coal or wood, and it kills about 80 Americans yearly. It results from faulty heating systems or from the very dangerous use of gas-powered generators or charcoal grills indoors. Symptoms of carbon-monoxide poisoning (headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness) mimic the flu but without the fever. Choose a home inspector who can test for these hazards, and if present, have them remediated right away. Have your home inspector regularly inspect furnaces, stoves, chimneys and vents for leaks. Installing alarms will make you feel safer and your insurance company might offer discounts. Check with the Insurance Information Institute for more information.
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