Many people consider their home as the safest place to be in, and for the most part, they are probably right about that assessment. A well-built home can provide shelter to its inhabitants, able to protect them from inclement weather conditions as well as other dangerous elements that exist outdoors. However, if certain precautionary measures are not taken, a home can also become a significant source of hazards, especially to the elderly and the very young.
The numbers prove this. According to statistics from Kid Safe Australia, 350 children are killed in the country every year by accidents that happen inside the house. Furthermore, over 150,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms each year because of injuries that occur at home. As for the elderly, 72% of all seniors who were hospitalised due to fall injuries had their accidents happen in their own residences or within the aged care facilities where they lives. This is according to the report Trends in Hospitalisations Due to Falls by Older People, which was released in 2017 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Thankfully, there are ways to prevent such dangerous scenarios from happening, especially if you have a child or an elderly individual living in your home. Here are eight ways to always be one step ahead of accidents that can take place at home.
Take up first aid training from an accredited training centre
One of the best things you can do when it comes to keeping your home accident-free is to take up formal first aid training. By doing so, you equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary to remedy injuries or emergency situations that could arise from an accident at home.
That being said, to ensure that you have the right type of training that’s proven to save lives, only take up your first aid training from a nationally accredited training centre such as Australia Wide First Aid. We hold training courses in locations all over Australia, on all the days of the week, so no matter where you are or what your schedule is, we can make it work. Just check our locations page to know where we can accommodate you.
We also offer courses that are specific to your needs. For example, if you have small children under you care, you can take our childcare first aid training class, which is designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to address emergencies and injuries involving young children.
Have a well-stocked first-aid kit in the house
Your home should have a well-stocked first-aid kit stored somewhere cool, dry and away from children’s reach. Having this resource on hand will help greatly in your ability to treat many of the injuries that could result from accidents happening within your home’s premises. Make sure that the supplies in your kit are refreshed regularly, even if they’re not being used. This helps prevent any complications that could arise from using medicine or tools beyond their expiry date.
Install safety guards and railings on stairs, balconies, and other potential fall hazards
If your home has any stairs, balconies, or other high places that could present a fall hazard to children and elderly individuals, then you should look into installing safety guards as soon as possible. This is to prevent vulnerable individuals from accidentally stumbling into these areas and then falling from a potentially injurious height.
Furthermore, additional hand railings should be installed on all your staircases so that the children, seniors, or disabled people living in your household would have an easier and safer time going up and down. If your budget can take the expense, however, you should also consider having an elevator built to make ascent and descent even easier for them.
Put away everything that could present a tripping hazard
If you constantly have items strewn across your floors, these could become tripping hazards in your home. Make sure to have them stored or tucked away safely. These objects include toys, shoes, books, boxes, loose rugs, appliance cords, extension cords, and other small objects.
Keep household chemicals and potentially poisonous substances behind lock and key
Another major cause of household injuries, especially with toddlers and young children, is poisoning. Poisoning at home usually involves common cleaning chemicals, pesticides, cosmetics, as well as medicines. To prevent accidental ingestion, secure such products inside a high closet or in a container that can be locked or child-proofed.
Install a pool fence and self-locking gate
Protect your young children and your elderly family members from drowning by installing a pool fence with a self-locking gate around your swimming pool. This preventive measure should meet Australian Standard AS:1926, otherwise, it may not be as effective as t needs to be to protect against accidental drowning. Moreover, you should never leave vulnerable individuals unsupervised around pools or similar bodies of water in your home for any length of time.
Brace heavy furniture and objects to walls to prevent crushing accidents
Yet another common cause of injuries within the home are crushing accidents due to heavy objects or furniture falling over. Prevent this by bracing televisions, bookshelves, wardrobes, closets and tall appliances to the nearest wall. Flat-screen televisions, in particular, should also be secured to the wall behind them, as their thin profile combined with their heavy components make them very easy to tip over. Moreover, ensure that you’re not storing anything heavy on high shelves, as these can fall or roll off and cause injuries.
Ensure that your home is well-lit at night
Finally, make sure that key areas in your house are well-illuminated, especially at night. These areas include room entrances, stairs, outdoor walkways, and corridors. This helps prevent the children and seniors in your home from tripping or falling as they try to navigate such spaces in the dark.
A safe home is a happy home
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you are immediately insulated against all potential risks and dangers. This goes double for the more vulnerable members of your family, specifically the children, the elderly, and the disabled. However, by implementing the measures listed above, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from common household accidents and the injuries they can cause.